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22 Apr 2022

James Landale, BBC

UK: NHS to ban products linked to slavery and human trafficking

'NHS to ban products of slavery after PPE concerns', 22 April 2022

"The NHS in England will be barred from using goods and services linked to slavery or human trafficking under a law to be introduced by the government. It would prevent the health service buying equipment worth billions from parts of China where it is claimed forced labour is used in supply chains. The government said it wanted to use the NHS's buying power to help "eradicate modern slavery".

MPs are expected to hold a vote on the measure and pass it next week. Health Secretary Sajid Javid is due to introduce the new law as an amendment to the Health and Social Care Bill on Friday, after coming under cross-party pressure. The amendment says the health secretary must make regulations to "eradicate" the use of goods and services in the health service in England that are "tainted" by slavery and human trafficking. The change comes after Britain bought billions of pounds of protective health equipment during the Covid pandemic, some of which was allegedly manufactured by forced labour in China...

...A senior government source said the amendment would help ensure the NHS was not buying or using goods or services involving any kind of slave labour..."It's absolutely right that we use the NHS - a huge procurer of all sorts of goods and services - to help eradicate modern slavery around the world," the source said...."