MPs and consultants in the procurement of private protecting tools have stated human rights must not be “trampled” in the rush to safe PPE for frontline employees through global provide chains.
The calls come after a Guardian investigation discovered proof that the British authorities had sourced PPE from factories in China the place tons of of North Korean girls have been secretly working in circumstances of recent slavery.
“These findings are extremely concerning and will worry all who read them,” stated the Labour MP and shadow cupboard member Rachel Reeves. “We urge the government to investigate them immediately and outline exactly how procurement processes could have got them in a place where this kind of supply chain check didn’t happen. The UK’s ethical obligations should not be jeopardised at a time like this.”
Paul Scriven, an outspoken critic of the best way the federal government has sourced PPE, stated extra must be achieved to make sure human rights have been not sidelined in the rush to get protecting tools to frontline NHS employees.
“This is another example of the way in which PPE procurement clearly isn’t being done with both probity and ethics at the centre of its operation,” he stated.
The Guardian’s findings come as the federal government faces allegations of corruption, cronyism and incompetence in its administration of PPE procurement, utilizing laws that do not require open competitors for contracts at instances of “extreme urgency”.
A National Audit Office report revealed on Wednesday into authorities procurement through the pandemic stated: “We cannot give assurance that government has adequately mitigated the increased risks arising from emergency procurement or applied appropriate commercial practices in all cases.”
The Guardian reported in September that the federal government had sourced rubber medical gloves for the NHS from a Malaysian producer that has confronted repeated allegations of significant employee abuse.
Prof Mahmood Bhutta, the co-founder of the Medical Fair and Ethical Trade Group on the British Medical Association, stated: “We are deeply concerned by reports that the government has procured gloves made by migrant slave labour and now gowns made by North Korean slave labour. The government states it has processes in place to stop taxpayers’ money funding such illegal and immoral practices. Evidently these are inadequate.”