Browse all

Nike is under investigation in Canada on forced labor charges

Insieme a lei, anche l’azienda canadese Dynasty Gold Corp.

Nike is under investigation in Canada on forced labor charges Insieme a lei, anche l’azienda canadese Dynasty Gold Corp.

Nike Canada Corp., Canadian branch of Nike, and the company Dynasty Gold Corp. are currently under investigation by a Canadian government agency for alleged violations of forced Uighur labor in China within their supply chains. On Tuesday, Sheri Meyerhoffer, head of the Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise, a government agency established in 2019 to address complaints of human rights violations by Canadian companies operating abroad, announced the launch of investigations into the two companies. A coalition of 28 civil rights organizations, including the Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project, submitted more than two dozen complaints to Meyerhoffer's office related to forced labor practices. In the first complaint, Nike Canada Corp. is accused of having among its suppliers six Chinese companies that the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) has linked to forced Uyghur labor. In addition, according to a 2020 report, some 80,000 Uighurs were transferred to work in factories across China arriving directly, in some cases, from the prison camps themselves.

What does Nike have to do with forced labor in China?

The complaints against Nike Canada Corp. are based primarily on information gathered by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, which says the company has ties to Chinese companies associated with forced Uighur labor. Although Nike has said it no longer has links with these companies and has provided information on its due diligence practices, Meyerhoffer's office decided to proceed with the investigation. Nike has previously denied allegations of benefiting from forced labor, stressing that it does not purchase products from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and confirming with its suppliers that it does not use fabrics or yarn from the region. Nonetheless, Meyerhoffer said he has tried repeatedly and in vain to speak with Nike Canada Corp. representatives already for a year while in early 2023, the parent company, i.e., American Nike, refused a meeting stating only that it was «committed to ethical and responsible manufacturing and we uphold international labour standards». In another statement, Nike further denied the allegations saying it does not source from the incriminated factories, information that would not match the Australian body's report - which is why the investigation was launched.