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New website for International RBC agreements

12 June 2017

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:

Since 2016, the Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands (SER) has supervised the creation of a series of International RBC agreements. The first of these, in the garment and textile sector, is almost a year old. The banking sector agreement is somewhat more recent. An agreement in the gold sector will be signed on 19 June. Other agreements – in the insurance, food, natural stone, ornamental plant, and metallurgy sectors – are on the horizon. In addition, there are IRBC agreements on sustainable forestry and vegetable proteins.


The new website explains the SER’s approach to such agreements. It offers news updates and background information and outlines pending agreements. It also highlights the importance of IRBC, which parties are involved, and which agreements are in preparation. 

Tangible results

In 2014, with broad support in political circles and from the Dutch Government, Dutch employers and employees resolved to start negotiating sector-level IRBC agreements. The parties to the IRBC agreements commit to achieving tangible results. The agreements are based on the existing aims and standards laid down in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.

The SER as facilitator

The sectors initiate the process of negotiating an agreement. The SER plays a facilitative role. It monitors discussions between the parties (businesses, industry associations, NGOs, unions and government) with a view to arriving at a sector-level IRBC agreement and assumes responsibility for implementation at the parties’ request.

The website is available in English and Dutch (

New website for International RBC agreements
Press release