Save the Children
Publication Type: 
Research on the EITI
Published Date: 
December, 2007

Why Corporate Social Responsibility is failing children

Deborah Doane (The Corporate Responsibility Coalition) and Alison Holder (Save the Children UK), 2007.

In the last decade, voluntary corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategies have become the primary means of tackling problems such as poor labour standards, aggressive marketing of products for children, and environmental harm resulting from company action or inaction. Save the Children and The Corporate Responsibility (CORE) Coalition have become increasingly concerned that, while governments around the world increasingly favour these approaches, such strategies may have only limited application.

This paper reviews three familiar voluntary codes for companies - the International Marketing Code for Breastmilk Substitutes, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), and the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) - and finds some striking results, with serious concerns raised by all three cases.