Netherlands – garment

3. Results of the consultations and government response

3.1 An active role for the government

Cooperation with the Dutch textile sector

At a conference held on 20 June 2013, the sector organisations representing Dutch textile companies presented an action plan to tackle abuses in the production of clothing. The plan aims for structural improvements in CSR in the textile and clothing sector worldwide. The OECD guidelines and the Ruggie Framework are the guiding principles. By the end of 2014 at least 50% of the companies ailiated to the sector organisations should have signed the action plan and/or should be participating in a project aimed at achieving the action plan’s goals. The Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation has called on textile companies to commit to the plan. She has entered into dialogue with the sector on its implementation, and on opportuni- ties to conclude a voluntary CSR agreement on textiles, for which the action plan forms a good starting point. – page 14

The Netherlands is also helping to promote human rights through programmes of multilateral institutions. The ILO’s Beter Work programme is a good example. The Beter Work programme was launched by the ILO and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to improve working conditions in the textile sector in a number of countries. – page 19

3.3 Clarifying due diligence

Sector Risk Analysis

An issue raised during the consultations was that the government should help companies to take a proactive approach in identifying risks to human rights. Where speciic issues relating to human rights and the Dutch business community play a role, the government will enter into dialogue with the companies concerned. The government has reached agreement with a number of sectors on the subject of due diligence. Agreements with, for example, the textile sector and energy companies are now in preparation. The government is willing to remove obstacles identiied by the companies concerned. It will support them in upscaling initiatives to international level – e.g. through the Beter Coal Initiative dialogue – and will work for a level playing ield for Dutch compa- nies. The Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation has underscored the importance of this initiative and called on other countries to give it their support. To ensure greater efectiveness, the government is also commited to upscaling initiatives relating to the textile sector in Bangladesh, together with other countries and international organisations.  – page 25, 26