The CORE addresses forced labour complaints against two Canadian companies

OTTAWA, Aug. 15, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise (CORE) has published today Initial Assessment reports regarding complaints about two Canadian companies: Ralph Lauren Canada LP (Ralph Lauren Canada) and GobiMin. The complaints were filed by a coalition of 28 civil society organizations in June 2022. They allege that the two companies have operations or supply chains in the northeastern Xinjiang region of the People’s Republic of China, which have used or benefitted from the use of Uyghur forced labour.

The Ralph Lauren Canada Initial Assessment report details the allegation that Ralph Lauren Canada has supply relationships with Chinese companies that use or benefit from the use of Uyghur forced labour. As outlined in the Initial Assessment report, the US parent company responding on behalf of Ralph Lauren Canada has stated that the CORE does not have jurisdiction as Ralph Lauren Canada is a subsidiary and is not responsible for decision-making. All operations are overseen by the company’s US headquarters.

The GobiMin Initial Assessment report details the allegation that the Canadian mining company benefitted from the use of Uyghur forced labour through mineral exploration work carried out at its Sawayaerdun mine in Xinjiang. The company disputes the allegations and claims that it does not own property or have any direct employees in China.

Following the publication of these three reports, the CORE will launch an investigation into the complaint regarding Ralph Lauren Canada. In the case of GobiMin, considering that the company sold its former subsidiary in Xinjiang in 2022, the CORE has recommended that the company develop and implement a responsible exit policy. The CORE will follow up and report on the implementation of this recommendation in attempts to ensure that GobiMin strengthen its responsible business conduct in the future.

“Each complaint is evaluated thoroughly and efficiently,” remarked Ombudsperson Sheri Meyerhoffer. “I have decided that the Ralph Lauren complaint warrants an investigation. After assessing the complaint against GobiMin, I have decided to make recommendations to the company about revising its policies and sharing the revised versions with the CORE by a set deadline.”

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  • Initial Assessment Report: Ralph Lauren Canada Corporation
  • Initial Assessment Report: GobiMin

Quick Facts

  • The CORE was established in 2019 with Sheri Meyerhoffer appointed as the Ombudsperson through an Order-in-Council.
  • The CORE is the first ombud office with a business and human rights mandate to hold Canadian garment, mining, and oil and gas companies working outside of Canada accountable for possible human rights abuses arising from their operations, including in their supply chains.
  • The CORE’s complaint process has five stages: 1. Intake; 2. Initial Assessment; 3. Mediation; 4. Investigation; 5. Recommendations and Follow up.
  • If the Ombud decides that a complaint is admissible during Intake, the complaint moves to the Initial Assessment stage where the Ombud works with the involved parties to reach a resolution or decide on next steps.
  • An Initial Assessment report is published after the completion of the Initial Assessment stage. The report describes the complaint and complaint process to date, the parties and their positions, and provides the reasons for the Ombud’s decision on how to move a complaint forward, including mediation, investigation or to close the complaint.
  • Complaints may be filed using the CORE’s online complaint form or by email to [email protected].
  • To learn more about the CORE’s complaint process, please visit What is the complaint process?

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