Blogs

25March

How companies take responsibility in respecting human rights

A brief introduction to codes of conduct, supplier codes and other ethical documents

How companies take responsibility in respecting human rights

Have you ever bought shoes from Adidas? If so, have you ever wondered where these shoes came from and who made them?

Products made by a company like Adidas have traveled a long way. People and companies  all around the world have put in effort gathering materials, putting them all together, controlling logistics and so on in order to accomplish the final product. Over the past 30 years, companies  started to account for the human rights of the workers in their global supply chains. Stockholders and societal debates have put moral pressure on companies to document their ethical values and principles. This has led to the introduction of so-called ‘codes of conduct’ for employees and ‘supplier codes’ for suppliers. Sometimes  companies add other ‘ethical documents’ like due diligence reports.

To clarify, here’s a concise definition of each of the documents to be found on the websites of companies. 

22September

Meet The Team

It has taken several years to build the database you can now find on the website of The Database of Business Ethics. And still, this database is an ongoing project: we continue to work on collecting codes from all over the world and from all kinds of enterprises. Currently, Dr. Erkens, Kate Verhoeff and Emma Snel are in charge of managing, updating and expanding this database. Thanks to a grant from the KNAW, blog posts about the database will be written every week. In these posts, aspects of the research and the data collection will be explained. 

Curious about Dr. Erkens, Kate Verhoeff and Emma Snel? Let’s introduce them!

Yvonne Erkens is an associate professor of Labour Law at the Leiden University and a (parttime) labour court judge. She is specialised in employment law, dismissal law and international labour law. She co-chairs the scientific Integrity committee of Leiden University and LUMC (the academic medical center). Next to teaching several courses on Master and post-academic level, she participates in the Empirical Legal studies, in particular with her work on the Database of Business Ethics. Her research focuses on enforcement of fundamental labour rights in global supply chains.

Kate Verhoeff is one of the student assistants at the Department of Labour Law at Leiden University working for the Database of Business Ethics. She focuses on maintaining and updating the database and conducting research. Kate is a fourth year law student (LL.B) as well as a third year student at Leiden University College (B.A.), where she majors in International Justice. Combining the two programmes allows her to fully explore her interests in international law, European law, and human rights. Working for the Database of Business Ethics thus lines up perfectly with Kate’s interests, and provides her with the perfect opportunity to further develop her research skills.

We owe our coding system in this database to Kate’s predecessor, Fleur Walravens, who has worked in this position until September 2022.

Emma Snel is one of the student assistants at the Department of Labour Law at Leiden University working for the Database of Business Ethics. She manages scientific communication through our social media platforms and the blog posts. Emma is a third year law student (LL.B), planning to do a master’s degree in civil law. However, she also loves European law and has a great societal interest for human labour rights. Furthermore, she teaches first year law students essential legal skills. Writing for the database, she’s able to easily explain difficult subjects so that anyone can read it. 

We owe all of our social media platforms including the website to Daantje Gutker de Geus, Emma’s predecessor, who has worked in this position until August 2022.

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