Nintendo targeted by anti-slavery campaign, company responds

Thursday, 20 June 2013 12:23 GMT By Dave Cook

Nintendo has found itself in the cross-hairs of human rights organisation Walk Free, which claims the Japanese company procures raw minerals needed to make its products through slave labour. Nintendo has since responded to the 400,000-strong petition, which demands the company disclose an audit of its operations in order to prove its innocence.

MCV reports that the Walk Free campaign produced the above video message to Nintendo, currently found on the campaign’s website.

The group’s movement director Debra Rosen said in a statement, “While this parody allows gamers to demand that Nintendo articulate credible steps to ensure slavery is not in its supply chain, slavery is not a game. We’re not mocking the problem, we’re poking fun at the absurdity of Nintendo’s lack of response.

“Nintendo – as the world’s largest maker of video game machines – should be leading other consumer electronics companies in showing the public that they are working to have a supply chain free of slavery. Instead, they are lagging behind.”

In response, Nintendo UK issued the following statement on the matter:

“We take our social responsibilities as a global company very seriously. Nintendo outsources the manufacture and assembly of all Nintendo products to our production partners and therefore is not directly involved in the sourcing of raw materials that are ultimately used in our products.

“We nonetheless take our social responsibilities as a global company very seriously and expect our production partners to do the same. For this reason, we established the Nintendo CSR Procurement Guidelines. These Guidelines were originally issued in July 2008 and then revised in April 2011 to provide a specific guide for our production partners regarding socially responsible procurement practices.

“We expect that our production partners comply with these guidelines, which are based on relevant laws, international standards and guidelines that focus on protecting human rights, ensuring workplace safety, promoting corporate ethics and safeguarding the environment. These guidelines include provisions on the sourcing of raw materials and the importance of investigating the source of materials to avoid using any unlawfully collected materials.

“For more information on our production processes, you might want to look at our most recent Corporate Social Responsibility report:”

In the past Nintendo’s environmental footprint have been called into question, and MCV adds that in 2007 the company scored a zero rating in Greenpace’s efficiency rankings.

What do you make of the above dispute?