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30 Apr 2023

B4Ukraine Coalition

Letter to Guess regarding its ongoing business activities in Russia

We write to you as B4Ukraine, a coalition of Ukrainian and international civil society organizations working to curtail the financial resources enabling the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In the spirit of respect for the fundamental rights of all people, the rules-based international order, and a prosperous global economy, we expect companies to demonstrate public support for the people, democracy, and territorial integrity of Ukraine, opposition to Russia’s war of aggression, and alignment with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs).

We request an urgent dialogue regarding potential inconsistencies between...Guess’...obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law and the company’s ongoing business operations and relationships in Russia that may contribute to, or be linked with, human rights harms...

In March 2022, Guess was criticised by its Ukrainian customers on its Facebook pages for the company’s continued business operations in Russia. To this, Guess responded: “Regarding our business in Russia, we have a joint venture structure there. So we are not a 100% direct operation. We're actively discussing and negotiating actions with our Russian partner. For the time being, we are suspending deliveries and investments into Russia and closing our direct e-commerce business. We will continue to monitor the situation with our partner as we move forward.” A year later, the Russian e-commerce business is still active and is even featuring new arrivals...

We seek to understand the status of Guess’ exposure to Russia and how Guess has conducted and continues to conduct heightened human rights due diligence, and how the findings of such a process has resulted in these continued business activities and relationships...