The Responsible Glove Alliance (RGA) launched in March 2022 with seven founding members. The intent of the RGA from its founding was to harness collective action by all suppliers and buyers to reduce the risk of forced labor in rubber glove production in Malaysia.
Current members of the RGA are:
- Cardinal Health
- Henry Schein
All members commit to core principles that recognize the importance of promoting responsible recruitment and employment practices in the medical supplies industry, which include at a minimum:
- The principles and standards outlined in the Freely Chosen Employment and other provisions of the RBA Code of Conduct, which align with ILO Forced Labor Indicators or their equivalents;
- Cascading these commitments within their supply chains – at a minimum, requiring immediate/ next tier suppliers to acknowledge and implement the principles and standards outlined in the Freely Chosen Employment Section of the RBA Code of Conduct or its equivalent;
- Continuous improvement, which is demonstrated by conducting assessment and social compliance activities to ensure they are accountable to their commitment to the Code;
- Transparency and fostering accountability for all stakeholders involved; and
- Any other principles or criteria set by the RGA Steering Committee or the RBA Board of Directors.
Buyers commit to the following additional membership criteria:
- Demonstration of a robust supplier risk assessment and management system, which may include but is not limited to conducting RGA risk assessments or equivalent of their suppliers;
- Engaging with high-risk glove suppliers, including those that are not part of RGA, to conduct social compliance audits, using SVAP or its equivalent;
- Provide technical support and capacity building, and where relevant and mutually agreed upon, financial support to suppliers in the remediation of non-conformances identified;
- Work with suppliers to close all non-conformances within timelines prescribed by the SVAP Operations Manual, verified by an independent third-party through closure audit.
Suppliers commit to the following additional membership criteria:
- Audit Program: Agree to audits including semi-announced or unannounced at the discretion of the RGA for onsite compliance verification against the RBA standards and International Labour Organization (ILO) Forced Labor Indicators using the RBA Specialty Validated Assessment Program (SVAP) on Forced Labor or its equivalent;
- Remediation of Findings Related to Forced Labor, including Recruitment Fee Reimbursement: Completion of remediation of recruitment fees paid by workers as well as other contributing findings to forced labor, with independent, third-party validation;
- Third-Party Due Diligence: Management systems in place and due diligence process for ensuring third-party service providers, including labor agents / recruitment agencies, adhere to ethical conduct guidelines that are consistent with the RBA standards.
- Access to Remedy: Implementation of an external, independent, credible third-party grievance mechanism/worker helpline within 90 days of membership. RGA membership includes access to a helpline that meets this requirement.
- International Import Ban Status: Members must not be imposed with or subject to any active import ban, such as a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Withhold Release Order (WRO) or Finding, when applying to join the RGA. A member that is imposed with an international import ban during the membership term will be suspended and is subject to meeting the requirements outlined in the RGA Operating Procedures for reinstatement.
- Commitment to Voluntary and Non-Excessive Overtime: Implement management systems and practices to ensure voluntary, non-excessive working hours and continuous improvement toward a 60-hour workweek. Workers shall be allowed at least one day off every seven days.
- Transparency and Reporting: Public disclosure of supply chain/operational footprint. Public reporting in accordance with RBA requirements or equivalent standard.