Businesses nowadays have a major impact on economic development in developing countries. ICCO experiences that companies can be instrumental in achieving justice, equality and inclusive development. In order to become a driving force of fair economic development and social progress, businesses must work simultaneously to identity and mitigate risks on one hand, while maximizing shared value generation and aiming for systemic change on the other.
How to achieve this? ICCO makes businesses aware of their social responsibility to respect human rights in their activities and supports businesses in their efforts to map human rights-violations, to solve and to prevent them. The government in the Netherlands and the government in developing countries play a key role. ICCO advocates at governments for laws, rules and enforcement, as well as for awareness of violations and the duty of governments to protect their citizens.
Local communities and indigenous groups are at the heart of our efforts. Often it's they who suffer the most from human rights violations, for example in cases of land grabbing, labor issues or environmental pollution. ICCO informs these people on their rights and supports them in a constructive dialogue with businesses and governments. We also engage with businesses to help them increase their efforts for meaningful stakeholder dialogue with local communities.