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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Workshop on Government Procurement and Human Rights

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
January 16, 2014


On Wednesday, January 15, 2014, as part of its series of workshops on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the State Department hosted a workshop on government procurement and human rights.

The United States Government, as one of the largest purchasers of goods and services in the world, has an important opportunity to use our role as a buyer to promote respect for human rights. As we encourage U.S. companies to uphold high standards of conduct in their operations, the U.S. Government is considering what systems and policies can be put in place to support these goals.

During the workshop, which was attended by over one hundred representatives from business, government, civil society and labor, Under Secretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy highlighted ways U.S. procurement practices promote business respect for human rights, and underscored the Department’s commitment to continuing to work with stakeholders on these issues.

The workshop, facilitated by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, provided an opportunity to identify and discuss best practices and challenges for governments in structuring and conducting commercial transactions with businesses, especially its contractors.

For further information, please email, call (202) 647-1211, or visit us at


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