Role of businesses in supporting Child Rights
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The introduction in 2009 of a new policy mandating registered companies to pay 2% of their book profit towards programmes that contribute to the social and environmental development of the country has indeed boosted businesses contribution in bridging the gap prevailing between the rich and the poor. Project with regards to Child rights mainly focusing on access to basic needs namely food, shelter and education have been developed and funded since 2009. The economic crisis has spared no one and with shrinking profits, CSR in Mauritius is now barely enough to support these child rights projects. It is indeed essential to empower these children who are the future of the country and no need to say that a thriving economy implies business opportunities. Businesses in the country should not only fund these projects because they are legally bound to so. Indeed it is proven that companies doing CSR have a stronger brand image and according to a study by Industry Canada, these businesses are prone to stronger financial performance and profitability. As Nelson Mandela rightly said, education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. Businesses in Mauritius should strive to provide access to facilities to these underprivileged children leading to the fulfillment of their potential. School dropout in Mauritius is rife in the various pocket of poverty around the island and it is said to be attributed to lack of motivation, resources or information. An attempt at improving any of these 3 factors leading to school dropout should be a clear focus of each business leader in the country. I firmly believe that the role of a business leader is not only to make his company profitable but also to ensure that his business is improving the lives of the children. A child represents hope and a smiling child lights up a room. Let’s not forget that we are born equal and everyone deserves to be treated with respect. Businesses can certainly contribute to a world where every child matters and have access to the same resources and opportunities.