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HUMAN – Access to Remedy

  • Date: 13/12/2022
  • Time: 3.00 - 5.00 pm
  • Location: a.s.r. Utrecht

NB. There is no recording available for this event. However, its speaker presentations can be found on this webpage. 

Every year, VBDO organizes the human rights event HUMAN, in collaboration with EY, CNV International and ABN AMRO. HUMAN is intended as a platform for exchanging up-to-date knowledge and insights about human rights. This year HUMAN’s focus is on Access to Remedy.

Access to Remedy

Access to Remedy essentially recognizes that sometimes companies have a negative impact on people, and as such is an essential element when companies work to respect human rights. The problem is, however, that there aren’t a lot of companies working robustly on access to remedy.

Access to effective remedies is a core component of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs). Guiding Principle 1 recalls States to take “appropriate steps to prevent, investigate, punish and redress” business-related human rights abuses within their territory and/or jurisdiction. Guiding Principle 22, in Pillar II, provides that where “business enterprises identify that they have caused or contributed to adverse impacts, they should provide for or cooperate in their remediation through legitimate processes”.

The UNGPs envisage the following three types of mechanisms to provide access to effective remedies for business-related human rights abuses:

  1. State-based judicial mechanisms;
  2. State-based non-judicial grievance mechanisms, and;
  3. Non-state-based grievance mechanisms.

Since 2014, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has examined how these mechanisms have been functioning in business and human rights cases and has produced guidance on ways to enhance the effectiveness of each mechanism. (Source:


Download the speaker presentations.


  • 15:00 – 15:15 | Setting the Scene | Angélique Laskewitz (directeur VBDO) & Raquel Criado Larrea (Head of Sustainable Investments, External Manager Selection & Balanced Mandates at ASR Nederland N.V.)
  • 15:15 – 15:30 | Why Acces to Remedy matters for Investors |  Kees Gootjes (Business & Human Rights advisor, ABM Amro)

The attention to human rights and social issues (the ‘S’ of ESG) has rightly been gaining prominence among investors around the world. At the same time, investors struggle with the concept of Access to Remedy. During this session, the topic of Access to Remedy – and in particular ‘preparedness for remedy’ – will be presented. Kees Gootjes will provide a brief overview of Access to Remedy, its importance, and the need for the financial sector to facilitate and accelerate company efforts to provide a remedy.

  • 15:30 – 16:20 | Breakout sessions 

1. Access to Remedy perspective from The Illusion of Abundance (documentary) | Cindy Coltman (sr. Policy Officer Both ENDS);

The documentary The Illusion of Abundance tells the story of three women in Latin America who daily experience the consequences of decisions made by companies and financiers in Europe. During this break-out session, we will discuss our responsibility towards these people and the dilemmas companies, investors, citizens and policymakers will face.

2. Legislation: what do you have to comply with as a company? CSRD, CSDDD & Taxonomy minimum safeguards | Colette Grosscurt, Bas Sprenger de Rover & Emma Fabius (EY);

During this breakout, EY highlights the similarities and differences between the human rights requirements of CSRD, CS3D, and the EU Taxonomy minimum safeguards. Participants then set to work to determine for themselves which first steps they can take to meet the requirements.

3. Grievance mechanisms in the clothing industry from a union perspective | Eva Smulders, CNV Internationaal / Bart Slob (Consultant, Ethics at Work);

CNV Internationaal’s local union partners are involved in different types of complaints mechanisms varying from complicated certification systems to simple hotlines. CNV Internationaal icw Ethics at Work developed short comparative research in Asia on the different systems encountered within the apparel sector, including its pros and its cons, which will be presented and discussed in this session.

  • 16:20/25 – 16:50 | How human rights data can be used in investment methods | K. Chad Clay (co-founder Human Rights Measurement Initiative);

While there is increasing recognition that human rights should be an essential determinant in investment, investors often lack the information necessary to make well-informed decisions concerning human rights. During this session, K. Chad Clay will discuss new developments in human rights data for investors and will provide some demonstrations of how those data can be used.

  • 16:50 – 17:00 | Closure | Angélique Laskewitz (directeur VBDO)
  • 17:00 | Drinks


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