The size and scale of global medical procurement means enormous opportunities for a transition in sustainable production and consumption. Mitigating the risks of modern slavery and taking actions on policy reform and remediation, will help lead other sectors into transformative action against modern slavery.
Modern slavery risks are present within the supply chains of healthcare providers of goods and services. Most medical goods are made in high risk geographies where labour rights abuses have been found. Research shows that child labour and forced labour are directly associated in the processing of raw materials, production and manufacturing of medical goods.
Domestic risks of modern slavery are found in recruitment companies such as hiring cleaning, construction and security services for health facilities.
With the nature of medical goods, such as PPE, being cheap and disposable, many suppliers hire cheap labour to manufacture these goods from locations with a high risk of modern slavery. This may be due to conflict, displacement, weak rule of law, corruption, and the state failure to protect human rights.
Sourcing essential health goods involves complex multi-tiered supply chains, resulting in limited visibility of modern’s slavery risks. These risks are most prevalent in the procurement of medical goods such as PPE (medical gloves & uniform), medical devices, equipment, electronics and consumables.