Multi-Stakeholder HUMAN Round Tables
Raising human rights awareness in agrifood value chains
Respecting human rights
Companies have a responsibility to respect human rights in their business operations, throughout their entire value chain. If violations take place, companies should mitigate these violations. The Dutch government is committed to the OECD guidelines on CSR and the UN Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights which both state this responsibility. Still companies do not know enough about this responsibility and/ or do not implement the guidelines properly.
HUMAN Round Tables
For that reason, ICCO and CNV International together with PwC and VBDO organise so-called HUMAN Round Tables. These Round Tables have a multi-stakeholder dialogue setting for which a selected group of companies, investors and banks are invited, as well as government officials, research institutions and NGOs. In 2017, two round tables were organized on ‘Agrifood supply chain and Human Rights’ and ‘Human Rights Reporting’, around 30 participants attended the meetings.
The Civic Engagement Alliance contributes to the meetings with knowledge on for exemple doing due diligence in the supply chain by giving an introduction to the Roadmap developed by ICCO and its partner Fair & Sustainable on implementing the UNGPs for SMEs in the agrofood sector. It also provides knowledge on social rights and practical knowledge from local (trade union) partners and the problems they encounter in supply chains. During the meetings, companies and investors are openly expressing their successes and difficulties in addressing social issues such as child rights, decent working conditions, stakeholder dialogues in their business operations. They are willing to exchange best practices during the round tables and sharing difficulties for example with different reporting methods.
Due to organising round tables for a selected group of companies in an informal setting under Chatham House Rule, the participants open up for discussions and exchanged how they deal with human rights in practice with the other companies, investors and banks. They acknowledge the importance of respecting human rights in their business operations and in using (local) stakeholders for proper due diligence and more specific in human rights reporting, see also these movies.