Belgrade, 13 September 2021 – The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia (CCIS) and the United Nations Children’s Fund Serbia (UNICEF) have signed today a new Memorandum of Understanding with the aim to continue building a business environment that respects and supports children’s rights in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Children’s Rights and Business Principles.
The continuation of the cooperation builds on the global partnership between the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and UNICEF launched during the COVID-19 pandemic with the shared goal of protecting the economy, avoiding lasting damage to business operations and job opportunities, and providing support to children, families and communities during and after the global emergency.
Strategic cooperation between the CCIS and UNICEF Serbia dates back to five years ago. Since 2016, several major initiatives were undertaken:
- CCIS President joined UNICEF’s Business Advisory Board on Child Rights;
- sectoral data were made available for developing the Situation Analysis of Children and Adolescents in Serbia in the eve of the new UNICEF five-year programming cycle;
- CCIS members participated in surveys on family-friendly business practices and the current situation concerning the implementation of the Children’s Rights and Business Principles;
- UNICEF’s brochures on business sector’s impact on children’s rights were distributed to CCIS members.
The new Memorandum of Understanding between the two organisations reiterates their commitment to closely cooperate in promoting children’s rights in the business sector to achieve better results for children, adolescents, and youth.
”UNICEF in Serbia is happy with the excellent collaboration with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia. While the Government has the primary responsibility to protect and fulfil children’s rights, business is an essential driver for societies and economies to further the realization of children’s rights through, for example, technological advances, investment and the generation of decent work. We are looking forward to continue working with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia on integrating children’s rights considerations into responsible business conduct and influencing businesses, and also policymakers, to scale up promising and sustainable solutions for children and families in Serbia”, stated Deyana Kostadinova, UNICEF Representative in Serbia.
“The Serbian Chamber of Commerce will continue to support the business sector in Serbia to raise capacities related to the creation of better employment and work conditions, improved family friendly policies and creation of better work life balance culture. Also, the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia will continue, through its actions and the reward programs, to raise awareness, strengthen the awareness of employers, specifically highlight and promote those companies that implement family friendly policies, and value the harmonizing parenting and work, with the aim of influencing as many companies as possible to integrate their obligations with international standards and to move the policies of business from philanthropy to responsible business”, stated Mihailo Vesovic, Director for Strategic Analysis, Services and Internationalization.
In the coming period, the CCIS and UNICEF will aim to widen their cooperation relying on their expertise, knowledge, networks and reach, to raise CCIS members’ awareness of opportunities for active involvement at the national level in supporting the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Child Rights and Business Principles, and acting in the best interest of children, adolescents and youth. Further, the CCIS and UNICEF will explore opportunities to jointly influence agendas and policies and help put children’s rights on relevant stakeholders’ agenda.