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The CORE launches investigation into Levi Strauss Canada

Allegations of Uyghur forced labour in the garment supply chains of Levi Strauss & Co. Inc. in China

Ottawa, ON September 20, 2023 - The CORE, the Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise, announced today the launch of an investigation into allegations of Uyghur forced labour in the supply chain of Canadian garment company, Levi Strauss & Co. Canada Inc. (Levi Strauss Canada).

The decision by Sheri Meyerhoffer, the Ombudsperson, to launch the investigation follows the completion of the Initial Assessment report, published today. This report relates to complaints about the overseas operations of Canadian companies filed by a coalition of 28 civil society organizations in June 2022.

The Levi Strauss & Co. Canada Inc. Initial Assessment report details the allegation that the company has supply relationships with Chinese companies identified as using or benefitting from the use of Uyghur forced labour. Levi Strauss Canada denies the allegation and maintains their commitment to human and labour rights through its Supplier Code of Conduct. They also challenge the accuracy of the evidence provided, specifically that the allegations are based “on outdated and inaccurate data” and for two of the listed suppliers, the allegations are based on the “suppliers self-reporting” and not facts. Levi Strauss Canada did not make itself available for an initial assessment meeting nor did it provide information verifying its response to the allegations.

Currently, mediation between the parties involved is not an option. However, mediation is available at any stage of the process at the Ombud’s discretion and with the agreement of the parties.

“Considering the complex nature of garment supply chains and gaps in the information provided in the complaint, I have decided to launch an investigation.” said Ms. Meyerhoffer. “An investigation will allow us review the facts independently.”

This report is the eighth Initial Assessment report published by the CORE and the seventh investigation launched by the CORE related to allegations of Uyghur forced labour in the supply chains and operations of Canadian companies filed by the coalition of 28 civil society organizations. Further Initial Assessment reports will be published in the coming weeks.

Media Contact

Sarah Concannon, Senior Advisor - Communications



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