Revised National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights

In 2020 the government began evaluating its policy agenda for business and human rights, with a view to examining what government bodies and businesses are doing to protect human rights. The findings were used to formulate a new National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights. The 2022-2026 National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights was published and sent to the House of Representatives in 2022. 

Lees deze informatie in het Nederlands

Aim of the National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights (NAP)

The action plan describes how the government expects companies to conduct business with respect for human rights both in the Netherlands and abroad. The action plan also specifies what the government can do to support businesses and encourage them to observe human rights, for example by combating child labour. The plan includes action points aimed at improving policy in recognition of the following: 

  1. The state’s obligations to respect, protect and fulfil human rights.
  2. The responsibility of businesses to respect human rights.
  3. The responsibility that states and businesses share to ensure that victims of human rights abuses have access to effective remedies.

These are the 3 pillars of the United Nations' Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and form the basis for the action plan. Along with other countries, the Netherlands has agreed to adhere to these guiding principles. In its action plan, the government has set out how these international guiding principles are to be put into practice and incorporated into Dutch legislation. 

Differences between the NAP and International Responsible Business Conduct (IRBC) policy

The NAP has a broader objective than the evaluation and renewal of policy on Responsible Business Conduct (RBC). RBC policy focuses on the role of companies under the UN guiding principles (pillar 2). They have a responsibility to respect human rights and the environment throughout their international production chains and to enable remediation if abuses take place.

The NAP focuses primarily on pillars 1 and 3: the responsibilities of the state and care for victims, including in the Netherlands. RBC policy is one of the building blocks of the NAP.

Monitoring and drawing up progress reports on the NAP

The House of Representatives receives a progress report once a year. This report briefly describes the current situation regarding the implementation of points for action from the NAP. In October 2023 the first letter to parliament on progress on the revised NAP (in Dutch) was submitted to the House of Representatives.

Every two years a progress report will also be shared with a focus group consisting of representatives of the business community, civil society organisations and experts. The first progress report is expected in the second half of 2024.