OREGON – Nike has attempted to distance itself from allegations of forced labour in its Chinese supply chains. The company has issued a statement in response a recent report which illustrated clear evidence that the Chinese government has facilitated the mass transfer of Uyghur and other ethnic minority citizens from the far west region of Xinjiang to factories across the country. The researchers visited a Nike factory in Shandong province that employs hundreds of Uyghurs who were sent there by the government to work under close surveillance. At the factory, workers attend organised mandarin studies and “patriotic education”
In its statement, it is interesting that Nike does not specially deny the claims made in the report. Instead, it claims does not directly source products from the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR), and does not have relationships with the Haoyuanpeng Clothing Manufacturing, Qingdao Jifa Group, or Esquel facilities in XUAR. “We have been conducting ongoing diligence with our suppliers in China to identify and assess potential risks related to employment of people from XUAR,” said Nike.