With its tailor-made services and extensive network and knowledge, Human Rights@Work supports the government in being more effective towards companies in both their supervisory and supporting roles .

Due diligence advice/risk assessment and tool development

Human Rights@Work offers advice on how to screen companies, collect relevant information, create a better understanding of the sectors at risk, and create realistic expectations of companies.

For the Dutch government, for example, HR@W developed a due diligence tool for the Child Labour Fund to assess the quality of company proposals


Although governments play an important role in ensuring that businesses operate responsibly, often Government officials are not specialised in issues such as child labour or forced labour. We offer tailor-made training to this end.

For example, for the Dutch Enterprise Agency (RVO), responsible for deciding on public subsidies for companies, HR@W offered a training on child labour and forced labour, and due diligence.

Public procurement with respect for human rights

Since 2010, Human Rights@Work has been working on public procurement with respect for human rights. It supported the Dutch government in developing the policy for the international social conditions in contracts as early as in 2012. Many government officials were already trained by Human Rights@Work, in cooperation with NEVI.

Examples of Services:

  • Training on procurement with respect for human rights
  • Coaching of public buyers in tenders
  • Advice on integration of human rights in tenders

Recently, HR@W helped the Dutch government to adapt the steps that procurement officers should take to apply the social conditions for procurement to the UN Guiding Principles for business and human rights and the OECD guidelines.

Governments are responsible for ensuring that businesses respect human rights

The UNGP clearly defines the role of the government towards business and human rights. Besides setting legal standards, governments can raise awareness or establish specific conditions in contractual relationships with business (e.g. subsidies, contracts, loans, insurances). In The Netherlands, the government challenges certain high-risk sectors to take their responsibility and develop multi-stakeholder convenants to address human rights and environmental risks.
It’s not always easy for governments to reach companies with this message or get them to commit. Governments may not have the right information available about how companies are complying with human rights policies. Also, shortage of institutional capacity to ensure the implementation and promotion of human rights can be an obstacle for governments in complying with their supervisory role.

Governmental organisations that have worked with HR@W include

  • Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO)
  • Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Development
  • Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment
  • Pianoo (Dutch expertise centre on public procurement)
  • Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • International Labour Organisation (ILO)
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