Latest modern slavery fight updates - FreedomUnited.org

U.S. escalates action against Top Glove with total rubber glove import ban

  • Published on
    April 2, 2021
  • News Source Image
  • Category:
    Forced Labor, Supply Chain
Hero Banner

The U.S. has banned the import of all rubber gloves from the world’s largest manufacturer, Top Glove, as a result of forced and indentured labor in its factories, the Guardian reported on Tuesday.

The decision comes at the close of a months-long investigation by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which found “conclusive evidence” that Top Glove’s workers are held in conditions of modern slavery.

The new ban expands measures taken against the Malaysian company last summer, when Customs and Border Protection (CBP) blocked products from some of its subsidiaries suspected of exploitative labor practices.

In common with other rubber glove manufacturers in the region, much of Top Glove’s workforce is composed of poor South Asian migrants who—as a result of exorbitant recruitment fees—are vulnerable to debt bondage and other forms of modern slavery.

According to CBP’s findings, workers were made to work 12-hour shifts for just £7 ($9) a day, housed in unsanitary conditions with dozens of other migrants, and deprived of access to their identity documents.

In a press release announcing the ban, CBP assured the public that the country’s glove supply would not be affected.

“Today’s forced labor finding is the result of a months-long CBP investigation aimed at preventing goods made by modern slavery from entering U.S. commerce,” said Troy Miller, Senior Official Performing the Duties of the CBP Commissioner. “CBP will not tolerate foreign companies’ exploitation of vulnerable workers to sell cheap, unethically-made goods to American consumers.”

Top Glove has repeatedly come under fire for its working conditions, particularly since the coronavirus pandemic dramatically increased global demand for PPE (personal protective equipment) and sent the company’s profits soaring.

A Guardian investigation last summer found that Top Glove gloves were making their way into the supply chains of NHS hospitals, leading to pressure on the U.K. government to ensure that the country’s PPE is ethically sourced.

While Top Glove insists it is committed to improving its labor practices, migrant worker rights expert Andy Hall said that the company has not made sufficient progress.

“Top Glove remains an unethical company which prioritizes profits and production efficiency over the welfare and basic rights of its workers,” Hall argued.

Subscribe

Freedom United is interested in hearing from our community and welcomes relevant, informed comments, advice, and insights that advance the conversation around our campaigns and advocacy. We value inclusivity and respect within our community. To be approved, your comments should be civil.

stop icon A few things we do not tolerate: comments that promote discrimination, prejudice, racism, or xenophobia, as well as personal attacks or profanity. We screen submissions in order to create a space where the entire Freedom United community feels safe to express and exchange thoughtful opinions.

Notify of
guest
1 Comment
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Dariusz Wojtow
Dariusz Wojtow
3 years ago

Gloves are not expensive merchandise. There are others whose product brings billions in profits for slave labour. Chocolate and coffee producers sell these popular products obtained from slaves hard work in endless chain of generations.

This week

U.N. rights chief urges end to E.U.'s support for Libyan Coast Guard

The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, has called for an urgent review of the European Union's agreement with Libyan authorities to intercept and return migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea. Speaking at the Human Rights Council, Türk highlighted the alarming scale of “trafficking, torture, forced labor, extortion, and starvation” endured by returned migrants and asylum seekers. “It is unconscionable that people in

| Tuesday July 9, 2024

Read more