Workers Rights Need to Be Strengthened

women with facemask washing something

Today, 1 May, is International Workers Day. Workers in several countries are raising awareness of working conditions and labour rights issues today. Having strong workers’ rights is essential to prevent exploitative working conditions.
In a recent ruling of the Dutch Court of Appeal we see the importance of continuing to fight for strong labour rights, see our statement for further information.
In the appeal, La Strada International with the support of Prakken d’Oliveira and the Global Legal Action Network (GLAN) challenged the Dutch Public Prosecutor’s failure to prosecute two Dutch shipbuilding companies for profiting from North Korean forced labour at their supplier’s shipyard in Poland.
The Dutch Court of Appeal has judged that Dutch companies are not to be held liable for profiting from human trafficking, money laundering, or fencing.
This outcome shows how difficult it is to hold companies accountable for severe forms of labour exploitation and abuse including human trafficking and illustrates the need to fight for stronger workers’ rights, not only on the 1 May but any day of the year.
The Dutch Court of Appeal has missed a chance to establish a precedent case, especially now new relevant EU legislation has been adopted and new Dutch legislation is in the making.