Today, the Dutch senate passed a law that requires companies to assess and address child labor in their supply chains, the “Wet Zorgplicht Kinderarbeid”––an important milestone in the fight against child labor. The law means that companies selling their products in the Netherlands will be required to report on their activities to assess and address their risks to child labor in their supply chains. If a company’s efforts are insufficient, they may face legal consequences, including fines and even imprisonment.
Mandatory due diligence legislation raises the bar for all companies, which means those companies that have already taken action are well-positioned.
The Rainforest Alliance has long held the protection of human rights and the eradication of child labor as a central objective in its training and certification programs. To fully eradicate the complex problem of child labor and the entrenched conditions that fuel the problem, a broad coalition stakeholders––including local communities and governments––must work together. While existing policies and voluntary measures have an important role to play, we believe that mandatory measures are an essential part of a smart mix to protect human and environmental rights.
We compliment the Dutch government for adopting this forward-thinking law and all stakeholders that contributed to its development.