Turning a Blind Eye? Respecting Human Rights in Government Purchasing

Turning a Blind Eye? Respecting Human Rights in Government Purchasing is an ICAR report written by Robert Stumberg, Anita Ramasastry, and Meg Roggensack. The report seeks to provide a preliminary road map of ways in which the procurement process can be used to leverage the U.S. government’s immense purchasing power to push government suppliers to respect human rights. The goals of the report are: (1) to strengthen implementation of existing procurement standards, including those outlined in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Right (UNGPs), to protect human rights and (2) to require suppliers to respect human rights through the same due diligence steps that are becoming the norm in the private sector. In addition to fulfilling international obligations, the fulfillment of these goals would bring U.S. federal procurement into alignment with existing U.S. labor, trade, investment, and assistance policies—all of which provide helpful precedents and models for the strengthening of procurement rules.

The report is available below and can be downloaded here.