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Wednesday, November 28 • 8:30am - 9:45am
Leading by example? Procurement as lever for human rights due diligence

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Session organised by the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR), the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR), the Ethical Trading Initiative Norway (ETI Norway), and the Harrison Institute for Public Law of Georgetown University Law Center.

Brief description of the session:
This session will look at how public procurement at the sub-national level can be used as a lever for greater corporate human rights due diligence. It will focus on identifying transferable good practice examples and lessons learnt from those working with this topic.
Previous sessions at the UN BHR Forum have looked at human rights and public procurement at the national level. This session will look at human rights and public procurement at the sub-national level including local and municipal governments, cities, universities, and hospitals. It will address the unique challenges and opportunities faced at this level including building leverage, ensuring policy coherence between the national and sub-national institutions, and developing institutional capacity.

Session objectives:
  • Demonstrate how public procurement can be used, per the UNGPs and SDG 12.7, as a lever for extending the practice of corporate human rights due diligence in local economies and global supply chains
  • Uncover transferable good practice examples and lessons learned

Key discussion questions:
  • How can public buyers introduce due diligence requirements for suppliers at different stages of the procurement lifecycle?
  • How can collaborative purchasing models allow public buyers to capture synergies and multiply purchasing power in pursuit of human rights?
  • How can you engage suppliers in dialogue and capacity building on due diligence requirements?
  • How can you demonstrate that human rights due diligence requirements increase "value for money" while advancing realisation of the SDGs locally and across borders?

  • 20 minutes for short presentations from the panellists
  • 30 minutes for questions directed to the panellist from the moderator
  • 25 minutes for questions from the audience

Background to the discussion:

Public procurement refers to the process by which public authorities, such as government departments or local authorities, purchase work, goods, or services from businessesIn Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) States, public procurement contracts account for 12% of GDP on average and is a substantial component of the overall economy. Public procurement, therefore, has the potential to influence global supply chains in a positive or negative way. Government departments and other public authorities and institutions that purchase goods and services can take measures to prevent human rights abuses being perpetrated by those they are procuring from by ensuring that human rights protections are included within provisions and clauses of tender-related documentation and resulting contracts. Such human rights protections can decrease the likelihood of human rights abuses from occurring and so reduce the risk (both reputational and financial) of those procuring goods and services benefitting from, and/ or being linked to, human rights violations and abuses.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development highlights in Target 12.7 that to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns that States should “Promote public procurement practices that are sustainable, in accordance with national policies and priorities”.
The UN Guiding Principles (UNGPs) on Business and Human Rights afford special attention to the state’s role when it acts as a commercial actor. Guiding Principle 6 provides that “States should promote respect for human rights by business enterprises with which they conduct commercial transactions.”

Moderator/ Introductory Remark...
avatar for Claire Methven O’Brien

Claire Methven O’Brien

Strategic Adviser, Human Rights and Business, Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR)
Dr. Claire Methven O’Brien is Chief Adviser at the Danish Institute for Human Rights. Claire is a barrister called to the London Bar, Honorary Lecturer at the University of St. Andrews School of Management and a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Groningen’s Department... Read More →

avatar for Natalie Evans

Natalie Evans

Responsible Procurement Manager, City of London Corporation
I specialise in responsible public procurement and believe that working closely with our supply chain partners to ensure human and labour rights is fundamental to achieving our Sustainable Development Goals. I'm particularly interested in ethical sourcing of construction materials... Read More →
avatar for Stine Foss

Stine Foss

Senior Advisor, Ethical Trading Initiative Norway
Stine Foss has worked for Ethical Trading Initiative- Norway (ETI-Norway) for nearly a decade. As Senior Advisor she manges a portfolio of 29 members, both private companies and public entities on their work on sustainability and specifically due diligence for responsible business... Read More →
avatar for Kaori Kuroda

Kaori Kuroda

Executive Director, CSO Network Japan
Kaori Kuroda is the Executive Director of CSO Network Japan. She also serves as Japan Director of the Asia Foundation based on the partnership arrangement between the Foundation and CSO Network Japan. Ms. Kuroda was a senior fellow at Social Accountability International in 2006 and... Read More →

Wednesday November 28, 2018 8:30am - 9:45am CET