Top Glove, the major supplier of medical and rubber gloves is allegedly in grave violation of human rights by resorting to bonded labour. Once hired, the Malaysian company’s workers are charged exorbitant fees by its labour suppliers. To pay off their debts to suppliers, workers at the factory have had to work up to 120 hours of overtime a month.
According to the company, 30% of its total exports go to the EU. EU’s socially responsible public procurement needs to clearly address human rights dimensions. Public buyers need an unambiguous responsibility for ensuring respect of human rights in their purchases. The EU and its Member States have major market impact. They cannot continue to be complicit in this kind of human rights violations.
The Malaysian government has earlier committed to reforming and improving conditions for migrants workers, and should fulfil these expectations.