The Dutch Senate has ratified the Child Labour Due Diligence Bill end of May, three years after the law was first introduced in parliament. The law mandates all companies that sell or deliver goods or services in the Netherlands, whether they are register locally or abroad, to be transparent with consumers and stakeholders by providing information about the products or services that may engage in any form child labour.
In this regard, any 'reasonable suspicion' of child labour involvement in the production or supply chain activities will need to be addressed by companies that are required to develop an action plan "to prevent and mitigate the risk of child labour." The plan will be based on the suggested international guidelines and a set of assessment instruments created by non-governmental organizations and the International Labour Organization and other UN agencies.
Moreover, companies must provide authorities with a statement on the existence of "adequate due diligence measures" to hinder the production of goods or services through means that prove the use of child labour.
To ensure a better and consistent implementation of this bill, the companies are encouraged to be an active part in the International Responsible Business Conduct (IRBC) agreements, which bring together stakeholders from various areas of interest in the global supply chains to find solutions to recognize, prevent and reduce child labour.
The passage of this law brings the Netherlands to the forefront of the global fight to eliminate child labour by 2025, one of the Sustainable Development Goals.