Business and Children in Indonesia
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Business and children, most of us will see no relation between these two words. Business is close to people who are already grown up, while children do not have any business about business because they have not been able to run a business yet. However, children often become victims of some business. Many corporations do not give attention to children’s right, or whether their business will give bad impact to children or not. In Indonesia, based on the evaluation that has been done by Indonesia Child-Friendly Enterprise Association (APSAI) and Ministry of Women Empowerment and Children Protection in 2012, there are only five corporations that can be categorized as child-friendly enterprise.
According to the head of APSAI, Luhur Budiyarso, a child-friendly corporation is a form of business which implements the ten principals of child-friendly corporation – making integration between children’s right and their corporation policy and activity.
UNICEF itself has produced The Children Right and Business Principles to guide the business so that they would not cause harm to children. There are 512 million children that trap into child labor, and even worse, child labor is not the only thing that threatening children. We can take some of commercials that are not safe for children as an example. Showing ads that contains dangerous acts, controversial products, and even sex appeal in a children program can increase the risk of many psychological problems to children.
We also can take Citarum River’s condition as an example. Citarum is now very polluted, and even Blacksmith Institute and Green Cross Swiss write Citarum as one out of ten places which has a high rate of pollution. This river is polluted by industrial and domestic activities, and I assume most of the waste comes from the textile factory. World Health Organization said that 23% death in developing country is caused by environmental pollution, and the group that has the highest score for the death and diseases that caused by this problem is children.
The good news is, there are also some corporations that even make a special program for children. I take Lifebuoy as an example. Lifebuoy is a hygiene-tools corporation (soap and shampoo) that held a hand-washing program in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), where 1 of 4 children death is caused by diarhea. They believe that by making hand-washing as a habit, they will successfully decrease the risk of children suffer from diarhea.
Considering these two facts, I believe that listen to children voice and pay attention on their right as the corporate puts it on their policy are important. By protecting the children, it can create a great generation to even make all aspects turn better in the future, decrease the death rate, and even it can help the developing countries become a developed country.
Tempo. Tuesday, November 12, 2013, page 12.