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Belgium

Action point 4

Promote existing qualitative initiatives on human rights and social responsibility

Promouvoir les initiatives qualitatives existantes relatives aux droits de l’Homme et à la responsabilité sociétale

The federal government explains that as part of the promotion of the application of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, the OECD NCP organized a seminar in early 2014, which highlighted the importance of the respect and promotion of human rights by companies. The Belgian NCP will organize a seminar targeting the fight against corruption for SMEs with the provision of a practical toolbox prepared in partnership with the Belgian Confederation of Enterprises and the International Chamber of Commerce and the Ministry of Justice.

Action point 8

Encourage international framework agreements

Encourager les accords-cadres internationaux

This point briefly mentions the OECD NCPs in regards to the role it played in collaboration with NGOs on the promotion of the “Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh”. The Belgian NCP had given its recommendations to all the enterprises active in the textile industry.

Action point 9

Strengthen collaboration between public services and the various organizations active in the field of human rights and of international entrepreneurship

Renforcer la collaboration entre les services publics et diverses organisations actives dans le domaine des droits de l’Homme et de l’entrepreneuriat international

The NAP states that various public services, in particular the MFA and the OECD NCP, have information on the human rights situation in different countries, due to their activities (this is the case of for the NCP); the local presence of Belgian representation; contacts with local civil society (especially human rights defenders), other “external” partners sensible to human rights issues (such as the delegations of the European Union and its Member States, the local offices of the United Nations and their specialized bodies, the Council of Europe, etc.) or with representatives of like-minded countries.

The Belgian federal, Flanders and Wallonia governments will aim at gathering inputs at federal and regional levels from various stakeholders, which have information on human rights and how Belgian enterprises can avoid becoming complicit, directly or indirectly, in human rights violations. The analysis that emerges from this exercise will be transferred to the embassies and the competent services in Brussels, who will be able to rely on this input to provide more information to companies in the framework of their regular contacts with them. The NCP may, if appropriate, use the analysis to take initiatives to mitigate identified risks.

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 NAP describes several tools of the OECD, which the federal government seeks to engage with through the Belgian NPC. It mentions that in 2013 the Belgian NCP initiated a series of consultations and interviews with various parties in the Belgian apparel sector; in 2014, it organized a round table discussion on non-ferrous metals; and in 2016 it held a round table with Belgian companies on the new OECD due diligence tool created for the agricultural industry. As new tools are expected for 2017 targeting other sectors, the NAP explains that the Belgian NCP will continue, through a sectoral approach, its work of informing and awareness-raising Belgian companies for a sustainable management of supply chains.

Action point 23

Strenghten the OECD National Contact Point

Renforcer le Point de Contact national (PCN) de l’OCDE

This point cover he engagement with NCPs in detail. The action aims at strengthening the capacity of the Belgian NCP in order for it to fulfil its missions and play a more active role in the third pillar of the UNGPs – regarding the access to remedy through non-judicial grievance mechanisms. Lastly, the NAP states that “once a procedure is introduced to the NCP concerning the activities of a Belgian company abroad, at the explicit request of the NCP and the companies concerned and under the guidance of the NCP, the Belgian Embassy in the country concerned can play a role mediation.”

Moreover, the federal government explains that strengthening the NCP “can contribute to support the different judicial or non-judicial measures in matters of respect for human rights by Belgian companies.”

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 indicates “awareness-raising of Belgian companies on the problem of corruption” as one of the main tasks to fight corruption. NCP will organize the events in collaboration with the Confederation of Belgian Enterprises and the International Chamber of Commerce.

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