Procurement Side Sessions at Annual UN Forum on Business and Human Rights

The 5th Annual UN Forum on Business and Human Rights took place from 14 – 16 November 2016 in Geneva, Switzerland. Learning Lab organizers put together two sessions focused on public procurement and human rights. Brief descriptions of each session are provided below.

Government Procurement: Emerging Practice in the Apparel and Electronics Sectors

This session was co-sponsored by the Harrison Institute at Georgetown University Law Center, ICAR, DIHR, and Electronics Watch. The session was focused on practical examples During this session, speakers discussed the following:

  • Madison, Wisconsin’s contract for uniforms that required all bidders to disclose a portion of their supply chain;
  • The importance of transparency as a key lever for change in the Bangladesh garment sector;
  • Swedish County Councils’ integration of human rights considerations into their public purchasing, and Stockholm County Council’s experience with Dell;
  • The Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition’s work on public procurement;
  • Electronics Watch’s model of collaboration and worker centered monitoring; and
  • The tools that would be useful for contracting officers that want to integrate human rights into their purchasing.

Resources from the session are available below.

Concept note – Government Procurement: Emerging Practice in the Apparel and Electronics Sector

Speaker Bios

Slides – Introduction

Slides – Kathy Schwenn – Madison Wisconsin Transparency Contract

Slides – Leslie Johnston – Increasing Transparency and Accountability in Bangladesh Apparel Sector

Slides – Pauline Gothberg – Swedish County Councils and Dell

Slides – Rob Lederer – EICC Action on Public Procurement

Slides – Bjorn Claeson – Electronics Watch

Public Procurement, Human Rights and Sustainable Development: The Need for Policy Coherence

The second session was co-sponsored by DIHR, ICAR, and the Harrison Institute at Georgetown University Law Center. Speakers touched, among other topics, the following:

  • Relevant international frameworks, including the UNGPs, and the key role that public procurement can play in driving business respect for human rights;
  • Existing efforts to collaborate and integrate human rights considerations into public procurement in the Americas;
  • Challenges to integrating human rights into public procurement; and
  • The need to think strategically about how and at what stage in the procurement process human rights considerations are integrated.

Resources from the session are available below.

Concept note – Public Procurement, Human Rights and Sustainable Development: The Need for Policy Coherence