Organized by SPHS
The health sector has a particularly complex and fragmented supply chain that involves large numbers of suppliers and sub-contractors. Evidence shows that many commodities and supplies used in the healthcare sector are produced in unhealthy, unsafe, and unfair working conditions. Employees such as women workers, migrant workers, or people from rural areas, are especially vulnerable and often suffer human rights abuses in health supply chains, ranging from wage differences to inhumane working hours. The projected increase in demographic aging is expected to exert pressure on the global health supply chain over the next 15 years when 84 million jobs will be needed in to cope with the production of health commodities and supplies. Such global demand and competition risks turning human labor into a commodity and placing labor standards secondary to price.
These issues challenge the very moral and ethical responsibilities of the health sector. However, there is an opportunity to leverage the significant purchasing power of the health sector to foster improvements in working conditions for workers globally, promote decent work for all, and eradicate human rights abuses from within its supply chains. Incorporating comprehensive and better policies with consideration to these vulnerable groups of workers, and learning from good practice can assist in improving supply chains. If effectively managed, this can also provide an opportunity for social and economic development more generally. Working towards gender equality and adhering to human rights principles in the labor market can promote healthier families and increase both productivity and income.
This webinar is an opportunity for the SPHS network to hear from Thought Leaders in the areas of human rights and gender equality in health supply chains, as well as learn about available resources and guidance materials on safeguarding working conditions. The overall objective of the webinar is to contribute to raising awareness and action on these issues.