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Edited by Olga Martin-Ortega and Claire Methven O’Brien

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Edited by Olga Martin-Ortega and Claire Methven O’Brien

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Olga Martin-Ortega and Claire Methven O’Brien

Public procurement refers to the buying by the public sector of the goods, services and works it needs to carry out its functions. Such purchases range widely, from infrastructure projects and the acquisition of complex weapon systems, to contracting for the provision of essential public services in the health and social care sector and the purchase of common manufactured or processed goods such as stationery, furniture, uniforms, personal electronic items and foodstuffs. Government buying comprises a significant proportion of the overall global economy. Public procurement represents 15–20 per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP), while amongst Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) states public procurement accounts for 12 per cent GDP, on average. The value of commitments under the World Trade Organization (WTO) General Procurement Agreements alone is approximately EUR 1.3 trillion, worldwide.

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Claire Methven O’Brien and Olga Martin-Ortega

Contributions to this volume demonstrate the harmful consequences for workers and service users of a lack of legal and policy coherence across the fields of public procurement and human rights. Yet at the same time, this book illustrates the positive potential of public buying to drive business respect for human rights across government supply chains, in spite of regulatory frame¬works that have in general tended to stymy, rather than support, the efforts of contracting authorities and their personnel to identify and address human rights risks associated with government purchasing.

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Public Procurement and Human Rights

Opportunities, Risks and Dilemmas for the State as Buyer

Edited by Olga Martin-Ortega and Claire Methven O’Brien

This timely work reflects on the role and obligations of the state as a buyer of goods and services, from the dual disciplinary perspectives of public procurement and human rights. Through theoretical and doctrinal analyses, and practice-focused case studies, it interrogates the evolving character of public procurement as an interface for multiple normative regimes and competing policies. Challenging the prevailing paradigm which subordinates human rights to narrowly-defined economic goals, insightful contributions advance a compelling case for greater inter-disciplinarity and policy coherence as crucial to realising international policies such as those embodied in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.