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15 Nov 2016

Therese Sjöström & Linda Scott Jakobsson, Swedwatch

Report by Swedwatch finds social criteria in public procurement can improve working conditions in supply chains

"Agents for Change: How public procurers can influence labour conditions in global supply chains. Case studies from Brazil, Pakistan and Thailand," 15 Nov 2016

…Many procured goods are produced in poor countries where the risk of human rights violations and poor working conditions are substantial. "Agents for Change" is based on three case studies concerning the production of surgical instruments in Pakistan, chicken meat in Thailand and coffee in Brazil. These are all products procured by Swedish contracting authorities and the production constitutes environments where working conditions often are hard and exploitation of workers widespread. In the first case, Swedwatch’s comparative studies from 2007 and 2015 demonstrated improvements in Pakistani factories, including wages and combating child labor, as results of the inclusion of social demands by the county councils, the public units responsible for health care in Sweden…Although there are several positive examples of how Swedish contracting authorities are working with social criteria, there are still many challenges remaining. Follow-up on set criteria is often lacking…To enable procurement officers to both carry out risk-assessment and monitoring, policy makers need to provide resources, time and expertise…

Part of the following timelines

Report finds social criteria in Swedish & UK public procurement improves working conditions at Pakistan surgical instrument factories

UN Forum 2016: Materials launched & commentaries