The International Learning Lab on Public Procurement and Human Rights was established by the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable, the Harrison Institute for Public Law at Georgetown University, and the Danish Institute for Human Rights. The Learning Lab aims to be a network of central and local government procurement agencies and purchasing officers; representatives of other relevant government bodies, such as ministries; procurement professional associations; regional and international organizations; non-governmental organizations (NGOs); national human rights institutions (NHRIs); and relevant academics. A visual display of the Learning Lab’s network, and the network of each thematic hub can be downloaded here.
The Learning Lab’s global network will be a platform and mechanism for:
- experience-sharing among procurement actors on approaches to integrating respect for human rights;
- generating knowledge about public procurement law and policy and human rights;
- producing and disseminating tools and guidance to build capacity to integrate human rights issues among procurement professionals; and
- promoting coherence between procurement and human rights in international and regional frameworks and initiatives.
The Learning Lab’s work is divided into four “hubs,” namely, electronics, apparel, international financial institutions, and private security. Each hub is led by an organization with relevant expertise, which will contribute research and tools that will be disseminated via the Learning Lab’s network.
Learning Lab Co-founders
Amol Mehra, Esq. is the Director of the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable, a coalition of leading human rights, development, labor and environmental organizations working to ensure businesses respect human rights in their global operations. Amol is an international human rights lawyer by training, focusing on business and human rights and corporate social responsibility (CSR). Amol has worked to build accountability frameworks in both domestic and international arenas, including over private military and security companies and around supply chains and extractives industries, among others. Amol leads ICAR’s work on public procurement and human rights. In addition to his work as Director of ICAR, Amol is an advisor for several other organizations. For example, he serves on the Advisory Council for the American Bar Association’s Center for Human Rights and as a Coordinating Member and Thematic Specialist for Amnesty International USA. Amol holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from McGill University and a Juris Doctor (JD) degree with a Honors in International Law from the University of San Francisco School of Law.
Claire Methven O’Brien is Strategic Adviser on Human Rights and Business at the Danish Institute for Human Rights, Denmark’s National Human Rights Institution (NHRI). In this role, Claire provides expert advice to multinational corporations, international financial institutions, governments, international, regional, and civil society organisations on measures to support respect for human rights in the business context, including in the area of procurement and supply chain management. Claire has provided technical support and training on human rights to International Federation of Purchasing and Supply Management, the International Purchasing and Supply Education and Research Association, and the International Standards Organisation ISO20400 Program Committee. She is a Member of the Sustainable Public Procurement Working Group of UNEP’s 10 YFP on Sustainable Production and Consumption. Claire holds a PhD in Law from the European University Institute in Florence, and other degrees from the University of Cambridge, the London School of Economics and City University, London. She has been called to the London Bar.
Robert Stumberg is a professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center, where he also directs the Harrison Institute for Public Law. The Institute is a teaching and service program that works with public officials and nonprofit organizations. He is a coauthor of Turning a Blind Eye: Respecting Human Rights in Government Purchasing(ICAR 2014). In addition to work on procurement reform, he also contributes to projects that help governments cope with the impact of trade agreements on governing, adapt to climate change, and develop community food systems. His education includes: BA, Macalester College; JD, Georgetown University; LLM Georgetown University.
Learning Lab Co-ordinator:
Nicole Vander Meulen is a Legal and Policy Associate at the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR). She is an international human rights lawyer, admitted to practice in the state of New York. Nicole leads ICAR’s procurement reform program, organizing the International Learning Lab on Public Procurement and Human Rights and engaging in advocacy on the integration of human rights into public procurement stemming from ICAR’s seminal report, Turning a Blind Eye? Respecting Human Rights in Government Purchasing. Nicole also heads ICAR’s work on labor rights in global supply chains. She graduated cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center (GULC) and holds Bachelors of Arts in Political Science and International Development Studies from Calvin College.