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Call to step up efforts to end human rights abuse

BREAK FREE: The UK demands other nations do more to reduce human rights abuse

Calls by the Government for other nations to follow the UK’s lead in taking on ethical procurement and ending modern slavery, have been welcomed by the BMA.

Prime minister Theresa May has said that countries around the world must do more to address worker and human rights abuses in global supply chains, in line with the BMA’s own campaigning on the issue.

In an address to the G20 summit in Hamburg last week Ms May called for a ‘radically new, global and coordinated approach’, for tackling modern slavery, which she described as ‘the great human rights issue of our time’.

BMA international committee chair Terry John said that efforts to strengthen international collaboration and resolve on tackling unethical practices in overseas industries including the medical equipment and supplies sector.

He said: ‘The BMA has been at the forefront of campaigning for ethical procurement in the NHS for a number of years, lobbying for steps to be taken to ensure transparency in supply chains as part of the Modern Slavery Act.

‘We have already seen a number of countries follow the UK’s lead in ensuring ethical practices in supply chains and we welcome the prime pinister’s call for other G20 nations to follow suit.’

With more than £40bn is spent on goods and services procurement by the NHS each year, the BMA has consistently called for health organisations to take the necessary steps to ensure ethical workforce practices in the factories they purchase goods from.

Last year, the association published a report highlighting human rights abuses in the medical gloves industry, and lobbied extensively on the 2015 Modern Slavery Act.

Find out more about the BMA’s work on ethical procurement

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