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To: North Eastern Universities Purchasing Consortium
North Eastern Universities go Sweatshop Free
We are demanding that large-scale university electronics buyer NEUPC stamp out sweatshop conditions in their supply chain by affiliating to Electronics Watch on behalf of its members.
Why is this important?
International supply chains are frequently exposed to unsafe, abusive and inhumane conditions. The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced this fact with increased urgency. Large scale buyers have an obligation to ensure integrity of their supply chains, and dignity for workers.
The North Eastern Universities Purchasing Consortium (NEUPC) buys huge amounts of IT and electronic goods on behalf of 23 universities in North East England and the Midlands, reporting an £11 million spend increase on IT and Telecoms equipment for the 2018-19 financial year.
The electronics industry is particularly high risk for labor and human rights abuses in their supply chains - including sweatshop conditions and modern day slavery. The International Labour Organization estimates around 25 million men, women and children around the world are in a form of forced labour. 1 in 4 victims of modern slavery are children.
With this level of risk, it is indisputable that robust measures and active steps must be taken to guarantee justice for workers and the environment in an industry that frequently places profit over safety.
NEUPC must affiliate to Electronics Watch and go Sweatshop Free!
Electronics Watch is the only independent monitoring organisation credible with workers and their unions in the electronics industry. Affiliation enables universities to access information on the conditions products they buy were made in, and equips them to address identified violations through the power of large-scale purchasing contracts.
Since its formation in 2013, three major UK university purchasing consortia have affiliated to Electronics Watch on behalf of all their member institutions. These are the North Western Universities Purchasing Consortium (NWUPC), London Universities Purchasing Consortium (LUPC) and the Advanced Procurement for Universities & Colleges (APUC - Scotland). It is essential that the same level of scrutiny and supply chain transparency is available to North East universities.
We demand that NEUPC follow suit and affiliate to Electronics Watch on behalf of its members, using their significant influence to eradicate rather than perpetuate a system based on the exploitation of electronics workers!