Don’t Fund and Support Suspected Slavery

Target: Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

Goal: Stop purchasing personal protective equipment from companies suspected of using slave labor.

Some of the personal protective equipment (PPE) used to combat the Covid-19 pandemic may be the byproduct of gross human rights violations. An investigation has revealed that several Chinese factories are allegedly using slave labor to produce protective coveralls by the hundreds of thousands. The enslaved workers are believed to be women from North Korea. Their hardships may include 18-hour workdays, continuous surveillance, and the inability to even leave these grueling factories. Worse yet, the meager money they do make may be seized almost entirely by the North Korean government.

The factory-made gear suspected of deriving from modern slavery has been sent to multiple countries. Among the nations who have purchased PPE from the factories under suspicion are England, South Korea, Germany, Japan, Italy, and the United States. This enabling of potential slave labor must end.

Sign the petition below to urge leaders to revoke funding immediately for what the United Nations is calling “state-sponsored forced labor.”


Dear Prime Minister Johnson,

The United Nations has placed sanctions on imports where profits are likely being used to fund North Korea’s nuclear programs. Yet a recent discovery has taken these worries one horrifying step further. In what the UN has called “widespread and gross human rights violations” and “state-sponsored forced labor,” several Chinese factories sourcing PPE are accused  of working North Korean women for 18-plus hour shifts with no breaks and putting archaic restrictions on their very movements.

The United Kingdom, along with several other countries, is apparently among the sponsors of this alleged activity that violates basic human dignity. The UK government faces its own accusations of sidestepping transparency, rules, and protections by forsaking the competitive bidding process and awarding PPE contracts without regulation or regard for the integrity of the companies. The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre has aptly maligned this behavior: “this lack of due diligence lays bare the truth that, far from effectively tackling modern slavery, the government’s policies are allowing the egregious exploitation of workers,”

The urgent need to save lives cannot come at the expense of the welfare and well-being of other human beings. Please end your association with suspect companies, Rethink your policies regarding PPE, and restore accountability to a process that should be life-affirming, not life-demeaning.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Zscout370


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