Swedish County Councils

There are 21 County Councils and Regions (County Councils) in Sweden, which are responsible for health care, dental care, and public transportation. Since 2010, the County Councils have all used the same human rights code of conduct and contract clauses when purchasing certain high-risk products. Currently, the human rights code of conduct and contract clauses apply to the following eight product categories: textiles, surgical instruments, disposable surgical products, rubber gloves, dressings, ITC, pharmaceuticals, and food.

The contract clauses require suppliers to have certain human rights due diligence practices in place to promote compliance with the human rights standards in the code of conduct in the production of goods under the contract. The County Councils monitor compliance through contractor self-assessments, office-audits, and factory audits.

Additional information can be found on the County Councils’ website. While the website is available only in Swedish, it does include some resources in English.

Policy documents and other resources from the Swedish County Councils

Additional information can be found in the following reports.

  • Healthier Procurement: Improvements to working conditions for surgical instrument manufacture in Pakistan (Swedwatch, 2015). Available here.
  • Agents for change: How public procurers can influence labour conditions in global supply chains. Case studies from Brazil, Pakistan and Thailand (Swedwatch, 2016).  Available here.
  • Public Procurement and Human Rights Due Diligence to Achieve Respect for Labour Rights Standards in Electronics Factories: A Case Study of the Swedish County Councils and the Dell Computer Corporation (Electronics Watch, 2016). Available here.