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2 Nov 2022

MVO Platform

Netherlands: Six political parties submit bill on mandatory due diligence to parliament

"Six political parties in the Netherlands submit corporate accountability bill", 1 Nov 2022

Today, six Dutch political parties (ChristenUnie, D66, PvdA, GroenLinks, SP, Volt) have formally submitted the Bill on Responsible and Sustainable International Business Conduct to the Dutch House of Representatives. The bill obliges enterprises to conduct business with respect for human rights, the environment, and the climate in accordance with the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. The bill is of crucial importance for the Netherlands and the EU, says the MVO Platform...

Under the bill, companies will be obliged to map their value chains, including (possible) negative impacts on human rights, the environment, and the climate. If negative impacts exist, the company must address and remedy them. An independent regulator will monitor compliance with the law...

The bill covers a wide range of human rights violations, environmental damage, and climate harm across the entire value chain. If passed, it would greatly improve access to justice for victims of human rights abuse or environmental harm. Companies that cause or contribute to negative impacts will be obliged to provide remedy and can be held liable in court. In many aspects, the bill is likely to be more effective than the European Commission’s proposal for a Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD) that was published in February 2022.

Over 65 companies and 60 civil society organisations and trade unions have been campaigning for this bill through the Sustainable and Responsible Business Conduct Initiative (IDVO.org). In 2021, over 40,000 Dutch consumers signed a petition calling for corporate accountability legislation. Research by polling company YouGov shows that 80 per cent of Dutch citizens are in favour of strong legislation that requires companies to prevent human rights violations and environmental damage abroad.

An English translation of the Bill for Responsible and Sustainable International Business Conduct is available here.