Revision of the 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 will be used to formulate a new National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights by the end of 2021.
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 will include action points aimed at improving policy in recognition of the following:
- The state’s obligations to respect, protect and fulfil human rights.
- The responsibility of businesses to respect human rights.
- 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 the guiding principles are to be put into practice and incorporated into Dutch legislation.
Differences between the NAP and International Corporate Social Responsibility (ICSR) policy
The NAP has a broader objective than the evaluation and renewal of international corporate social responsibility policy (ICSR) (in Dutch). ICSR 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 when abuses take place.
The NAP also broadly examines pillars 1 and 3: the responsibilities of the state and care for victims, including in the Netherlands. The new ICSR policy is one of the building blocks of the new NAP.
Phases in the NAP development process
Questions and comments for the NAP working group
If you have questions, ideas or comments, you can contact the NAP revision team at DDE-NAP@minbuza.nl.