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Modern Slavery, Human Trafficking and Human Rights Risks in the Global Supply Chain: Roles and Responsibilities of Public Buyers

  • University of Greenwich London, England, SE10 9NP United Kingdom (map)

The Business, Human Rights and the Environment Research Group (BHRE), the London Universities Purchasing Consortium (LUPC) and Electronics Watch are delighted to ask you to save a date for our next Greenwich Symposium on responsible public procurement. This Symposium follows two successful ones in 2014 and 2015 where we explored the challenges and opportunities for public buyers to make a difference in the lives of those producing the products we purchase. This year we will be focusing on Modern Slavery, Human Trafficking and Human Rights Risks in the Global Supply Chain. 

The nature of global supply chains and the international governance and regulatory gaps in today’s economy have important consequences for the human rights of workers, including the creation of enabling conditions for abuse of human rights, forced labour, human trafficking and slavery. This is true for private commercial activities and for public supply chains. Recently an important focus has been placed on the responsibilities of public buyers to identify, prevent, mitigate and remediate these abuses in their own supply chain, which for some public bodies includes having to report under the UK Modern Slavery Act (2015). This Symposium explores the roles and responsibilities of public buyers towards the human rights of those working in their supply chain and the challenges and opportunities for public procurement to become a transformative tool for the respect and protection of workers.