Learning Lab on Public Procurement and Human Rights
The International Learning Lab is a network of academics, non-governmental organisations, national human rights institutions (NHRIs) and procurement professionals across Europe and the United States working together with the aim of facilitating the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) in the context of public procurement. The International Learning Lab on Public Procurement and Human Rights was established by the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR-USA), the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR), the Harrison Institute at Georgetown University Law Center (USA).
The Learning Lab’s global network will be a platform and mechanism for:
- experience-sharing among procurement actors on approaches to integrating respect for human rights;
- generating knowledge about public procurement law and policy and human rights;
- producing and disseminating tools and guidance to build capacity to integrate human rights issues among procurement professionals; and
- promoting coherence between procurement and human rights in international and regional frameworks and initiatives.
The Learning Lab’s work is divided into four “hubs,” namely, electronics, apparel, international financial institutions, and private security. Each hub is led by an organization with relevant expertise, which will contribute research and tools that will be disseminated via the Learning Lab’s network.
The Learning Lab’s work is divided into four “hubs,” namely, electronics, apparel, international financial institutions, and private security. Each hub is led by an organization with relevant expertise, which will contribute research and tools that will be disseminated via the Learning Lab’s network. The BHRE leads the Electronics Hub.
The Electronics Hub is currently developing the following projects:
1) Integrating Human Rights in Public Procurement of Electronics: Examples from the Practice
The Learning Lab is mapping procurement law and effective practice in selected countries and industries with an aim to develop good practices guidance. The Electronics Hub is collecting practice of responsible procurement of electronics in Europe, with a special focus on the UK and the current practice of public buyers regarding the obligations imposed by the Modern Slavery Act Transparency in the Supply Chain provision.
2) Reform of Electronics Supply Chain
The BHRE, together with UK based NGO, People & Planet, are working with a group of stakeholders from civil society, academia, and public buyers to explore the options for transforming the supply chain and improving working conditions within the globalised electronics market. Key project participants include: Bjorn Claeson (Electronics Watch), Alice Tichborne (procurement lawyer), Jim Cranshaw (independent expert), Liz Cooper (University of Edinburgh), Anna La Chimia (Nottingham University), Pauline Overeem (Good Electronics), Jenny Barlow (Leeds University) and Dr. Gale Raj-Reichert (University of Manchester) The project is coordinated by Harpreet Paul, Legal and Policy Fellow of the BHRE, assisted by Paul Idowu, Project Officer of the BHRE.
3) Worker Driven Monitoring
Academic research has suggested the mainstream social auditing is failing workers and the environment. The BHRE is exploring the efficacy of worker-driven monitoring, based on the principle that workers are best placed to identify abuses on the factory floor, best able to identify pertinent solutions, and well-positioned to monitor the implementation of any remedial action committed to by factories or brands.