Amazon's updated response to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute's report on forced labour of ethnic minorities from Xinjiang
“Business and Human Rights Resource Centre: Australian Strategic Policy Institute Report” 02 October 2020
The human rights abuses alleged to be occurring in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), including the export of forced labor to other regions, are alarming and require a strong and coordinated response from governments and the business community. These practices are not tolerated by Amazon and do not align with how we do business. Amazon is strongly committed to conducting our business in a lawful and ethical manner, including engaging with suppliers who respect human rights, provide safe and inclusive workplaces, and promote a sustainable future.
Amazon expects all products sold in the Amazon Store to be manufactured and produced in accordance with Amazon’s publicly available Supplier Code of Conduct. We do not tolerate the use of forced labor. We regularly assess suppliers, using independent auditors as appropriate, to monitor continued compliance and improvement--if we find violations, we request immediate corrective action and take other appropriate steps to ensure workers are protected, which can include terminating our relationship with suppliers. We expect our suppliers to consistently monitor and enforce these standards in their own operations and supply chain, as well as make improvements to meet or exceed our expectations and those of our customers.
We are committed to upholding international labor standards. Given this complex situation, we took immediate steps to investigate the findings in the March 2020 Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) report and actively collaborate with industry partners, subject matter experts, governments and other relevant stakeholders to further enhance our due diligence efforts in line with ASPI recommendations. Our investigation concluded that we did not directly source from three of the four entities linked to Amazon in the original version of the ASPI report. We clarified this to the Institute and it has amended its report. In addition, we have stopped sourcing from the fourth entity following the addition of that company to the U.S. Department of Commerce's Entity List in July 2020.
Amazon recognizes that the United States government, through several trade-related actions, has recently identified a number of entities as possibly being engaged in the use of forced labor related to ethnic minorities from Xinjiang. Amazon is actively investigating its supply chain and has not identified direct sourcing links with any of those entities.
We are also working closely with industry associations such as the Responsible Business Alliance and the National Retail Federation to explore all potential approaches to responsibly address this situation and support both of their recent statements on this issue (National Retail Federation and Responsible Business Alliance).