Government action [clear filter]
Wednesday, November 28

8:30am CET

Leading by example? Procurement as lever for human rights due diligence
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

11:40am CET

Leading by example? Using government trade promotion and development finance as levers for human rights due diligence
Interpretation is provided into English, French and Spanish

Organized by the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights

Brief description of the session: 

This Forum session led by the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights will feature presentations by Governments that have been taking steps toward integrating the Guiding Principles in the areas of trade, investment promotion and development policy. It will address lessons learned and ways forward for more States to follow.

Background to the discussion: 

States act as gatekeepers when they provide much needed support to businesses by providing finance and advisory services aimed at expanding export and investment opportunities. As gatekeepers, States can use their leverage to promote a race to the top by setting out clearly the expectation that businesses respect human rights as a precondition for receiving government support for export and investment activities. States can also promote responsible imports by restricting the flow of goods in supply chains that involve serious human rights abuses. Beyond incentivizing business respect for human rights through such “economic diplomacy” tools, a related area concerns the need to embed business respect for human rights in the context of private sector engagement in development policy and cooperation. With the private sector envisaged to play a significant role in contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals, and with private sector development becoming an increasingly central part of development cooperation, the latter aspect is in many ways the ‘next frontier’ for the business and human rights agenda.
In essence, all these policy areas need to align with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Specifically, Guiding Principle 4, which sets forth the expectation that States should take additional steps to protect against human rights abuses by business enterprises that receive substantial support and services from State agencies including, where appropriate, by requiring human rights due diligence. The commentary to Guiding Principle 4 indicates that if State agencies do not explicitly consider the actual and potential adverse impacts on human rights of beneficiary enterprises, they put themselves at risk and may add to the human rights challenges faced by the recipient State.

Format of the session:
  • Introduction by the UN Working Group on Business & Human Rights member, Anita Ramasastry
  • Snapshot presentations on innovations and lessons learned
  • Open stakeholder discussion on the way forward
Background documents:
UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights: Report on “economic diplomacy” as a tool for States to promote corporate respect for human rights
UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights: Report on the state of play of corporate human rights due diligence in all sectors worldwide
 UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights: 10 key recommendations for embedding human rights in the private sector's envisaged contribution to the SDGs.

Moderator/ Introductory Remark...
avatar for Anita Ramasastry

Anita Ramasastry

Member, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights
Ms. Anita Ramasastry is the Roland L. Hjorth Professor of Law and the Director of the Graduate Program in Sustainable International Development at the University of Washington School Of Law. She researches and teaches in the fields of law and development, anti-corruption, international... Read More →

avatar for Alva Bruun

Alva Bruun

Senior adviser, human rights, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland
Alva is Senior Adviser at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. Her main duties lie within the business human rights-sphere, in the Political Department as well as the Department for Development Policy. She's overseeing various of the ministry's projects implemented with the... Read More →
avatar for Cristina Tebar Less

Cristina Tebar Less

Jefa del Centro de la OCDE para la Conducta Empresarial Responsable, OCDE
avatar for Purevsuren Lundeg

Purevsuren Lundeg

Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Mongolia to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations in Geneva
Mr Purevsuren, the new Permanent Representative of Mongolia to the United Nations Office at Geneva. Prior to his appointment to Geneva, Mr. Purevsuren had been serving as the Foreign Policy Advisor to the President of Mongolia since 2016. He was the Minister for Foreign Affairs of... Read More →
avatar for Githa Roelans

Githa Roelans

Head, Multinational Enterprises and Enterprise Engagement, International Labour Organisation (ILO)
Githa Roelans is the Head of the Multinational Enterprises and Enterprise Engagement Unit since 2013. The unit provides policy advice and technical assistance to governments, employers and workers in ILO member States on the application of the ILO Tripartite Declaration concerning... Read More →
avatar for Camilla Røssaak

Camilla Røssaak

Counsellor, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway

Wednesday November 28, 2018 11:40am - 1:00pm CET
Room XXI

3:00pm CET

Leading by example? State-owned enterprises’ performance on human rights due diligence

Organized by the UN Working Group on business and human rights.

Brief description of the session:
State-owned enterprises (SOEs) are an enduring and significant feature of the global economy. They can have major environmental, social and human rights impacts. While some SOEs lead on corporate social responsibility and human rights, others lag behind and are involved in business-related human rights abuse. This is the finding of a 2016 report by the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights that addressed the role and responsibility of SOEs to embed respect for human rights in their own activities and business relationships. It was reiterated in the Working Group’s 2018 report on the state of play of corporate human rights due diligence in all sectors worldwide.
The overall picture is that Governments are not leading by example in their own roles as economic actors. This limits their capacity to push business enterprises to put human rights due diligence into practice. At the same time, some good practice examples exist. In its report on SOEs highlighted the good practices of some Governments and SOEs and called on SOEs to lead by example.

Objectives of the session:
Building on the Working Group’s SOE report, a similar session held at the 2016 Forum, and the report on due diligence in practice, this session will:
  • take stock of how SOEs worldwide are currently performing in terms of implementing their responsibilities as set out in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human rights
  • highlight the experiences from different regions in making human rights due diligence part of SOE practice
  • discuss how to build on the emerging good practices.

Key discussion questions:
Speakers from SOEs, Governments and other stakeholders will offer their perspective on the following questions:
  1. What are the lessons learned by SOEs to date in terms of making human rights due diligence part of standard practice?
  2. Is it possible to identify success factors for SOEs that have taken steps toward human rights due diligence and what can other SOEs and the governments that own and control them learn from emerging good practice examples?
  3. What kind of policies, models and tools are available specifically to ensure that SOEs are role models on corporate social responsibility and human rights?
  4. What needs to happen, and what concrete steps should be taken, for the field to move forward, and States and SOEs to truly lead by example.

Format of the session:
The panelists will first give an overview of emerging practice to make human rights due diligence part of SOE practice from their respective perspectives and address questions 1 and 2 [5-7 minutes]. This will be followed by a Q&A with the audience.
In the second part of the session, the panelists and other participants will discuss how to build on emerging good practice and achieve progress for wider SOE practice (questions 3 and 4).

Moderator/ Introductory Remark...
avatar for Dante Pesce

Dante Pesce

Chairperson, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights
Mr. Dante Pesce holds a Masters in Political Science from the Catholic University of Chile and a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University. He is the Founder and Executive Director of the VINCULAR Center for Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development at the... Read More →

avatar for Tyler Gillard

Tyler Gillard

Head of Sector Projects and Legal Adviser, OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development)
Tyler Gillard is the Head of Due Diligence and Senior Legal Adviser in the OECD Centre for Responsible Business Conduct. He leads the OECD’s work on due diligence in the financial, textiles, mining & metals, oil & gas and agriculture sectors. Tyler joined the OECD in 2009 to lead... Read More →
avatar for Mónica Jiménez González

Mónica Jiménez González

Secretary General, Ecopetrol S.A.
Mónica Jiménez is a lawyer who has practiced international law both in Colombia and Canada, with extensive experience as counsel and tribunal secretary in commercial and investment arbitrations under the rules of the ICC, ICSID and UNCITRAL.She has advised Multinational companies... Read More →
avatar for Malin Helgesen

Malin Helgesen

Legal Counsel Human Rights, Equinor ASA
Malin Helgesen Legal Counsel Human Rights Equinor ASA. Talk to me about anything related to practical implementation of the UNGPs, changing the role of lawyers so that we prevent our companies better by applying the people lense to our advice and dare to look beyond the hard law... Read More →
avatar for Seong-Hoon Lee

Seong-Hoon Lee

Executive Director, Korea Human Rights Foundation (KHRF)
Anselmo LEE has been Executive Director of the Korea Human Rights Foundation (KHRF) since 2010. He has been teaching about global governance, human rights and development since 2008 as a adjunct professor at Graduate School of Public Policy and Civic Engagement at Kyunghee University... Read More →

Wednesday November 28, 2018 3:00pm - 4:45pm CET
Room XX

Filter sessions
Apply filters to sessions.
  • Access to remedy
  • Business action
  • Government action
  • Groups at risk
  • Hot topic
  • Human rights due diligence
  • International standards
  • Policy coherence
  • Sectoral perspectives
  • Stakeholder engagement