Page tree
Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata

Name of Resource

Advancing Respect for Labour Rights Globally through Public Procurement



Country / jurisdiction



Politics and Governance Journal


Martin-Ortega, Olga; Methven O’Brien, Claire

Date of publishing

14 December 2017


Building on a limited emerging scholarship and policy developments, this article addresses how governments can influence workers’ rights abroad via the terms of purchase contracts. Section 2 considers legal definitions of public procurement and distinguishes primary and secondary aims of procurement under key international and regional procurement regimes. Section 3 explores new international policy frameworks on responsible global value chains and supply chains, which by contrast appear to augur the greater use of public procurement to promote labour rights globally in future. Section 4 argues, supported by analysis of the limited examples available, that public buying has the potential to positively influence enjoyment of labour rights in practice. Section 5 reflects on what the more specific impacts of public procurement in this context may be, and how public buying should complement other mechanisms for improving labour conditions across supply chains, such as social clauses in trade agreements.