Activists urge Nintendo to keep slavery-free

Article on GMA Online.

February 1, 2013 10:37pm. 

Activists are taking square aim at Nintendo, taking to Japanese gaming giant’s Facebook page for assurance it is not using slave-mined minerals from Congo.
Walk Free Campaigns Director Debra Rosen said thousands of anti-slavery activists worldwide had demanded that Nintendo audit its supply chain to make sure their products are free of conflict minerals.
“But we’ve had no response from Nintendo. So when we saw coverage of Nintendo’s latest financial report yesterday, we decided to step up our campaign,” Rosen said, adding Walk Free is nearly 700,000 strong.
The group said its members are posting messages on Nintendo’s Facebook account such as “NINTENDO: SLAVERY IS NOT A GAME. TELL ME WHAT YOU ARE DOING TO ENSURE SLAVE-MINED MINERALS FROM THE CONGO ARE NOT IN YOUR PRODUCTS.”
She also said much of the movement’s base is on Facebook, which now serves as a platform accessible to anti-slavery activists in its network.
The group said Nintendo had issued a statement to CNN saying they are not directly involved in sourcing raw materials but they “take our social responsibilities as a global company very seriously.”
Facebook posts
Walk Free activists are now posting live on Nintendo’s Facebook page messages such as Nintendo’s “latest score”:
  • 2012 SALES: $5,900,000,000
  • PROGRESS ON ENSURING NO SLAVE-MINED MINERALS: ZERO
“We’re watching the activity on Facebook and are ready to immediately update our supporters if Nintendo deletes the posts.  Our hope is that Nintendo finally responds to the thousands of activists that want to know what Nintendo is doing to ensure its products are free of conflict minerals,” Rosen said.
Dead last
The Enough Project in August 2012 ranked Nintendo last among the biggest electronic companies for its efforts towards eliminating slave-mined minerals from their supply chain.
“Nintendo was the only company to receive a zero for not having taken any known steps toward eliminating conflict minerals from their supply chain,” the group said.
In contrast, Nintendo’s peers are supposedly taking steps to make products with “conflict-free” minerals:
  • Intel has committed to making a fully conflict-free product with minerals from the Congo in 2013
  • HP and Apple have both created a policy to only source minerals that have passed an audit check and joined the Public Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals Trade
  • Microsoft includes conflict minerals in their supplier audits.
Since September 2012, thousands of anti-slavery activists have called on Nintendo to “level up” and join their global peers working to end the enslavement of Congolese men, women and children forced to mine minerals for electronics products.
Nintendo, presently worth US $21 billion, is a global company with major influence in the gaming industry, the group said.
Yet, it said Nintendo has not taken any known efforts to investigate its supply chain. — TJD, GMA News
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