The Dutch government should make binding agreements with companies or sectors that are prone to high risks of human rights abuse. These agreements should be transparent, based on international norms, and should contain clear timeframes and compliance monitoring mechanisms.
Governments should monitor sectors or companies that are known for their poor corporate accountability record (or that face a higher risk of environmental pollution or human rights impact). These sectors or companies should face more formal monitoring from the government on a permanent basis, not only when examples of corporate abuse reach the news.
To prevent corporate abuses from occurring in the first place, binding agreements with companies are required, as well as with investors and financial institutions. These agreements should be drawn up with the involvement of stakeholders and should include details about compensation for victims when violations occur.
If no improvements are made in a company’s behaviour, this should incur consequences. For example, offending companies may be excluded from access to subsidies, permits or other forms of state aid, or may be subject to fines. Monitoring and accountability are both crucial elements of these agreements.
- For an overview of Business and Human Rights legislation and legal cases worldwide, please visit BHRinlaw.org.