«No place for human rights violations»: IKEA commented on accusations of cooperation with Belarusian penal colonies

4 mins

На русском языке: «Нет места нарушениям прав человека»: IKEA прокомментировала обвинения в сотрудничестве с беларусскими колониями
На беларускай мове: «Няма месца парушэнням правоў чалавека»: IKEA пракаментавала абвінавачанні ў супрацоўніцтве з беларускімі калоніямі

Yesterday, the German publication Taz and the French Disclose published an investigation into the activities of the Swedish retailer IKEA in Belarus. It’s said that the concern actively cooperated with Belarusian suppliers who used the work of prisoners, including those serving for political reasons.

It is reported that IKEA worked with at least 10 such suppliers from Belarus, including Mogilev textile company Mogoteks (sewing tablecloths, curtains and towels for the concern), Borwood holding and furniture enterprise Ivatsevichdrev.

«About half of large Belarusian Ikea suppliers have had ties to penal colonies over the past ten years,» the investigation said.

In particular, the goods, the production of which could use labor, including that of political prisoners, include Baggebo bookcases, Kullen dressers and Brimnes beds. Colonies where suppliers purchased goods/materials for IKEA include Prison No. 15, No. 5 and No. 2.

🗣What did IKEA say to this?

Zerkalo.io sent a request for comment. And the company stated that it «never allows human rights violations in the supply chain.»

«In every market we operate, we make it clear that there is no place for human rights violations in our business. […] With our long-term strategy, we strive for sustainable change for the better wherever we are located. We take seriously our responsibility to implement processes to identify and minimize risks through reliable due diligence procedures, including third-party audits,» the company’s press office said.

IKEA also recalled that in June 2022 the company decided to stop developing any new business due to human rights issues in Belarus and the unpredictable situation.

«In June 2022, IKEA decided to leave the country and terminate contracts with our suppliers. While present in Belarus, we conducted regular inspections in combination with mapping of our supply chain to ensure compliance with our requirements. Whenever we receive indications of misconduct, we take them seriously, investigate them and take action. We always strive to meet our values and expectations of members of our supply chain,» the company said.

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