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Business and Human Rights:

The State as a Buyer

Ezgi Uysal

DOI https://doi.org/10.21552/epppl/2021/1/8

Keywords: UNGPs, business and human rights, public procurement, sustainability

Under the UN Guiding Principles (UNGPs), states are advised to be in a commercial relationship with economic actors that are considerate of their human rights influence. Given the amount of taxpayers’ money spent on procurement, public authorities can use their leverage to add social considerations into the procurement process. This article sets out whether public authorities can use their leverage to invite businesses to respect human rights as provided with the UNGPs. After providing an overview of the UNGPs and the EU approach, this article analyses the EU Public Procurement Directive adopted in 2014 which has promoted sustainability concerns with the use of green and socially responsible public procurement. It then establishes, that although prescribed under the Guiding Principles, the EU regime does not always allow human rights concerns to be integrated into the procurement.
Keywords: UNGPs; business and human rights; public procurement; sustainability

Ezgi Uysal, LLM. This article is based on the Adv. LLM Thesis the author submitted in fulfilment of the requirements of the Master of Laws: Advanced Studies Programme in European and International Business Law
degree, Leiden Law School (Leiden University). – With many thanks to Prof Dr Christa Tobler (Leiden University) for her supervision and support; and Ms Veronika Yefremova for her encouragement and help. For correspondence: <mailto:ezgiuysal888@gmail.com>.


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