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Article

5 Oct 2021

Author:
Freedom United

UK: Freedom United calls on BlackRock to vote on human rights impact assessment at Nike AGM over alleged Uyghur forced labour

...On October 6th, Nike shareholders will vote on a human rights impact assessment proposal...I write today to encourage you to vote in favor of this proposal, as supported by close to 6,000 petitioners...

...Nike has not sufficiently demonstrated that it is not sourcing cotton produced with Uyghur forced labor in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (Uyghur Region)...Nike has thus far also failed to make a public commitment and sign the Call to Action of the Coalition to End Forced Labor in the Uyghur Region...

Nike's Board of Directors is recommending investors vote against Proposal 5 on the basis of Nike's membership in the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI)...which prohibits the use of forced labor, and previously claimed to have ended sourcing relationships with the Uyghur Region. However, because BCI...uses a “mass balance” system, rather than physical traceability, cotton produced in the Uyghur Region with forced labor could still end up in Nike’s supply chain, highlighting the need for Nike to fully map its sourcing. In addition...BCI deleted all public statements and any references to decisions to leave the Uyghur Region.... Further, Nike’s relationship with BCI is not equivalent to producing a human rights impact assessment...

Without full traceability to the raw materials and a robust human rights impact assessment that is publicly disclosed, it is impossible to be sure that Nike’s full supply chain is free of Uyghur forced labor.

...we urge you to vote for shareholder Proposal 5 requesting Nike publish a human rights impact assessment...