Centre for Ethics and Law


Dr. Maddalena Neglia invited to participate at the Dutch Social and Economic Council

12 July 2016

In June 2016 Dr. Maddalena Neglia, the business and human rights expert based at CEL, was invited to present on behalf of CEL at the Dutch Social and Economic Council (SER) her research on European regulation on Business and Human Rights.

The presentation took place in the context of a workshop organized by SER for the preparation of the food product sector agreement on international responsible business conduct. Dr Neglia was involved in the discussion on the food sector covenant. The food sector covenant is a voluntary initiative on the part of various private sector food companies and is encouraged by both the government and the parliament of the Netherlands. The agreement forms part of the Dutch policy on International CSR (ICSR) illustrated in the Dutch National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights. The Dutch government has committed to facilitate sector-based covenants on CSR between industry, government and civil society. Those agreements would constitute a self-regulatory initiative and aim at integrating corporate social responsibility measures into company’s culture and operations without the adoption of binding regulatory measures. The workshop was followed by the HUMAN roundtable organized by Pwc, ICCO and VBDO that took place in Amsterdam at the end of June. Many stakeholders from industry, investors, civil society and academia were invited to work together on how concretely implement the UNGPs and the Sustainable Development Goals.

The private sector needs to develop a good understanding of the national and international policy and legal context of this self-regulatory approach to jointly address adverse impacts in supply chains. The workshop was a first step to develop a shared understanding of these issues. It included presentations from several professionals on the International and the Dutch legal framework in which the agreement would be grounded.