Responsible garment production a step closer

Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile | 04-07-2017

The textile industry has established a basis for responsible garment manufacturing in the longer term. For the first time ever, businesses as a group will state which factories produce their clothing. They have also drawn up specific improvement plans to tackle poor working conditions, human rights and environmental and animal abuses.

Joint forces to tackle child labor – from gold mines to the electronics supply chain

Agreement Responsible Gold | 19-06-2017

While developing the Gold Covenant, several NGOs that are experts in addressing child labor and responsible mining (Hivos/Stop Child Labour (SCL), UNICEF, Fairtrade and Solidaridad) partnered up with two sustainable frontrunners in the electronics industry - Fairphone and Philips. The parties agreed to join forces with the aim of tackling child labor in Uganda by working closely with mining communities and connecting more responsible gold to the supply chains of Philips and Fairphone.

Gold value chain cooperates for responsible gold

Agreement Responsible Gold | 19-06-2017

International Responsible Business Conduct (IRBC) Agreement for responsible gold value chain signed: Know, Show and Improve

The Dutch gold sector is cooperating to ensure responsible business conduct in the international gold value chain. Today, electronics manufacturers and jewellery makers, gold recycling firms, civil society organisations and the Dutch government signed the Dutch Gold Sector International Responsible Business Conduct (IRBC) Agreement. Their aim is to ensure greater respect for human rights, the environment and biodiversity throughout the chain, from mining to recycling. The first project under the agreement, to combat child labour in Uganda, is under development.

New website for International RBC agreements


International Responsible Business Conduct (IRBC) agreements now have their own digital home. All the information about the various agreements can be found on one site:

First ‘living wage’ workshop Sustainable Garments and Textile

Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile | 10-05-2017

On 9 May 2017, the ‘living wage’ work group organised a workshop on this important topic for businesses, NGOs and trade unions affiliated with the Agreement on a Sustainable Garment and Textile Sector. ‘Living wage’ is one of the nine priorities specified in the agreement.

Dutch House of Representatives briefed on IRBC agreements


A round table discussion with MPs took place on Monday 13 February concerning progress on the International Responsible Business Conduct (IRBC) agreements. The round table was organised at the request of the House Committee on Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation and the Standing Committee on Economic Affairs.

SER discusses IRBC with Dutch ambassadors


The Netherlands has a worldwide diplomatic network of ambassadors, permanent representatives and consuls. Once a year, they meet to discuss developments in the Netherlands, the Dutch Government’s policy, and the main events and items to consider in the new year. This ‘ambassadors’ conference’ plays an important role in ensuring that these diplomatic representatives speak with a single voice when promoting Dutch interests abroad.

Insurance sector working on IRBC agreement

Insurance sector | 10-01-2017

The Dutch insurance sector, the Dutch government, trade unions and NGOs have undertaken to work together in the months ahead on an agreement promoting International Responsible Business Conduct (IRBC).

House Committee learns about IRBC


On 30 November 2016, a delegation headed by SER president Mariëtte Hamer visited the House Committee on Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation. The purpose of the visit was to explain the agreements on International Responsible Business Conduct (IRBC) that had recently been concluded in the banking industry and the garments and textile sector, and to update the committee about IRBC negotiations in various other sectors.

Banks, unions, NGOs and government working together on human rights

Dutch Banking Sector Agreement | 28-10-2016

Dutch banks, unions, NGOs and government are joining forces by signing an agreement on international responsible business conduct regarding human rights in the banking sector.