A coalition of banks, the Dutch Banking Association (NVB), trade unions, civil society organisations (CSOs), and the Dutch Government have concluded an agreement. They aim to work towards a situation in which human rights are respected.

Steering Committee

After the Agreement became effective on 7 December 2016, the Parties set up a Steering Committee to guide the implementation process. The members of the Steering Committee represent the parties and banks adhering to the Agreement. The Committee is chaired by an independent chairperson, assisted by the secretariat. The secretariat is hosted by the Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands (SER).

Independent chair: Prof. Jacqueline Cramer.


Dutch Government: 

  • Andries Bakker (Ministry of Finance)
  • Tessel van Westen (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Industry association:

  • Maryse Hazelzet (NVB)
  • Eelco Dubbeling (NVB)
  • Adhering banks (rotating)

Trade unions:

  • Fred Polhout (FNV)
  • Roel Rotshuizen (CNV)

Civil society organisations (rotating): 

  • Peter Ras (Oxfam Novib)
  • Jeanette van der Woude (Amnesty International)

Secretariat hosted by the SER

A secretariat helps banks and parties implement the Agreement. At the request of the Steering Committee, the Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands (SER) is hosting the secretariat. The SER also facilitated the negotiations that led to the Agreement.

External Monitoring Committee

Every year, an independent Monitoring Committee will monitor the input and the progress made by the parties and banks towards meeting their obligations. The committee will submit a report to the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee will then draft and publish a summary of the opinion and advice provided by the Monitoring Committee as part of its Annual Report.

After their nomination by the Steering Committee, the members of the Monitoring Committee were appointed in 2017 by the Dutch Minister of Finance and the Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development. The members of the Monitoring Committee are Christiane Colinet, Cees van Dam, and Hans Voortman. 

Complaints and disputes

The parties and the adhering banks can submit a complaint to the Steering Committee about non-compliance with the Agreement by any of the participants. The Steering Committee will first advise the parties to the dispute and recommend follow-up steps. As a last resort, it may issue a binding opinion, although its opinion is not legally enforceable.