New partner joins Dutch Banking Sector Agreement

The Dutch Banking Sector Agreement has welcomed a new partner. The NGO Save the Children is joining the agreement. Save the Children works to protect the rights of children and helps businesses incorporate such protection into their policy on international responsible business conduct (IRBC).

De cacao is een van eerste sectoren waar Save the Children in het kader van het bankenconvenant aan de slag gaat. | © Shutterstock

Through its actions, the financial sector may become involved in human rights abuses, either directly or indirectly including violations of the rights of children. Some of these risks are too complex for individual businesses to solve on their own. The agreement makes it possible for partners in the sector to work together to tackle broad issues. Children around the world have the right to be safe and to enjoy good health and a good education. Those rights can only be guaranteed if all the relevant parties work together.

Making a difference

The Dutch banking sector provides businesses and countries with billions of euros, for example in the form of business credit and project financing. Its powerful position and choices can make a difference in human rights.

In October 2016, the Dutch banking sector, NGOs, unions, and the Dutch government signed the Dutch Banking Sector Agreement. The purpose of the agreement is to eliminate the risk of human rights violations. Their collective approach concentrates individual knowledge and experience on this subject. The Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands runs the secretariat for this agreement and was also closely involved in the negotiations leading to the agreement. Several agreements have also been signed in other sectors.


Save the Children will start by tackling violations of children's rights in the cocoa supply chain, a sector in which it has been active for quite some time. It is currently developing the precise project plans.