Public Procurement and Human Rights

The Norwegian Division for Public Procurement offers guidance on public procurement and human rights (PPHR).

Public Procurement and Human Rights

Public organisations should have a purchasing practise verifying that human rights and the ILO core conventions are respected during the production process.

About Public Procurement and Human Rights

According to §5 in the Norwegian public procurement law (§5 LOA), public organisations shall promote human rights when procuring products with high risk of human rights violations in the supply chain.

We provide information in accordance with the legal requirements on socially responsible public procurement (SRPP) tools, templates and step-by-step guidance.

In the left margin you see a link to The High Risk List. It consists of a number of product categories, commonly purchased by Norwegian public organisations. In the supply chains of the products categories on the high risk list, are documented systematic violations of human rights - among these the worst forms of child labour, forced labour, dangerous working conditions and prohibition of unions. 

Besides the High Risk List, we offer model templates of contract performance clauses based on based on the ILO core conventions, the UN Convention of the Child and national legislation of the country of production. The Contract performance clauses for safeguarding basic human rights in the supply chain, holds suppliers liable for integrating human rights due diligence carrying as part of core operations.  The contract clauses are based on the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for responsible business conduct. They are to be used in accordance with the EU principles of public procurement, such as the proportionality principle. In line with the proportionality principle, we therefore recommend you to use the special contract clauses when procuring products from the High Risk list.   

For contract-follow up we suggest, as a first step, to the use of a supplier self-assessment scheme for desktop contract follow-up. If information in the self assessment is lacking, we recommend, as a second step, more detailed contract follow-up such as document inspection at the suppliers head office. If the documentation of human rights due diligence is out by the supplier is lacking or insufficient, an on-site factory audit might be required as a third step. If violations of the special contract clauses are detected, the supplier is given a certain time frame to correct breaches. As a last resort, when suppliers are not cooperating or when corrections of breaches are not proven, the contract with the supplier can, as a last resort, be terminated.

Public procurement and Human Rights - promoting the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The SDG Goal 12.7, to make public procurement practices sustainable, is promoted by the Norwegian government by requiring contracting authorities to "implement appropriate measures to promote respect for human rights in public procurement where there is a risk of violation of such rights."  Further, substantial contributions are also made to the  SDG Goal 8.8; 12.7;12.8 and 16.2: When public procurement bodies require suppliers of high risk products to document their human rights due diligence, economic leverage becomes an important force to  eradicate the worst forms of child labour and forced labour.

If you have questions, would like to cooperate with us or if you wish to have more information about public procurement & human rights in Norway, send an email to samfunnsansvar@dfo.no

The High Risk List

About The High Risk List

The High Risk List contains information on so called high risk products. Products are defined as «high risk procurement» when there are systematic documented high risk of human rights abuse occurring in the supply chain, meaning the value chain from raw material extraction to component production until finishing assembling. The documentation is based on reports and studies by ILO and other relevant sources (for example research reports and reports from acknowledged civil society- and union organisations). To make the list relevant in the daily practise of public procurers, specific product categories have been selected based on Norwegian public procurement activities.

How to use the High Risk List

When planning the procurement activity, information about the risk within product group will guide the choice of possible SRPP requirements in the procurement process. Due to the principle of proportionality, SRPP requriements should only be used in high risk purchases.

Furthermore specific guidance and templates of SRPP requriements and contract-follow up assessments is found under each product group (see product groups in the left margin).

Disclaimer: The High Risk List is a guidance tool, and not exhaustive. Products not on the list could therefore also be high risk purchase. 

Information about the High-Risk Products

The Norwegian Procurement Act (§5 LOA) by law requires contracting authorities to implement appropriate measures to promote respect for human rights in public procurement where there is a risk of violation of such rights. Use the Risk List for assessment of the level of risks of human rights violations in global supply chain. The list includes all tiers of the production process - from raw material extraction to final assembly.

Systematic high risk of human rights breaches linked to public procurement

Public entities daily buy products with systematic high risk of human rights violations in the supply chain. Human rights violations are defined as breaches of the ILO core conventions, the UN convention of the child and national workers legislation in the production countries.

Updated: 15. October 2021

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