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Building on a long experience in CSR & Human Rights

Welcome! My name is Liesbeth Unger. I founded Human Rights@Work -the first consultancy in the Netherlands specialised in Business & Human Rights- in 2011, the same year the United Nations Human Rights Council approved the UN Guiding Principles for business and human rights. I decided to use my extensive experience in the field of Corporate Social Responsibility and human rights to provide services to companies and their stakeholders. I can help them understand the positive impact of respecting human rights and implement the UN Guiding Principles for business and human rights (UNGP).

This led to a range of fascinating assignments both with UN organisations, multinationals, smaller companies, NGOs and governments. I find myself in a unique position of being able to speak the language of different parties and to facilitate dialogue between them. I understand the concerns of NGOs and can interpret these concerns for the business world. I advise NGOs, UN organisations and governments on how they can best engage with business. Leveraging my extensive knowledge and experience with different industries and countries, I develop tools, and methodologies, and carry out impact and risk assessments.

Human rights are universal, but their implementation needs to be tailor-made, listening to stakeholders’ wishes.

Good intentions are not always appreciated in other countries with different cultures, hence the importance of building bridges that enable cooperation and results.

Of course I don’t work alone! Often the assignment is at international level, for which HR@W partners with Enact Sustainable Strategies, based in Sweden. I also work with a network of specialists, both in the Netherlands and abroad, who are able to contribute to larger projects.

Together we assist companies in assessing risks, not causing any harm to individuals, and creating positive impact for people in their operations, supply chains or communities, by respecting their rights. We also work with and for NGOs and governments that are using the due diligence framework for human rights to engage with companies.

We do this by combining extensive experience in corporate responsibility, in-depth knowledge of human rights, offering tailored solutions and engaging and connecting the involved parties, always through a pragmatic approach.

Our clients include multinationals, UN organisations, NGOs and governments. As respect for human rights requires the involvement of all these parties, HR@W is in a unique position to bring relevant parties together, by facilitating dialogue among stakeholders, as well as cooperating on specific projects at country level.

Human Rights@Work supports organiaations through:

  • Extensive on-the-ground experience in: corporate responsibility, supply chain, integrating human rights into the business process, risk analysis and impact assessment, with a special focus on Asia
  • In-depth knowledge and understanding of: human rights, policy, supply chain, production processes, regulations
  • Specific skills competences: strategic advice, training, research & analysis, tailored solutions, due diligence
  • Extensive national and international network and partnership with ENACT Se

Experience in the following sectors:

  • Agriculture and fisheries
  • Telecom
  • Construction
  • Tourism
  • Retail
  • Medical care
  • Non-profit
  • Government
  • Financial services
  • Chemical
  • Electronics
  • Extractives

Clients that have worked with HR@W include:

COMPANIES

  • DSM
  • Philips
  • AkzoNobel
  • KPN Telecommunications
  • Vattenfall-Nuon
  • Mahindra Sanyo Special Steel
  • AholdDelhaize
  • Loder Croklaan
  • Burberry

NON GOVERNMENTAL ORGANISATIONS (NGO’s)

  • UNICEF
  • ICAR/International Learning Lab Procurement and Human RIghts
  • Questionmark
  • Oxfam
  • RSPO
  • HIVOS
  • NEN
  • SOMO
  • VBDO
  • FIRA
  • NEVI
  • IDH
  • MVO Nederland

GOVERNMENTS & INTERGOVERNMENTAL ORGANISATIONS

  • Agency for Enterprising Netherlands (RVO)
  • Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment
  • Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment
  • Ministry, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • International Labour Organisation (ILO)
  • Pianoo

What clients say about HR@W

Liesbeth has a lot of expertise on business and human rights. Her legal background, and experience with both companies and NGOs is a valued combination. She is fast, flexible and highly driven. She masters the art of communication to different stakeholders and institutions and companies will greatly benefit from these skills, which will also help them to achieve their objectives more quickly.

Saskia Verbunt

Senior Consultant Sustainability, Philips Innovation Services

The Agency for Entrepreneurship in the Netherlands asked Liesbeth, as one of the few consultants specialised in child labour and the role of business, to advise and support developing a fund to combat Child Labour for companies. Within a very short period she not only made available her expertise but also her extensive network, her dedication, and agreable way of working. She was able to work at high speed and deliver high quality results. With her critical and empathetic contributions, she was a key part of our team. Her reliability, pleasant work style, accessibility and calmness made it fantastic to work with her. We were able to develop the Fund in a very short period of time, meeting the expectations of different stakeholders.

Corina Kerkmans

CSR Coordinator, Agency for Entrepreneurship, The Netherlands

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