Safeguarding of fundamental human rights in supply chains for tablets

  • Tablets
  • Human Rights


Requirements and Criteria Type: 
  • Contract Terms

Main Objective: 

The main purpose is to ensure that IT equipment procured is produced under working conditions that safeguard fundamental human rights for the workers.  

Requirement Specification: 

The Supplier shall, for the duration of the contract period, comply with clauses 1-4 of this document. 

The contractual performance clauses are based on the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP) with Human Rights Due Diligence as a method. Human Rights Due Diligence is an internationally recognised method for identifying, preventing, mitigating and accounting for how businesses address their adverse labour and human rights impacts in their own operations and in the supply chain. 

If the Supplier makes use of subcontractors to fulfil this contract, the Supplier has an obligation to communicate to the subcontractors the requirements for conditions in the supply chain included in this document and to contribute to the subcontractors’ compliance with these.

  1. Compliance with international conventions and the national legislation in the country of production.

The goods delivered under this contract shall be produced under conditions that are consistent with the requirements specified below. The requirements apply in the Suppliers own operations and in the supply chain. The requirements include: 

  • The ILO Core Conventions on forced labour, child labour, discrimination, freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining: No. 29, 87, 98, 100, 105, 111, 138 and 18. Where conventions 87 and 98 are restricted by national law, the employer shall facilitate, and not hinder, the development of alternative forms of independent and free workers’ representations and negotiations.
  • The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, article 32. 
  • National legislation on labour rights in the country of production[1]. Particularly relevant matters are 1) wage and working hours 2) occupational health and safety; 3) regular employment conditions, including contracts of employment; 4) statutory insurance and social schemes.  

     Where international conventions and national legislation differentiate, the highest standard shall apply.  


  1. Policies and routines for Human Rights Due Diligence

To fulfil the requirements in clause 1, as well as to prevent and manage any deviations from the requirements, the Supplier shall upon contract commencement, or no later than 6 months after the commencement, have adopted:

2.1 One or more publicly available policies, adopted by the Board of Directors. The content of these policies shall, as a minimum, include a commitment to comply with the requirements in clause 1, in the Supplier’s own operations and in the supply chain. One or more employees at management level shall be responsible for compliance.

2.2 Routines for dissemination and regular follow-up of the policies in the Supplier’s own operations and in the supply chain.

2.3 Routine(s) for conducting regular risk assessments in the Supplier’s own operations and in the supply chain. This includes identifying and prioritising the risk of breach of the requirements in clause 1. The routine(s) shall also describe what measures the Supplier will take to identify, prevent, mitigate and account for the consequences of breaches. According to the method of Human Rights Due Diligence, the most severe impacts should be prioritised, regardless of where in the supply chain these impacts are found.


  1. Contract follow-up 

The Supplier shall ensure compliance with the requirements in clause 1 and 2 in the Supplier’s own operations and in the supply chain. The Contracting Authority may require that compliance is documented by one or more of the following measures[2]

3.1 Adopted policies and routines, cf. clause 2.

3.2 An overview of production units in the supply chain for selected risk products, and/or components and/or raw materials, determined by the Contracting Authority.

3.3 A completed Self-assessment questionnaire, sent by the Contracting Authority, within six weeks, unless the Contracting Authority has set a different deadline.

3.4 A risk assessment, and reporting on how the risks are accounted for and managed.

3.5 Participation in follow-up meetings with the Contracting Authority, and with any other relevant stakeholders.

3.6 Provision of report(s) relevant to the requirements in clause 1. The report(s) shall be written by an independent party.

3.7 An assessment and/or audit of the requirements in clauses 1 and 2 at the Supplier’s head office.

3.8 An assessment and/or audit of the requirements in clauses 1 and 2 in the supply chain[3]. Assessments and audits should be conducted in collaboration between the Supplier and the Contracting Authority.

If the Supplier is made aware of conditions in the supply chain that are in breach of clauses 1 and 2, the Supplier shall inform the Contracting Authority without undue delay.

   4. Sanctions

In case of any breaches of clauses 1-3, or deficiencies in the documentation, the sanction provisions in the main contract apply with the following additions and clarifications. The Contracting Authority can:

4.1 Require rectification: The Supplier shall provide a Corrective Action Plan (CAP) for when and how the breaches are to be rectified. The rectifications shall be reasonable in relation to the nature and extent of the breaches. The CAP shall be presented within four weeks. For serious breaches a shorter deadline may be required. The Contracting Authority shall approve the CAP and authorise the documented rectifications.

4.2 Implement a temporary suspension in all or parts of the delivery when:

    1.       4.2.1 The Supplier has not submitted a CAP.
    2.       4.2.2 The CAP is not adhered to.

Under temporary suspension, any purchase from an alternative supplier will not be considered as a breach of the contract.

4.3 Require that the Supplier change sub-supplier(s): Upon serious breach of the contract, reoccurring serious breaches, or if the CAP is not adhered to.

4.4 Termination of the contract: Upon serious breach of the contract, reoccurring serious breaches, or if the CAP is not adhered to.



It is hereby confirmed that the Supplier has read, understood and accepted the contract performance clauses for safeguarding basic human rights in the supply chain.

.........................................................                                                      ...........................................

Name, general manager, [Supplier]                                                        Place/Date



Signature, general manager, [Supplier]                        



[1] This means all countries of production in the supply chain: Extraction and production of raw material and/or components; production of semi-finished products; and/or final goods, including distribution and transport.

[2] The measures may be conducted by the Contracting Authority; a party authorised by the Contracting Authority, or by another public entity cooperating with the Contracting Authority.

[3] The Contracting Authority or someone authorised by the Contracting Authority has the right to conduct inspections in the supply chain. In the event of inspections, the Supplier has an obligation to obtain contact information. The information is treated confidentially in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act.

Documentation of the Requirement Specification: 

On request from the contracting authority, documentation shall be submitted, cf. clause 3. This documentation must be submitted by deadlines set in the contract performance clauses, or other deadline set  by the contracting authority. Fulfilment of the requirements related to routines and policys, cf. clause 2, can, in addition to what is stated in clause 3, be documented by:  

Alternative 1:  

If the supplier and/or manufacturer (brand owner) are members in the category “regular member” or “full member” of the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA), documentation of membership may be submitted as documentation for brand owners and manufacturers who assemble the products (i.e. the 1st tier of the supply chain). for clauses 2.1, and 2.2 about dissemination of policys in own operations and in their supply chain. Valid and updated membership certificate shall be enclosed. The remaining requirements in clause 2, including 2.2 about follow-up of the policies in own operations and the supply chain , and clause 2.3, shall be documented in another way. This can be documented for example through submission of supplementary relevant documentation and/or self-assessment, and shall be associated with the products delivered under this contract. The supplier can submit reports or similar that demonstrates how clause 2.2 and 2.3 are fulfilled in their supply chain(s), but this documentation must describe how the content is related to the products delivered under this contract. If not described, supplementary descriptions must be included.  


Alternative 2:  

If products are supplied in accordance with TCO certified generation 3, 5, 7 and 8, this may be submitted as documentation of fulfilment of clauses 2.2 and 2.3 for brand owners and manufacturers who assembly the product(s) (i.e. 1st tier in supply chain). Valid TCO certificate shall be enclosed. Clause 2.1 shall be documented in another manner. If other products are also supplied that are not certified in accordance with TCO generation 3, 5, 7 and 8, supplementary relevant information and/or self-assessment for the brand owners and manufacturers assembling the products, and shall be relevant for the products that are offered shall be supplied on request from the contracting authority. Other third party labelling schemes that show prove that one or more of the requirements in clause 2 are met may also be used as documentation. It shall then be described how clauses 2.1-2.6 are met by the third party labelling scheme.  


Alternative 3:  

The requirements may also be documented in another manner, such as through self-assessment, and by enclosing relevant documentation in accordance to the contents of the list of clauses, cf. clause 2.1-2.3.  


Documentation for fulfilment clause 2 on policys and routines for human rights due diligence shall be delivered according to the deadlines set in clause 2 of the contract performance clauses.  

Information about the Requirement Specification: 

The requirement specification is developed by the Norwegian Digitalisation Agency and Ethical Trade Norway together, and is a revised version of the contract performance clauses from 2016. The requirement specification can be used regardless of type(s) of products that are being procured. The Norwegian Digitalisation Agency has for IT-equipment developed suggestion of how parts of the requirement can be documented for IT-equipment specifically. The part under documentation of the Requirement Specification is therefor especially developed for procurement of IT-equipment. 

The contract performance clauses are delimited to human and labour rights. Hence, conducting Human Rights Due Diligence is delimited to these. The OECD has developed a guide for Human Rights Due Diligence for responsible business conduct. This guide includes other topics such as environment, anti-corruption and consumer interests.

In the supply chains of ICT- equipment, such as Computers, monitors and tablets, there is proven to be breaches of fundamental human rights. This implies that the contracting authority should stipulate requirements regarding safeguarding of human rights in the supply chain. When considering whether the contracting authority should include such requirements in the procurement, a proportionality assessment should be done. For instance, high contract value (above threshold value) and a long contract period (framework agreement), in addition to ICT equipment being a high risk product of human rights breaches, implies that there should be stipulated requirements about safeguarding human rights in the supply chain in the procurement of the ICT equipment.  


Follow-up of the requirement:  

The requirement can be followed up through the use of self-assessment forms, follow-up interviews, requesting documentation of production locations and/or control of working conditions.  


To simplify work with follow up for both contracting authority and supplier, the supplier may as documentation for fulfilment of parts of the requirement refer to membership in RBA and/or that it has TCO-certified products, or products certified through other third-party labelling schemes that meet the requirements. The requirements may of course also be documented in other ways. The most appropriate then is that the contracting authority uses a self-assessment form that includes questions related to the various clauses in the terms or discuss this in a follow-up interview with the supplier. Difi will update its existing self-assessment form so that it corresponds with new contractual terms that Difi and Etisk handel Norge will draw up.  


About RBA 

RBA is not an ecolabel, but documentation of membership in RBA, in the category “regular member” or “full member,” may be used as documentation of certain sections in the requirement for safeguarding fundamental human rights in supply chains for Computers, monitors and tablets. 

RBA, formerly Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC), is a member organisation of businesses from the electronics industry, vehicle industry and the toy and retail industry. The Alliance’s focus area is labour rights and terms for workers in global supply chains. As a member of RBA, depending on membership level, one commits to comply with different membership obligations. These include compliance with a Code of Conduct in the supply chain. RBA’s Code of Conduct includes several different elements on human rights and employee rights, the environment, requirements to governance system, ethics, etc. 

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Published: 30. Sep 2019, Last modified: 08. Jun 2020