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Tackling Modern Slavery in Malaysian Medical Gloves Factories

Tackling Modern Slavery in Malaysian Medical Gloves Factories

Alex Hughes, GPS

Tackling Modern Slavery in Malaysian Medical Gloves Factories Using a Whole-Systems Approach to the Supply Chain

Medical glove manufacturing in Malaysia is reliant on migrant workers, mostly from Nepal, Myanmar and Bangladesh. There have been reports of exploitative practices sometimes amounting to forced labour. Excessive recruitment fees have reportedly left migrant workers in debt bondage and facing practices such as confiscation of passports or restrictions on movement and association. A research team from the Newcastle University, in collaboration with the Rights Lab at the University of Nottingham, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, Brighton and Sussex Medical School and Impactt Limited, a labour rights consultancy, is exploring the impact of Covid-19 on modern slavery in Malaysian medical gloves supply chains. The research is considering the structures and processes affecting workers in the sector during the pandemic. It is looking at all tiers of the supply chain, both in Malaysia and the UK, including workers, factory managers, suppliers, purchasers and policymakers.

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences