Help us scrutinise government contracts

by The Citizens in London, England, United Kingdom

Help us scrutinise government contracts
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The government awarded over £40bil of contracts under emergency Covid rules. Did it consider its human rights obligations? Help us find out

by The Citizens in London, England, United Kingdom

In 2021 Supermax was awarded a £311mil contract to supply gloves to the NHS, despite allegations of human rights abuses. Now their contract is due for renewal.

Over the past few years, numerous stories have emerged from migrant workers at Supermax factories of serious abuse and labour exploitation. Supermax’s glove contract is currently due for renewal – so have the UK authorities done the appropriate due diligence this time around or not?

Last month the US Customs and Border Patrol banned imports from the Supermax Corporation and its subsidiaries after they identified 10 of the 11 International Labour Organisation’s indicators of forced labour during their investigation.  

We have heard from several workers and ex-workers who have described the horrendous situation, as they have been locked up in the factories since the start of the pandemic, unable to leave and forced to work excessive hours in terrible conditions. The workers are concerned that, despite the dire conditions they have reported, the NHS continues to source from these companies.

Help us apply pressure and scrutinise government contracts, including pursuing legal action. 

The UK government introduced the Modern Slavery Act as world leading in compelling companies to take action to tackle forced labour in global supply chains. Six years on there has been no significant improvements in companies’ policies or practice, and the government has failed to enforce even the low level requirements. This suggests a troubling lack of commitment to addressing these abuses. So much so that the government is failing to address modern slavery in their own supply chain. 

This case would be the first case to hold the government to account for failures in their own due diligence to address modern slavery.

We, the Citizens, are preparing to make sure legal action can be taken if the decision-making falls short of the government’s legal obligations, and are asking for your support. We are joining Wilson Solicitors LLP who represent several former and current workers at Malaysian glove factories, including factories run by the Supermax Corporation.

We all hope that the contract process will turn out to be a correct and lawful one but if it falls short we are preparing to take legal action.

The period to challenge government contracts is only 30 days. These funds will pay for the legal costs needed to make that challenge through the courts about the effectiveness of the governments due diligence process in Malaysian factories. 

If the government does not award this new contract your donations will be used to directly assist the workers that Wilsons represent instead. 

Factory workers are taking a serious risk to whistleblow and this money will go a long way to compensate them for the conditions they reported while producing gloves to help protect our NHS. 

Join us to help scrutinise government contracts

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