Licensee/Brand Statement on Honduras
As we mentioned in our update last week, the WRC and a number of labor rights NGOs have urged licensees and other brands with substantial sourcing operations in Honduras to issue statements in support of the restoration of democracy and the protection of civil liberties and human and labor rights. I am pleased to report that a joint brand statement was issued yesterday, in the form of a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The statement can be accessed here: http://www.nikebiz.com/responsibility/2009SecretaryClintonHondurasLetter.html (if you have trouble opening the link, please paste it into your browser — the text of the statement is also included at the end of this message).
The brands signing the statement include three leading university licensees – Nike, adidas and Knights Apparel – and Gap, a key non-university brand. The statement will help ensure that the highly visible support for the recent military coup on the part of leading figures in Honduras’ domestic apparel industry does not leave Hondurans with the impression that US brands doing business in the country share this position. The most important work on the statement from the NGO side was done by the Canadian group, Maquila Solidarity Network.
In the statement, the brands urge respect for civil liberties, including freedom of speech and freedom of association, and the brands join governments and international bodies around the world in supporting an immediate restoration of democracy. We welcome the statement and appreciate the leadership of these brands. The statement will add to ongoing international efforts to discourage further violations of human rights in Honduras and to speed a just and democratic resolution to the crisis.
Please let me know if you have any questions about this information.
Worker Rights Consortium
5 Thomas Circle NW
Washington DC 20005
ph 202 387 4884
fax 202 387 3292
July 27, 2009
The Honorable Hillary R. Clinton
Secretary of State
2201 C St NW
Washington, DC 20520
Dear Secretary Clinton:
As companies that have products made in Honduras, we are deeply concerned about recent events in that country. We understand that serious disagreements exist between the elected President, Congress and the Supreme Court, but these should be resolved through peaceful, democratic dialogue, rather than through military action.
While we do not and will not support or endorse the position of any party in this internal dispute, we feel it is necessary in this case to join with the President of the United States, the governments of countries throughout the Americas, the Organization of American States, the UN General Assembly and the European Union in calling for the restoration of democracy in Honduras.
We are also very concerned about the continuation of violence if this dispute is not resolved immediately, and with restrictions on civil liberties under the July 1 Emergency Decree. We urge for an immediate resolution to the crisis and that civil liberties, including freedom of the press, freedom of speech, freedom of movement, freedom of assembly, and freedom of association be fully respected.
We welcome the participation of the contending parties in mediation talks and are hopeful they will achieve a prompt and just solution to all issues in dispute.
NIKE, Inc. The adidas Group Gap Inc. Knights Apparel
Copy: Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Shannon
OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza