This final Dutch Banking Sector Agreement (DBA) study on increasing leverage presents a selection of some major ‘topics’ that impact the exercise of leverage and the ability of the DBA parties to collaborate.
The coalition that concluded the Dutch Banking Sector Agreement on International Responsible Business Conduct Regarding Human Rights (DBA) has published its second annual report. The report consists of a general part describing the developments within the DBA, a report of the independent Monitoring Committee and a response to this report from the Steering Committee and some individual parties.
Banks are financing (parts of) the palm oil value chain and according to the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), they should avoid infringing human rights and address adverse human right impacts with which they are involved. This analysis helps parties and adhering banks to address human rights risks in palm oil collectively and individually.
Parties within the Dutch Banking Sector Agreement publish a paper on enabling remediation. The paper explores the role and responsibility of banks with regard to remedy, when connected to human rights impacts through client relationships. It summarizes the most important points of conversation, consensus and broadly shared insights and diverging perspectives where parties were unable to reach consensus.
Representatives of parties and adhering banks to the Dutch Banking Sector Agreement recently visited Indonesia as a part of their efforts to map the palm oil value chain. The main purpose of this visit was to get workers on the plantations, trade unions and banks at one table to discuss with the direct stakeholders how the right information from plantations and mills could reach the banks in the most efficient way.
ABN AMRO released its second full UNGP report on 25 February 2019. The 2018 Human Rights Report builds on earlier publications such as the 2015 Human Rights Guide, the 2016 Human Rights Report and the 2017 Update. In this report, ABN AMRO explains the progress made in addressing its salient human rights issues over the past two years.
On November 16th 2018 ING released its first full UNGP report. In the report, ING looks at five salient human rights issues. For ING as an employer, these are work-related stress and discrimination; as a corporate lender, these are land-related community issues, child labour and forced labour. As a member of the Dutch Banking Sector Agreement (DBA) on human rights, ING highlights that through the agreement they have been spurred to publish the Human Rights report in this form.
On 16 November 2018, a learning session on shrinking civic freedoms and the position of human rights defenders (HRDs) was held at the Dutch development bank FMO. This session was one of a number of follow-up actions to the report ‘Increasing Leverage’, published recently by the Dutch Banking Agreement (DBA). Oxfam and Amnesty International were the initiators and the Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands (SER) moderated the well-attended meeting.
Parties to the Dutch Banking Sector Agreement participated in the annual UN Forum in November. This Forum on business and human rights took place in Geneva, to which representatives of states and businesses attended. During the conference several panel discussions were organised about human rights and supply chain transparency.
On Friday 2 November 2018 the stakeholder meeting of the Dutch Banking Sector Agreement took place. Stakeholders to the agreement received more information about the progress the agreement has made, and joined the discussion on several dilemmas within the agreement. About 50 stakeholders from CSOs, research institutes and parties to the agreement participated in the event.