Imperial Bank considers children as a priority stakeholder group – as they are the bank’s future customers and employees. Children are often the most vulnerable population, requiring specific attention to guarantee respect for their human rights. In this regard, Imperial Bank signed a commitment to champion, protect and fulfill children’s rights through the implementation of the Children’s Rights and Business Principles (CRBPs) – a joint initiative of the Save the Children Sweden (SCS), UNICEF and the UN Global Compact.
The CRBPs are the first comprehensive set of principles which guide companies on the full range of actions they can take in the workplace, marketplace and community to respect and support children’s rights.
THE 10 PRINCIPLES
1. Meet the responsibility to respect children’s rights and commit to supporting the human rights of children
2. Contribute to the elimination of child labour – including in all business activities and business relationships
3. Provide decent work for young workers, parents and caregivers
4. Ensure the protection and safety of children in all business activities and facilities
5. Ensure that products and services are safe and seek to support children’s rights
6. Use marketing and advertising that respects and supports children’s rights
7. Respect and support children’s rights in relation to the environment and to land acquisition and use
8. Respect and support children’s rights in security arrangements
9. Help protect children affected by emergencies
10. Reinforce community and government efforts to protect and fulfill children’s rights
Imperial Bank is the first financial institution in East Africa to implement the CRBPs and has signed a commitment paper which serves as a guiding framework for the bank’s sustainability ambitions in relation to children’s rights. These are as set out in various international and regional treaties on children’s rights such as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. The document will be a source of reference when carrying out activities when engaging with the bank’s various stakeholders including staff members, customers, shareholders, suppliers, government, other companies, partners and the community.
Imperial Bank, as a champion of these principles in the financial sector in East Africa will be responsible to;
1) Encourage the safeguarding of the interests of children in the workplace as a socially responsible business practice. The bank will focus on providing safe, secure and responsible financial products and services that support children in accumulating capital, sending and receiving money as well as entrepreneurial ventures that will improve livelihoods and children’s overall development.
2) Support financial and social inclusion and help children develop financial responsibility. This will be through the promotion of children’s participation and due diligence consultation with children when developing new products and services in order to understand their concerns and perspective.
3) Develop a child protection code of conduct and bank personnel will be trained on child safeguarding to reinforce the bank’s zero tolerance position for violence, exploitation and abuse in all the bank’s activities.
4) Rework Imperial Bank’s employee code of conduct to include the bank’s commitment to children’s rights as well as an internal remediation process. This will involve contextualizing the policy to the banking industry and the bank’s internal culture.
5) Draft a voluntary client code of conduct which communicates to clients the bank’s commitment to children’s rights. These will be contextualized to different client segments and will be incorporated into new and existing account documents and product packages, aligned with marketing/advertising materials.
6) Work with Save the Children to develop a clear and strategic set of guidelines for all CSR engagements to be conducted by Imperial Bank. These guidelines will incorporate the bank’s commitment to respecting children’s rights, target the most marginalized and help to ensure true impact through these social investments with a recommended reporting framework.
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