Netherlands: Govt. releases English translation of National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights

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Report
12 August 2014

Netherlands: Natl. human rights institute comments on Dutch Natl. Action Plan on business & human rights

"Advice: Response to the National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights “Knowing and Showing”", Feb 2014

The Institute expresses its appreciation that the minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, also on behalf of the Minister of Economic Affairs, have drawn up an action plan to implement the UN Guiding Principles. By doing this, they show that they attach much value to protecting and respecting human rights and offering remedies for human rights violations by companies...In this response the Institute examines to what extent already existing policy and the intended actions are sufficiently compatible with the UN Guiding Principles...The Institute is of the opinion that the government is on the right track, but that the content of the action plan is not sufficient to implement the UN Guiding Principles...The most important points for the Institute are that: - there should be a greater focus on human rights violations in the Netherlands ;- the government should do more to observe the commitments from the UN Guiding Principles in its role as market party and supporter of companies;- there should be a greater focus on victims of human rights violations; - there should be clarity about the follow-up of the action plan. In its response the Institute makes a number of recommendations.

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Article
17 February 2014

Dutch National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights

Author: MVO Platform

If this document is to be considered an ‘action plan’ a number of questions remain unanswered: What period does the plan cover? Since almost all the actions mentioned take place in 2014, will a new plan be drafted for 2015? How is the implementation of the plan going to be monitored and evaluated? Where is the budget for this?...The Netherlands seems to have a good understanding of the goal of the NAP...Unfortunately, the National Action Plan is not as promising in many other respects. For example, the UNGPs call for the alignment of all government policies that affect the private sector, with the goal of preventing abuses. Despite the fact that the action plan mentions many relevant policy fields and lists initiatives that are expected to contribute to attaining the proposed goal , this is not the serious coherence check that the UNGPs call for...The weakest part of this plan is by far the access to remedy for victims of business-related abuse...It is disappointing that the Netherlands takes a pre-eminently defensive stance on this issue and is guided by all kinds of objections, especially when it comes to the options for “legislation with extraterritorial application”...[Also refers to issues around trade and investment agreements, embassies, CSR as a conditions of government support, training, victims]

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Article
20 December 2013

National Action Plan for Human Rights and Business: ‘Knowing and Showing’

Author: Government of the Netherlands

The government expects businesses to take concrete action to respect human rights in their own operations and elsewhere in their production chains. In turn, the government, civil society organisations and other stakeholders have a responsibility to support such actions. This is laid down in the National Action Plan for Human Rights and Business that the cabinet has approved at the proposal of the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Lilianne Ploumen...After the United Kingdom, the Netherlands is the second country in the world to adopt a national action plan of this kind. The government intends to make specific agreements with certain sectors in which the risk of human rights violations is high, for example with the textiles sector, where there are abuses in garment factories in countries such as Bangladesh, and with energy companies that buy coal from mines in Colombia, where there are problems with human rights and working conditions...Businesses that supply goods or services to the government or request assistance to carry out international activities will be screened as to their compliance with these expectations.

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Article
20 December 2013

[PDF] Nationaal Actieplan bedrijfsleven en mensenrechten: Rapport over het Nederlandse beleid rondom de bevordering van eerbiediging van mensenrechten door het bedrijfsleven

Author: Government of the Netherlands

[Netherlands finalised its National Action Plan on business & human rights on 20 Dec 2013 in Dutch. The English translation was published in February 2014.] Nederland bevordert de eerbiediging van mensenrechten door het bedrijfsleven. Doel is mensenrechtenschendingen door bedrijven, rechtstreeks of in productieketens te voorkomen. In deze brief zet het kabinet uiteen wat het bestaand beleid is, wat de consultaties over het Ruggiebeleidskader hebben opgeleverd en welke aanvullende stappen worden gezet. Voorop staat dat bedrijven een eigen maatschappelijke verantwoordelijkheid hebben om in het buitenland dezelfde mensenrechtennormen te hanteren als in Nederland.

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Article
1 December 2013

[PDF] National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights [Netherlands]

Author: Government of the Netherlands

Below, the Dutch government sets out existing policy, presents the results of the consultations on the Ruggie Framework and describes the additional steps it is taking or plans to take. The guiding principle is that businesses have a social responsibility to apply the same human rights norms both in the Netherlands and elsewhere...During the consultations, 50 representatives of the business community, civil society organisations and implementing organisations and other experts were asked for their ideas and viewpoints on implementation of the Ruggie Framework...This chapter presents the most significant results of the consultations, and the government response to them. The following five main points emerged: 1. An active role for the government 2. Policy coherence 3. Clarifying due diligence 4. Transparency and reporting 5. Scope for remedy...[Refers to ABN AMRO Bank, ABP Pension Fund, Aegon, Entrepreneurial Development Bank (FMO), ING Bank, Dutch Banking Association, Federation of Dutch Pension Funds, PFZW, Rabobank]

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