2020 January 24

New partnerships, projects and affiliations emerge from the Electronics Watch Annual Conference 2019

Over 100 participants from 22 countries, including 51 public buyers joined the fourth Electronics Watch Annual Conference in Barcelona. The programme boasted some of the world's top experts in socially responsible public procurement, international labour rights, migrants' rights, and occupational health and safety.

This was an invaluable forum to hear from and discuss challenges with researchers and especially the monitoring partners and worker representatives. Workers are almost completely invisible to public buyers in general, so this conference provides a unique opportunity to start to bridge these gaps. The whole event was greatly appreciated!

--conference participant

The Electronics Watch annual conference is rapidly becoming a landmark event on the international procurement calendar. The underlying theme for the 2019 conference was the role and responsibility of public procurement in the context of the current climate and human rights emergency.  Presenters discussed environmental and human rights impacts in the minerals supply chain and forced labour in the manufacturing of electronic products, highlighting Electronics Watch monitoring findings and actions of affiliates to address these risks. Technical workshops addressed modern slavery, health and safety and supply chain transparency.

The Catalan Government (Generalitat de Catalunya) and Metropolitan Transport of Barcelona (Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona) announced their affiliations to Electronics Watch at the conference.  Participants discussed new partnerships and projects to deepen their engagement on mining issues and develop their understanding of toxic chemicals in the manufacturing process.

The following day, affiliates and monitoring partners spent the morning together to discuss priorities and objectives for the coming year.


Heartfelt thanks go to all who helped make this event a success, especially the co-organizers City of Barcelona and the Association of Catalan Municipalities, and the sponsors Bread for All, London Universities Purchasing Consortium, Good Electronics, UNISON, The University of Edinburgh and Kiel University.

Presentations are available on the conference programme page of the website, and you can see photos from the conference here.