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Jakarta Post

COVID-19 must not blind us to exploitation of workers

  • Alex Dalziel


Melbourne   /   Tue, August 11 2020   /  01:00 am
Students are forced to work in a contact lens factory.(Courtesy of/Ko Chih-en )

The demands of COVID -19 are placing a strain on the workforce at the bottom of global manufacturing supply chains, often crucial to the pandemic response.  Most recently, the plight of the vulnerable workers underpinning the world’s COVID-19 response has been brought back into the public discussion after United States Customs and Border Protection (USCBP) imposed a detention order on products from Malaysian medical glove manufacturer Top Glove.  USCBP told ABC News that the decision was, “based upon reasonable evidence of forced labor in the manufacturing process,”. This should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the company, which was the subject of an investigation by The Guardian that revealed widespread exploitation of workers in its Malaysian factories.  The International Labor Organization (ILO), the data of which was used by US...