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Most Dutch companies still struggle with human rights

The report ‘Looking Closer’ shares best practices

Half of all Dutch listed international companies has a human rights policy, but few of them translate this policy into practice. These, and more insights are published in the report Looking Closer, Business and Human Rights by Dutch companies. Companies acknowledge that they have a role to play when it comes to workers’ rights in developing countries, like living wage, a healthy and safe working environment and the right to participate in trade unions. Dutch companies acknowledge that they have a role to play when it comes to workers’ rights in developing countries, like living wage, a healthy and safe working environment and the right to participate in trade unions. However few companies know how to translate this policy into concrete steps. Especially smaller companies have great trouble in managing their supply chain, when it comes to human rights. These are the outcomes of research done by the Dutch Association of Investors for Sustainable Development (VBDO), ICCO Cooperation, trade union CNV Internationaal and PwC. It appears that front runners like Philips and DSM, have concrete targets on issues like living wage, freedom of trade unions and safety. By sharing best practices, which are available in the report ‘Looking Closer’, more companies can follow the example. Harmful risks
OESO guide lines as well as the Ruggie framework stress the importance of due diligence. This is research that a company does to asses (potential) risks that company activities (could) have on human rights. By conducting this review a company can identify harmful risks. CNV Confederation President Jaap Smit comments "CSR is an important part of our general policy on collective bargaining agreements (CBA’s). The Ruggie Principles provide concrete tools for putting this into practice. They provide a good fundament for our CBA-negotiators to put CSR high on the agenda to companies and industries. In addition, CNV has an extensive international network of trade union partner organizations who can fulfill the role of watchdogs of human rights in business throughout the entire supply chain”. In June 2014 VBDO, ICCO, CNV Internationaal and PwC will be organising the next international conference on Human Rights & Business.

Download: report Looking Closer, Business and Human Rights by Dutch companies

Publicatiedatum 12 12 2013