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Sustainable business agreements in the Netherlands: search for the missing link
Author/s: Yvonne Erkens 
Year:  2021 Issue: 169 Language: English 
Pages:  17 Pg. 19-35 FullText PDF:  255 KB
DOI:  10.3280/GDL2021-169002
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The Rana Plaza disaster has shown that fundamental labour rights in supply chains are violat-ed. Solutions are sought at all levels. In the Netherlands, international responsible business agreements or covenants have been concluded, multi-stakeholder agreements aimed to ensure that companies promote compliance with fundamental labour rights in their supply chains. Re-cent evaluations have shown that there is a strong indication that covenants increase awareness of risk and improve due diligence in various sectors, but definitive proof that they contribute to improved conditions in production countries cannot (yet) be provided. This has partly led to the realization of the Dutch child labour due diligence act, that obliges companies to detect child labor in their supply chain and to take measures against it. By voluntarily entering into obligations in a sectoral context - such as covenants - stakeholders can meet the legal obliga-tions imposed on them by the act. This leads to the conclusion that the Dutch covenants could very well be a missing link between existing soft-law frameworks and binding statutory regu-lations.
Keywords: Sustainability; Fundamental labour rights; Dutch covenants; Smart-mix; Dutch child labour due diligence act.

  1. Erkens M.Y.H.G. (2019). De ILO en Maatschappelijk Verantwoord Ondernemen (MVO). TRA, 1: 23 ss.
  2. Rombouts S.J. (2019). Fundamentele arbeidsnormen en internationaal maatschappelijk verantwoord ondernemen: rechten, instrumenten en actie. TRA, 1: 10 ss.

Yvonne Erkens, in "GIORNALE DI DIRITTO DEL LAVORO E DI RELAZIONI INDUSTRIALI " 169/2021, pp. 19-35, DOI:10.3280/GDL2021-169002


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