NHS England will be banned from using products and services linked to slavery or human trafficking under legislation pending in Parliament.
A government amendment to the Health and Care Bill would prohibit NHS supply chains from transporting goods involving any kind of slave labor, the Department of Health and Social Care said.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said it is hoped the move will “eradicate” slavery from supply chains and make the NHS more accountable for assessing individual suppliers.
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“I want this to be a milestone in the UK’s mission to eradicate slavery and human trafficking from supply chains around the world,” he said.
“As the largest public purchaser in the country, the NHS is well placed to lead this work.”
Among those who had campaigned for change was senior Tory MP Sir Iain Duncan Smith.
Sir Iain welcomed the decision on Friday, posting on Twitter: “I welcome this important decision by Sajid Javid to ban the purchase of goods and services from companies and countries where there is slave labour.
“Those of us who are members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China have been campaigning for such a change; it is good to know that it will now happen.”
The amendment was tabled to the Health and Care Bill on Thursday and will be debated by MPs on Monday.
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