Governments and Intergovernmental Organizations

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 .

Examples of services include:

governments intergovernmental organization

Governments have the role of ensuring that businesses respect human rights. Read more

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

government intergovernmental organization


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.

intergovernmental organization

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. 

And again in 2017 helped to align the steps procurement officers with the OECD guidelines and the UN Guiding Principles for business and human rights. In 2018 the ISV Academy started, developed by Human Rights@ Work and its partners Conducto, Circle8 and Twinkel.

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

In 2019 and 2020 the ISV Academy for public officers, offering 7 modules throughout 9 months.

Municipality of The Hague: for example Human Rights@Worked offered tailor made advice for the municipality of The Hague to integrate human rights in their public tender of natural stone.

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

  • Agency for Enterprising Netherlands (RVO)
  • Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment
  • Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment
  • Social Economic Council Netherlands
  • Ministry, Ministry of Foreign Affairs the Netherlands
  • International Labour Organisation (ILO)
  • DANIDA Denmark
  • Pianoo
governments organization
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