The HIVA research institute (KU Leuven) has started a research project on human rights in the supply chains of SMEs. Internationally, this topic is receiving increasing attention. Both at the Belgian and European level, legislation may be forthcoming that would oblige companies to pay attention to, among other things, working conditions at suppliers.

The researchers do not only want to map out what actions Belgian SMEs are already taking to identify and address human rights risks. They also want to explore, together with SMEs, how they can approach this in a more systematic manner. The researchers are looking for companies that have already taken steps, however modest. For instance, companies may have a supplier code of conduct or a policy on conflict minerals, may purchase fair/certified products, or may engage in an informal dialogue with producers in developing countries. Is your company taking steps in this direction? Would you like to join the researchers in reviewing your policies and practices, and learn more about the steps taken by other companies? Don’t hesitate to contact the researchers via [email protected]

Contact Diana Pietrzaks