Children affected by migration in Southeast Asia: The Role of Business

Authors: Awaz Raoof and Kirsten Anderson

June 2023

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This report highlights the role of the business sector in driving child migration and influencing decisions by parents to migrate with or without their children, as well as the contribution of the business sector to child protection risks. The research goes beyond highlighting the risks of child labour and economic exploitation, which are often cited when it comes to business conduct, and calls attention to how business policies, operations, and business relationships cause or contribute to risks associated with child protection. This includes child trafficking, family separation and the potential negative consequences that this can have on the child’s development, increased exposure of the child to violence and abuse, and children being undocumented and cut off from essential protective services.

This research comes at a pivotal time, coinciding with increasing calls in the international policy arena to impose mandatory obligations on businesses to respect human rights, including children’s rights, wherever they operate or have business relationships. Our report highlights a series of steps that ASEAN states, businesses and civil society are taking to address these protection risks, as well as recommendations to build upon these efforts.