Netherlands: New bill could force Dutch companies to be ethical, or face sanctions

Political parties SP, GroenLinks, PvdA and ChristenUnie submitted a bill to oblige Dutch companies to ban things like forced labor, child labor, modern slavery, and environmental pollution from their production chains. If they fail to conduct their business ethically, they will be sanctioned, the new law states, NOS reports.

The parties mentioned clothing made by oppressed Uyghur people in China and being sold in Dutch stores as an example. As well as the people of Nigeria struggling under Shell’s oil spills. The Dutch oil and gas giant has also been accused of other atrocities in the African country.

According to ChristenUnie MP Joel Voordewind, the Dutch government sometimes actively incites companies to do terrible things. “More than 6,500 people have now died in the construction of football stadiums, but the government is still actively encouraging companies to invest in Qatar around the World Cup.” That is reprehensible, he said.

“Our companies should not treat people or nature elsewhere in the world any differently than they do in the Netherlands,” SP parliamentarian Mahir Alkaya said. “If they do not act responsibly on their own and cooperate with all kinds of abuses in the world, we will tackle them here in the Netherlands.”

About 35 percent of companies in the Netherlands endorse the OECD guidelines for corporate social responsibility. SP, GroenLinks, PvdA and ChristenUnie have no confidence that Europe will implement stricter rules, so they submitted their own plan for tackling this at a national level.

The article has been summarised and the original full article can be found at nltimes.nl

 

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