The Netherlands

The Dutch government began integrating human rights into public procurement in 2012 by requiring inclusion of human rights contract performance clauses in certain contracts. In 2014, the Dutch government reviewed its sustainable public procurement practices, and released a revised policy in April 2017.

Currently,  the inclusion of human rights contract performance clauses is mandatory for central government contracts above the EU threshold values for certain product categories with a high-risk of human rights abuses. Under both the 2012 and 2017 versions, at the award stage contractors are required to demonstrate that they have to capacity to address human rights risks and abuses in the supply chain. Under the 2012 version, contractors could meet this requirement either by demonstrating membership in a supply chain initiative approved by the Dutch government or by demonstrating  reasonable efforts to address human rights risks and abuses. Under the 2017 version, contractors cannot submit proof of membership in a supply chain initiative, instead, all contractors must show reasonable efforts.

Policy documents and other resources are available below

  • Review of Dutch government’s sustainable public procurement practices (Dutch only), available here.
  • Dutch Action Plan for Responsible and Sustainable Procurement by governments for 2015 – 2020, available here.
  • The Dutch government’s guide is available on the website of the government’s expertise center on public procurement, PIANOo, available here.

Additional information on the 2012 policy can be found in the following reports

  • Fact Sheet – Socially Responsible Public Procurement of Garments and Textiles (SOMO, 2014). Available here.
  • A review of Dutch policy for socially responsible public procurement (SOMO, 2014). Available here.