Human Rights and Business 2017: Promoting responsibility and ensuring accountability Contents

4The UK’s Government’s approach to human rights and business

UK leadership

47.A number of witnesses have commended the Government on the leadership it had shown. In the words of Owen Tudor, of the Trades Union Congress (TUC): “It is interesting at an international level that we are implementing the second national action plan at a time when other countries are just beginning the first action plan … That is something to be praised.”48

48.Several meaningful changes in both policy and statute have been made in recent years, as part of implementing the National Action Plan. Among changes described by witnesses are the following:

49.The UK has also shown leadership through its efforts to assist other countries in developing their National Action Plans. As the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy noted, “We have previously supported other countries in the development of their own plans, including Colombia (subsequently the first country outside of Europe to publish a plan), Malaysia and South Korea.”55

50.The UK was the first state to implement the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights by publishing a National Action Plan, and by updating that Plan. The Government has also introduced some welcome legislation, including the Modern Slavery Act 2015. Additionally, the UK has supported a number of other countries to develop National Action Plans and implement the UN Guiding Principles. We commend the Government for the work that it has already undertaken to build its agenda on human rights and business.

Criticisms of the updated National Action Plan

Limited in scope

51.We heard a number of criticisms of the National Action Plan.56 It was described variously as “modest in ambition, sparse in detail”,57 “largely descriptive … [and] thin on new commitments”,58 and “not sufficiently ambitious”.59 Marilyn Croser, of CORE, told us that “generally there is a lack of strategic overarching vision. That, for us, is a fundamental weakness in the plan, and we felt that it was difficult to see how the plan is much more than window dressing.”60

No baseline study or timetable

52.We also heard criticism that the National Action Plan contained no baseline study or timeframes, making it difficult to evaluate progress on commitments. The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission told us that “although the UK Update notes ‘Government commitments’ it does not provide concrete steps with timeframes or budgets attached to specific Government Departments or public authorities to take forward a business and human rights agenda.”61 One way to address this would have been to implement a baseline study: “A baseline assessment carried out in accordance with international best practice would have helped to identify the areas where action is required and place those actions within the wider policy context.”62

53.Without this comparative data, the strong message from witnesses was that the updated National Action Plan was repetitive of the 2013 version, and that it was too focused on reflecting on past actions without making measurable commitments for the future.63

54.In response, Margot James MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pointed out that the UK was the first country to publish a National Action Plan:

“We had no template to follow, and we have at least updated it since the original. It was informed by quite a wide stakeholder engagement exercise. So, although no formal baseline of measurement was in place, there was a lot of input there to give us a base from which to plan for the future. I think that the guidance from the UN on advocating a baseline measurement came out after we published our [original] plan and incorporated some changes in law.”64

While we accept that there was no template to follow when the UK produced its first National Action Plan, we note that by the time the Government updated it in 2016, detailed guidance, along with a specialised toolkit, internationally recognised as an example of best practice, was readily available.65

Failure to reflect consultation with NGOs

55.In 2015 the Government launched a consultation, before publishing the updated National Action Plan. Amnesty International UK felt that consultation responses had not been taken into account by Government, and told us that “the revised National Action Plan fails to reflect adequately the inputs made during the consultation workshops, even where there was a cross-sector consensus; e.g. on the need for clarity of expectations of business and a more robust approach to ensuring these expectations are met.”66 Owen Tudor, of the TUC, agreed: “One of the problems with the [updated] [A]ction [P]lan … is the inadequate consultation that took place before it was delivered. There was initially, quite a lot of consultation but then it just froze and we stopped being consulted—trade unions, NGOs or whatever.”67

56.Other witnesses went further, and argued that the Government had failed to, or refused to, consult with important stakeholders. The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission reflected feedback that businesses who had tried to engage with the process had been ignored: “Individuals, businesses, and organisations in Northern Ireland were interested in contributing, and are still keen to hear how business and human rights will be taken forward by the UK Government.”68 The Ethical Trading Initiative felt that the failure to consult victims undermined legitimacy and limited progress:

“The government did not consult directly with victims of violations or their representatives in civil society. Not only does this diminish the legitimacy of the consultation process, but it has also restricted focus of the NAP on mapping of existing legislative and policy developments, rather than identifying the needs of victims and identifying action to be taken going forward.”69

Other criticisms

57.We also heard a range of miscellaneous criticisms of the updated National Action Plan. The TUC was disappointed that “there is so little in there about trade unions. We are not an extraneous tool that is outside these businesses”.70 The London Mining Network was concerned that the Plan placed too much confidence in “voluntary arrangements, which rely on the good will of companies”.71 The Plan largely sets out steps taken to improve voluntary compliance, without imposing any new statutory duties on companies.

58.The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), in its concluding observations on the fifth periodic report of the UK, published in July 2016, recommended that the Government “integrate an explicit focus on children’s rights, including the requirement for businesses to undertake child-rights due diligence, in the revised version of its first National Action Plan”.72 There was no such explicit focus or requirement in the revised National Action Plan, but merely a commitment to consider new project activity on raising awareness and tackling the negative impacts of business activity on a number of groups, including children.


59.While acknowledging the leadership the Government has shown in producing the updated National Action Plan, we share the disappointment of many of our witnesses over its modest scope and lack of new commitments. It is difficult to evaluate progress on the older commitments in the absence of a baseline study or a timetable for meeting objectives.

60.We call on the Government, when producing the next update to the National Action Plan, to consult widely with a range of stakeholders, to develop more ambitious and specific targets, and to implement measures to allow for these targets to be evaluated.

The wider governmental approach to business and human rights

Perceived lack of ministerial leadership

61.When the original National Action Plan was launched in 2013, it contained a foreword jointly signed by the Foreign Secretary and the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills. This was seen as a sign that the Government was taking its commitment to implementing the UNGPs seriously. A number of witnesses73 remarked on the fact that the updated National Action Plan contained no similar foreword. While this may not signal any weakening of Ministerial support in reality, we agree with CORE, that “visible, high-level political endorsement sends a powerful signal to business, investors and other governments”.74

Departmental responsibility

62.A consistent message from witnesses was that it can be difficult to understand which Government department has responsibility for the different components of the business and human rights agenda. Amnesty International UK told us: “The involvement of different government departments is difficult to ascertain because of the lack of transparency around each department’s priorities, functions and roles with regard to advancing implementation of the UNGPs.”75 The international law firm Hogan Lovells LLP stated that, as a result, “it is unclear on the face of it which government department to contact in relation to business and human rights matters”.76

63.While the FCO and BEIS share ownership of the National Action Plan, witnesses told us that the update was largely undertaken by the FCO, with little input from BEIS (at the time, BIS). In the words of UNICEF UK:

“Unlike the original NAP that was co-authored by two Government departments, the updated plan appears to have been produced almost exclusively by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Commitments from other Government departments are lacking and it is unclear to what extent, if at all, they were engaged in the consultation process. Notably, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills redeployed the most senior civil servant working on business and human rights immediately after the formal consultation process for the updated NAP, indicating limited commitment to either operationalise any recommendations emerging from the consultation process or to further embed the UNGPs within the Department.”77

64.The Ministry of Justice (MoJ), the department responsible for access to justice for victims of human rights violations, was also strongly criticised. Amnesty International UK described the MoJ as “completely invisible” in the process of updating the National Action Plan78—a view shared by others. It is therefore unsurprising that the Plan has been deemed to be particularly weak on access to justice issues, a topic addressed in Chapter 6.

65.The MoJ initially declined to give evidence to this inquiry, and only agreed to send a Minister after two requests to reconsider. During the session, Sir Oliver Heald QC MP, Minister of State for Courts and Justice at the MoJ, was challenged on this issue, and replied: “We see ourselves as a key party to this in relation to the remedies … particularly the judicial remedies.”79 Rob Linham OBE, Acting Deputy Director, Human Rights and Devolution Policy at the MoJ, added:

“The simple point on access to remedy is that this is an area where there is already a strong and consistent framework in the way that Sir Oliver has described, so in the updated action plan we say what needs to be said on the matter … Professor McCorquodale’s work was exactly the work I was referring to. It is a superb survey of the provision of access to remedy in this area and is cited in the revised action plan.”80

66.We find this puzzling. The report by Professor McCorquodale, who acted as one of the specialist advisers to our inquiry, actually reached the following conclusion:

“The current access to a remedy in the UK for a claim of abuse of human rights by a business enterprise is limited … the current judicial and non-judicial mechanisms have a range of barriers that mean that they do not provide wide-ranging or effective access to a remedy for most victims of human rights harms by business enterprises.”81

Cross-Whitehall Steering Group

67.The updated National Action Plan sets out the Government’s plans for periodic meetings with representatives of business and civil society, “in the cross-Whitehall Steering Group to monitor implementation of this plan”.82 While witnesses accepted the need for a group to play a coordinating role within Government, they questioned whether the cross-Whitehall Steering Group, in its current composition, was best placed to do so. CAFOD, for instance, told us that membership of the Group, at official and Ministerial level, might impede its effectiveness: “We question whether the current membership is sufficiently senior to drive the level of policy coherence required for implementation of the UN Guiding Principles.”83

68.UNICEF UK, on the other hand, highlighted the difficulty of assessing the work of the Group, since “there has been a lack of transparency over the cross-Whitehall Steering Group’s membership, remit, meeting and work schedule and engagement with external stakeholders”.84

Inconsistent messages between departments

69.Perhaps as a result of the perceived weaknesses of the cross-Whitehall Steering Group, and a lack of guidance from senior Ministers, we heard concerns that Government activities and information on business and human rights were at best confusing, and at worst contradictory. Andrew Silvester, of the Institute of Directors, was concerned that Government was making competing demands:

“The Government have a pro cake-eating and pro cake-having approach in that they want to encourage British businesses to go and trade in some countries that are high up—or rather low down—on Transparency International’s index and where there are concerns about modern slavery. Government puts burdens on them to look at the supply chains there at the same time as it tells them to trade there.”85

70.Other witnesses felt that in any competition between business and human rights, business would always be prioritised by the Government. The law firm Deighton Pierce Glynn told us: “The preference for marketing ‘UK plc’ over and above stressing human rights concerns has been a recurrent theme.”86 The Institute for Human Rights and Business was concerned about how these issues were viewed within Government: “It still seems that many government ministers, and some senior civil servants, see the business and human rights agenda as a constraint to growth.”87


71.Issues relating to human rights and business cut across at least six different Government departments. The Government must do more to help relevant stakeholders understand the various departmental responsibilities and must guard against prioritising business concerns over human rights. We also recommend that the Cabinet Office plays a role in coordinating activity across departments.

Public sector procurement

72.Public sector procurement, and the weight that human rights considerations are given within them, can be used as a metric to evaluate the Government’s commitment to human rights and business. According to a House of Commons Library briefing, in 2013–14 the UK public sector spent a total of £242 billion on procurement of goods and services.88 In the global context, according to the International Learning Lab on Public Procurement and Human Rights: “Public procurement represents a significant share of the total economy: globally, public procurement has a value of €1000 billion per year, while across OECD countries it accounts for 12% of GDP, on average.”89 It is self-evident that governments can, if they choose, use their spending power to pursue specific public policy aims.90

73.The International Corporate Accountability Roundtable provided us with seven examples of human rights abuses connected to government procurement in the garment sector around the world. While most of these examples related to the United States, they told us that it was “highly unlikely that the [garment] supply chains of other governments, including the UK, are markedly different.”91

74.A more fully documented example of human rights violations connected to UK public procurement is the production of medical gloves in Malaysia and Thailand. A British Medical Association report into this concluded as follows:

“There are documented serious labour rights concerns at many of these factories, including excessive working hours and production targets, inadequate pay, payment of extortionate recruitment fees, illegal retention of passports, and anti-union activities. In some factories there are allegations of illegal imprisonment of workers, and beatings.”92

Current Government advice on human rights in public procurement

75.A number of witnesses noted that the updated National Action Plan had further weakened the already weak commitment on public procurement made in the original plan. In the words of the London Universities Purchasing Consortium:

“The updated NAP claims that the Government will ‘Continue to ensure that UK Government procurement rules allow for human rights-related matters to be reflected in the procurement of public goods, works and services.’ This is a softening of the language from the original NAP, which commits to ‘ensuring that in UK Government procurement human rights related matters are reflected appropriately when purchasing goods, works and service.’”93

76.Peter Frankental, from Amnesty International UK, articulated a discrepancy in the Government’s published guidance and rules regarding public procurement:

“The revised plan says that there is a commitment to: ‘Continue to ensure that UK Government procurement rules allow for human rights-related matters to be reflected in the procurement of public goods, works and services, taking into account the 2014 EU Public Procurement Directives’. However, in February [2016] the Cabinet Office issued a policy note on public procurement in which it took a completely different view. It said that, ‘Public procurement should never be used as a tool to boycott tenders from suppliers based in other countries, except where formal legal sanctions, embargoes and restrictions have been put in place by the UK Government’. We seem to have incoherence between a fairly weak commitment in the action plan, but a commitment nonetheless, and a note issued just a few months earlier by the Cabinet Office. I imagine that any public authorities wanting to use human rights, among other criteria, with regard to tendering processes would feel very reluctant to do so on the basis of instructions from the Cabinet Office.”94

77.While we acknowledge that blanket boycotts of particular countries would be hard to defend, public procurement officers do need clear and unambiguous messages: they cannot be expected to take human rights considerations into account if they are confused about the rules, especially in a process that is often subject to legal challenge and where, as a result, rules must be followed to the letter.

78.The Equality and Human Rights Commission went still further, arguing that businesses sometimes felt pressured to ignore human rights violations in order to fulfil public sector contracts:

“Some businesses said that public sector contracts sometimes included conditions which created perverse incentives; that is, in order to guarantee the fulfilment of a contract condition, staff sometimes prioritise avoiding contract sanctions over human rights considerations. These businesses said they were unwilling to speak to Government bodies about this for fear of losing the contract.”95

Benefits of making human rights a condition of public procurement

79.The most obvious reason for the Government to incorporate human rights into its procurement policy was articulated by John Morrison: “Why should business listen to a Government if [they], as a powerful economic actor, representing 20% of GDP, are not modelling the behaviour that they want to see in the private sector?”96 Government, in other words, has to set an example for others to follow.

80.Incorporating human rights conditions in public sector contracts can also change the behaviour of companies competing for those contracts, as David Isaac CBE, Chair of the EHRC, told us: “These things drive change and encourage bidders to interrogate their supply chains and insist that the sorts of protocols that they might be in control of in their own companies then float down as a condition of doing business in the rest of that procurement supply chain.”97

81.A number of submissions signposted public authorities that are leading by example in scrutinising their supply chains. Boxes 1 and 2, drawing on written evidence from the International Learning Lab on Public Procurement and the Human Rights and International Corporate Accountability Roundtable, explore some of these.

Box 1: Examples of international good practice

The United States

The Sweatfree Purchasing Consortium comprises 14 cities and 3 states, which seek to ensure that the garments they buy are made without sweatshop labour.98 For example:

  • Madison, Wisconsin, published a request for proposals for uniforms for its fire, metro, and police workers in 2014.99 The resulting contract requires the contractor, subcontractors, and other entities used in production of the goods for the city to comply with Madison’s Sweatfree Code of Conduct, which forbids the use of sweatshop conditions and requires compliance with certain minimum labour standards. Madison required disclosure of information about factory location, wages, and hours for factories where the total aggregate value of items produced under the contract was $5,000 or more each year. In order to move onto full evaluation, each bidder had to disclose this information for 60% of factories. The awarded contractor was required to increase this disclosure by 10% each year and to produce compliance action plans for any factory where the total aggregate value of items produced under the contract was $25,000 or more each year. The administration of this contract, including the sweatfree requirements, is funded by a rebate from the contractor.
  • San Francisco has a sweatfree code of conduct that applies to all garment contracts above $25,000.100 Bidders for covered contracts must submit responses to 12 questions that aim to evaluate whether there are sweatshop conditions in the supply chain. Although San Francisco does not require bidders to disclose supply chain information in the evaluation period, San Francisco scores each bidder on a scale from 1–100 based on its answers to the 12 questions, and the extent to which the bidder discloses factory location information.101 This score is used to select the contractor, subject to a 15% price protection. To monitor compliance with the Code of Conduct, San Francisco hired the Worker Rights Consortium to conduct targeted factory investigations.
  • In Los Angeles the Worker Rights Consortium monitors compliance with the City’s Sweatfree Code of Conduct.102 The benefits were seen in one factory that was supplying the city with uniforms. In 2007 a Worker Rights Consortium audit discovered various labour violations at the factory, and the city was able to use its leverage to press the company to address these violations. Improvements were seen within months and included: no longer prohibiting workers from taking restroom breaks, paying legally required sick leave, implementing a policy to address verbal harassment by managers, creating additional protections for pregnant workers, and the rehiring of a worker who had been fired for trying to form a union.


The 21 Swedish County Councils are responsible for health care, public transportation, and regional planning, spending about €13 billion per year through procurement.103 Since 2010, all 21 County Councils have used the same Code of Conduct, which creates a contractual requirement for suppliers to comply with various human rights and labour conventions, as well as relevant laws in the country of manufacture. The Code of Conduct applies to purchases in 7 high-risk sectors, one of which is textiles. To ensure production complies with the Code of Conduct, contractors in these sectors are required to carry out human rights due diligence. The County Councils conduct two types of monitoring: 1) they conduct follow up desk studies to evaluate the human rights due diligence processes; and 2) they conduct targeted factory audits, either themselves or using an independent monitoring organization. If a violation is found, the contractor must create a time-bound corrective action plan, whose implementation is monitored by the County Councils. The County Councils may terminate a contract if the contractor is not willing to address violations in its supply chain.

The Swedish County Councils have also set up an expert group, made up of officials who have trained in human rights. They have also been trained in evaluating supplier compliance with the Code of Conduct, conducting risk assessments, and understanding social audits and corrective action plans.

The Netherlands

The Dutch national sustainable procurement policy requires companies supplying goods and services to public bodies in The Netherlands to respect human rights as part of the “social conditions” applicable to all central government EU contract award procedures since 1 January 2013.104 Suppliers may meet the social conditions in various ways, such as participating in a multi-stakeholder supply chain initiative or undertaking risk analysis. PIANOo,105 the government’s tendering expertise centre, has published a step-by-step guide on how to meet the social conditions at each phase of the tender-procedure. Various studies have questioned the effectiveness of the “social conditions” in practice, as a result of failure to incorporate them into public contracts, lack of contract performance monitoring, and low awareness by both public buyers and suppliers of relevant risks.


Public authorities are obliged to advance contract clauses on wages and decent working conditions when purchasing services such as construction, facility management, and cleaning services.106 Public authorities are also required to follow up with suppliers on performance of such clauses, for instance by requiring the supplier to make a self-declaration.

Source: Written evidence from International Learning Lab on Public Procurement and Human Rights (HRB0037) and International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (HRB0038)

Box 2: Examples of good practice in the UK

Welsh Health Supplies

Welsh Health Supplies has a Corporate Social Responsibility policy that includes ethical procurement.107 This policy requires all contracts over £25,000 to include a sustainability risk assessment. The All Wales Nurses’ and Midwives’ Uniforms Procurement Project Board was created in 2009 to oversee a tender for about 150,000 uniforms. Welsh Health Supplies managed and coordinated the procurement on behalf of NHS Wales. The required risk assessment highlighted labour issues in the garment supply chains, and revealed that labour risks existed beyond the first tier.

Because of this risk, it was decided that the resulting contract would require: 1) compliance with the Ethical Trading Initiative Base Code for the entire supply chain; 2) that a labour standards audit had been conducted in the last six months at each site in the supply chain, and if an audit was not available, that the supplier should pay for an audit by a Welsh Health Services approved partner; and 3) disclosures of the details of the most recent corrective action report. Welsh Health Supplies enlisted the assistance of a qualified auditing organisation to review this documentation to determine compliance with the Ethical Trading Initiative Base Code and to provide advice on non-compliance.

London Universities Purchasing Consortium

The Consortium secured inclusion of Electronics Watch108 contract clauses in the UK higher education sector’s £100 million per annum supply agreements for devices using the Apple iOS Operating System. These require suppliers to adopt transparent supply chain management practices and respond to reports of labour rights abuses.109

Universities in Scotland

Along with student representatives and NGOs, the universities have established, through Advanced Procurement for Universities and Colleges (APUC), the Sustain Project. This has led to development of a Code of Conduct for suppliers covering social, ethical, economic, and environmental issues.110 The project uses sector spend and supplier information to identify areas of risk and opportunities for scope and influence, and assesses suppliers through a single site assessment free to suppliers.

Scottish Government

The Scottish Government has developed a Sustainable Procurement Prioritisation Tool for public buyers, to support adoption of a consistent structured assessment of spend categories according to social and environmental sustainability parameters. The tool is part of a suite of approaches, which also includes methodologies for evaluating life cycle impacts and designing appropriate sustainability measures for contracts.111

The Scottish Government and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities have also developed Guidance on the Procurement of Care and Support Services which includes advice on how human rights can be included in the commissioning and procurement of care services.

Transport for London (TfL)

TfL has adopted an Ethical Sourcing Policy, linked to the Ethical Trading Initiative’s Base Code, according to which: TfL aims to improve labour conditions in the supply chain of relevant product categories or specific products; suppliers under contracts that include ethical sourcing provisions should monitor conditions via third party audits and provide TfL with results; TfL will collaborate with suppliers to remedy breaches.112

Source: Written evidence from International Learning Lab on Public Procurement and Human Rights (HRB0037) and International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (HRB0038)

82.The examples outlined in Boxes 1 and 2 show that there is plenty of good practice, both internationally and within the UK, for the Government to draw on in taking action to improve public procurement guidance and level up their performance.

Requirement for companies to undertake due diligence for public sector contracts

83.Several witnesses urged the Government to exclude companies that have not undertaken effective human rights due diligence from access to public sector contracts, export credit and other public financial benefits, including support from the Department for International Development. This would enable the Government to fulfil its commitments under UN Guiding Principles 5 and 6.113 Nomogaia, an international, non-profit research organisation working in the field of business and human rights, explained:

“One key opportunity is in managing the UK government’s business relationships. In its contracts with private security providers and suppliers of goods in government procurement, as well as in funding of beneficiaries of export and development banks financing and insurance, the government should require access to the human rights due diligence performed by those companies. Unless there are compelling reasons to the contrary, due diligence should be made public.”114

84.International Corporate Accountability Roundtable and International Learning Lab on Public Procurement and Human Rights made more specific recommendations about steps the Government could take to assist procurement officers, including providing online tools and guidance, creating an online database with information about human rights practices of suppliers, and investing in human rights training for public purchasers.115


85.The current Government guidance on the application of human rights considerations to public sector procurement is confusing, and may deter procurement officers from factoring in human rights.

86.If the Government expects businesses to take human rights issues in their supply chains seriously, it must demonstrate at least the same level of commitment in its own procurement supply chains.

87.The Government should exclude companies that have not undertaken appropriate and effective human rights due diligence from all public sector contracts, including contracts with local authorities, which could be over a specified threshold. This should also apply to export credit and other government financial incentives for companies to operate overseas.

88.Companies that have been found to have been responsible for abuses, either by the courts or by the National Contact Point, or where a settlement indicates that there have been human rights abuses, should also be excluded from public sector contracts for a defined and meaningful period.

48 Q 14 (Owen Tudor, Trades Union Congress)

49 Written evidence from the Law Society of England and Wales (HRB0047)

50 Ibid.

51 Written evidence from Marks and Spencer (HRB0013)

52 Ibid.

53 Written evidence from the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (HRB0019). For more information see: [accessed 12 March 2017]

54 Written evidence from the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (HRB0019)

55 Written evidence from Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) (HRB0044)

56 The UK National Contact Point is addressed separately in paragraphs 201–221

57 Written evidence from Amnesty International UK (HRB0014)

58 Written evidence from Corporate Responsibility Coalition Ltd. (CORE) (HRB0008)

59 Written evidence from CAFOD (HRB0018)

60 Q 2 (Marilyn Croser, CORE)

61 Written evidence from Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (HRB0031)

62 Written evidence from Corporate Responsibility Coalition Ltd. (CORE) (HRB0008)

63 See, for example, written evidence from UNICEF UK (HRB0005), Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) (HRB0012), Hogan Lovells LLP (HRB0017), and CAFOD (HRB0018); as well as Q 14 (Professor Keith Ewing, King’s College London and Institute of Employment Rights) and Q 79 (David Isaac, Equality and Human Rights Commission). See also CAFOD, Leader or Laggard?: Is the UK meetings its commitments on business and human rights? (November 2016).

64 Q 97 (Margot James MP, BEIS)

65 The Danish Institute for Human Rights and International Corporate Accountability Roundtable, National Action Plans on Business and Human Rights: A Toolkit for the Development, Implementation, and Review of State Commitments to Business and Human Rights Frameworks (June 2014): [accessed 14 February 2017]

66 Written evidence from Amnesty International UK (HRB0014)

67 Q 14 (Owen Tudor, Trades Union Congress)

68 Written evidence from Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (HRB0031)

69 Written evidence from The Ethical Trading Initiative (HRB0027)

70 Q 14 (Owen Tudor, Trades Union Congress)

71 Written evidence from London Mining Network (HRB0034)

72 UNCRC, Concluding observations on the fifth periodic report of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. July 2016

73 See, for instance, written evidence from Corporate Responsibility Coalition Ltd. (CORE) (HRB0008), Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) (HRB0012), and Amnesty International UK (HRB0014)

74 Written evidence from Corporate Responsibility Coalition Ltd. (CORE) (HRB0008)

75 Written evidence from Amnesty International UK (HRB0014)

76 Written evidence from Hogan Lovells LLP (HRB0017)

77 Written evidence from UNICEF UK (HRB0005). See also written evidence from Corporate Responsibility Coalition Ltd. (CORE) (HRB0008), Written evidence from Traidcraft (HRB0009), and Amnesty International UK (HRB0014)

78 Written evidence from Amnesty International UK (HRB0014)

79 Q 113 (Sir Oliver Heald MP, Ministry of Justice)

80 Q 113 (Rob Linham, Ministry of Justice)

81 Robert McCorquodale (British Institute of International and Comparative Law), Survey of the Provision in the United Kingdom of Access to Remedies for Victims of Human Rights Harms Involving Business Enterprises (July 2015) p 48: [accessed 15 February 2017]

82 Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Good Business: Implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights Updated May 2016, Cm 9255, May 2016, p 24, [accessed 15 February 2017]

83 Written evidence from CAFOD (HRB0018)

84 Written evidence from UNICEF UK (HRB0005)

85 48 (Andrew Silvester, Institute of Directors)

86 Written evidence from Deighton Pierce Glynn (HRB0033)

87 Written evidence from Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) (HRB0012)

88 House of Commons Library, Public Procurement, Briefing Paper, Number 6029, July 2015

89 Written evidence from International Learning Lab on Public Procurement and Human Rights (HRB0037). See also written evidence from International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (HRB0038).

90 The UN Committee on Human Rights (in General Comment 16) says: ‘States must take steps to ensure that public procurement contracts are awarded to bidders that are committed to respecting children’s rights’. This was repeated in their Concluding Observations to the UK. The same must apply to other vulnerable groups.

91 Written evidence from International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (HRB0038)

92 BMA, In Good Hands: Tackling labour rights concerns in the manufacture of medical gloves (June 2016) p 2: Available to download via [accessed 15 February 2017]

93 Written evidence from London Universities Purchasing Consortium (HRB0036)

94 Q 2 (Peter Frankental, Amnesty International UK)

95 Written evidence from Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) (HRB0030)

96 Q 7 (John Morrison, Institute for Human Rights and Business)

97 Q 83 (David Isaac, Equality and Human Rights Commission)

98 Sweatfree Purchasing Consortium, [accessed 16 February 2017]

99 City of Madison, Wisconsin, Uniform Management Program Request for Proposals (2014), [accessed 16 February 2017]

100 City of San Francisco, California, Administrative Code Chapter 12U: Sweatfree Contracting (2005), [accessed 16 February 2017]

101 City of San Francisco, California Sweatfree Purchasing Advisory Group, Annual Report 4 (2014), [accessed 16 February 2017]

102 WRC Reports, City of Los Angeles, Department of General Services, [accessed 16 February 2017]

103 Kristian Hemstrom, TCO development webinar: Sustainable IT Webinar Series, Best Practice Sustainable IT Procurement (16 March, 2016), [accessed 16 February 2017]; Electronics Watch, 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 4 (February 2016), [accessed 16 February 2017]

105 Professional and Innovative Tendering, Network for Government Contracting Authorities: [accessed 12 March 2017]

106 Public Procurement and Human Rights: A Survey of Twenty Jurisdictions, The International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR),, pg. 28 [accessed 17 February 2017]

107 Good Ethical Procurement, British Medical Association, [accessed 16 February 2017]

108 See [accessed 12 March 2017]

109 London Universities Purchasing Consortium Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement, London Universities Purchasing Consortium,, p 2 [accessed 17 February 2017]

110 ‘Sustain’ Project - a Sector wide collaborative tool for assessing Supply Chain Sustainability, Advanced Procurement for Universities and Colleges,!/Susproject [accessed 17 February 2017]

112 Ethical Sourcing Policy, Transport for London, [accessed on 17 February 2017]

113 United Nations, Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: Implementing the United Nations “Protect, Respect and Remedy” Framework (2011) p 8: [accessed 20 February 2017]

114 Written evidence from Nomogaia (HRB0028). See also written evidence from UNICEF UK (HRB0005), Corporate Responsibility Coalition Ltd (CORE) (HRB0008), the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (HRB0019), Centre for Human Rights in Practice, University of Warwick (HRB0024), Association for Labour Providers (HRB0026), Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) (HRB0030), London Universities Purchasing Consortium (HRB0036), and International Learning Lab on Public Procurement and Human Rights (HRB0037),

115 Written evidence from International Learning Lab on Public Procurement and Human Rights (HRB0037) and International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (HRB0038)

4 April 2017