With its tailor-made services and extensive network and knowledge, Human Rights@Work supports the government to be more effective towards companies in their supervisory as well as in their supporting role .

Due diligence advice/risk assessment and tool development

Human Rights@Work offers advice on how to screen companies, collect relevant information, to create a better understanding of the sectors at risk and to 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 business operate responsibly, often Government officials are not specialised in issues such as child 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 already 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 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 have the role of 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). The Dutch government, for instance, has challenged 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 implementation and promotion human rights can be an obstacle for governments to comply with their supervisory role.

Some of our clients

  • 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)

Interested in learning more about Human Rights in your organisation?

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