Action point 5

Ensure the dissemination of the toolbox and brochure on grievance mechanisms among Belgian representatives abroad and raise awareness of the issue

Assurer la diffusion de la boîte à outils et de la brochure sur les mécanismes de réparation parmi les représentants belges à l’étranger et sensibiliser ceux-ci à la question

This point aims at awareness-raising the Belgian diplomacy on the issues of social responsibility, sustainable development and the problem of companies involved in human rights violations, briefly mentions that “at the present, diplomats do not always have the necessary tools or knowledge on “human rights and business” in particular, to inform and guide the companies in question in order to ensure that their extraterritorial activities take account of their impact on human rights.” Belgian representatives will receive a practical toolbox (Action point 3) to better inform companies who contact them with a wish to expand their activities abroad. The toolbox will also include elements on grievance mechanisms (based on Action 2), enabling the Belgian diplomatic network to better inform businesses, victims of possible violations and all other interested parties about the access to remedy in Belgium.

  • The regional governments added that they will spread the toolbox to enterprises through agencies Flanders Investment & Trade, l’Agence wallonne à l’Exportations et à aux Investissements étrangers (AWEX ), l’Agence pour l’Entreprise et l’Innovation (AEI), Bruxelles Invest & Export – as well as other regional institutions. At least every second year, economic and trade attachés from the Brussels Invest & Export gather for a one-week seminar in Brussels. On this occasion, Brussels Invest & Export will propose an awareness-raising session on the theme of “Business & Human Rights”.

Action point 7

Raise awareness among companies on issues of human rights in the context of economic missions abroad

Sensibiliser les entreprises concernant les questions des droits de l’Homme dans le cadre de missions économiques à l’étranger

The aim of this action is to ensure that the economic missions organized by Belgium, in consultation and cooperation with the regional authorities, include awareness-raising on the issue of corporate social responsibility, and sustainable development in general, but especially the respect for human rights. The federal government adds that “economic missions are a good opportunity to distribute and publicize the toolbox discussed in action 3. This awareness raising also offers the possibility of bringing Belgian companies in contact with the network of UNCG Belgium and, where applicable, the UNCG network of the country visited.

Action point 10

Belgium is committed to integrating human rights and corporate social responsibility (CSR) criteria into the local private sector development support strategy of Belgian cooperation

La Belgique s’engage à intégrer des critères « droits de l’Homme » et de Responsabilité sociétale des entreprises (RSE) dans la stratégie d’appui au développement du secteur privé local de la coopération belge

This point briefly mentions that the Trade for Development Center aims to improve market access for Southern producers and entrepreneurs by directly supporting local producer organizations, local businesses, or professional organizations as well as developping expertise on the themes of trade aid, fair trade and sustainable trade in order to put in place strategies for awareness raising and transfer of knowledge.

Action point 22

Encourage responsible supply chain management with a sector-wide approach

Encourager la gestion responsable des chaînes d’approvisionnement avec une approche sectorielle

The federal government describes that the NCP will continue, through a sectoral approach, its work of informing and raising awareness of Belgian companies on the sustainable management of supply chains.

Action point 24

Pay special attention to the issue of children’s rights in awareness raising of enterprises

Accorder une attention particulière à la question des droits de l’enfant dans la sensibilisation des entreprises

The NAP describes that in 2010 UNICEF launched a process, alongside the UN Global Compact and Save the Children, to develop a set of principles that provide concrete advice on what companies can do to respect and support children’s rights.

One of the engagements will be the active support and awareness raising of companies on the Principles governing enterprises in the field of children’s rights, in order to allow Belgian companies to maximize the positive effects of their activities on the lives of children by supporting and respecting their rights and those of their parents or guardians, including the right to a decent wage.

Action point 27

Educate Belgian companies on the problem of corruption and strengthen Belgian commitments on this theme

Sensibiliser les entreprises belges à la problématique de la corruption et renforcement des engagements belges sur cette thématique

This point briefly covers the matter of guiding companies, specifically on the issue of corruption. One of the actions will be the awareness-raising of Belgian companies on the problem of corruption (through the Brochure of the Belgian Federal Authorities (NCP, Ministry of Economy and Ministry of Justice) with the Confederation of Belgian Enterprises and the International Chamber of Commerce; as well as through the network of Belgian diplomacy).

Action point 28

Implementation of the Flemish Action Plan “Sustainable International Entrepreneurship 2014-2015-2016

Exécution du Plan d’action flamand “Entrepreneuriat international durable 2014-2015-2016” (« Duurzaam Internationaal Ondernemen 2014-2015-2016 »)

The government of Flanders explains that Flanders Investment & Trade 2015 plan includes contributing to the education of Flemish companies on socially responsible international entrepreneurship through awareness-raising activities. The FIT “wants to offer concrete information to companies, both through their website and in national dossiers, through training courses for the benefit of Flemish economic representatives and advisers in international entrepreneurship.”