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Make some noise for the Dutch gov’s commitment to due diligence

Make some noise for the Dutch gov’s commitment to due diligence
December 08, 2021

We’re pumped that the Dutch government has announced it will start work on ambitious national due diligence legislation pronto! This is a huge move and comes after years of lobbying from us and over a hundred companies, NGOs and experts.

It’s up to governments to regulate companies to stamp out abuses in supply chains across countries and continents. And every company must take responsibility to solve problems in their supply chains by building accountability into their business models. We think this should be the new norm and the Dutch government is taking steps to make it a reality. Huge props to them.

Kicking the EU Commission into action
The reason for the Dutch government’s action? Delays at an EU level.. In a parliament debate, Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Tom de Bruijn called out the “very disappointing” and “indefinite” delays at the European Commission, which have triggered their work on national legislation.

This move should up the pressure on the European Commission. And means, when the European Commission does come up with a proposal, the Dutch government will be prepared. Tom De Bruijn also flagged that it’s unacceptable that the Child Labour (Duty of Care) Act – which has been passed by parliament more than 2 years ago – still has not been implemented by the government. We couldn’t agree more!

The Dutch Minister’s promise to take steps on a national level is a big deal. National action can contribute to the EU-wide agreement becoming a binding framework. And that’s what we wanna see!

Tony’s take on due diligence legislation
We’re not shy about sharing our demands for ambitious legislation at a national and EU level. In fact, we’ve already set out a wish list to the powers that be, calling for:

  • All companies, big or small, to be bound by law. Especially in high-risk sectors such as cocoa.
  • Human rights violations to be prosecutable under civil law to make sure companies take responsibility for their entire supply chains.
  • A decent standard of living as a human right. Meaning violations go beyond illegal child labor and modern slavery to also include a living income.
  • Transparency, with all companies mandated to use a clear and accessible reporting framework with mandatory checks for full accountability.