Human rights organisation Walk Free has launched a campaign targeting Nintendo.
The body seeks assurances that Nintendo hardware doesn’t use slave-mined minerals, which can arrive on the global market from troubled regions such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, in any of its hardware.
A petition demanding confirmation on the issue and an audit of Nintendo’s supply chain has so far attracted over 400,000 signatures, the group claims.
It has created a video, which can be seen below, and a Flash game, which can be found on the official website, to try and draw attention to the issue.
While this parody allows gamers to demand that Nintendo articulate credible steps to ensure slavery is not in its supply chain, slavery is not a game,” Walk Free’s movement director Debra Rosen stated.
We’re not mocking the problem, we’re poking fun at the absurdity of Nintendo’s lack of response. Nintendo – as the world’s largest maker of video game machines – should be leading other consumer electronics companies in showing the public that they are working to have a supply chain free of slavery. Instead, they are lagging behind.”
Nintendo has in the past also been criticised for its green credentials. In 2007 Greenpeace scored Nintendo a flat zero in its global electronics manufacturers study and the following year claimed the company had no environmental policies.
UPDATE: A spokesperson for Nintendo Uk has supplied MCV with the following statement:
"We take our social responsibilities as a global company very seriously.Nintendo outsources the manufacture and assembly of all Nintendo products to our production partners and therefore is not directly involved in the sourcing of raw materials that are ultimately used in our products.
"We nonetheless take our social responsibilities as a global company very seriously and expect our production partners to do the same. For this reason, we established the Nintendo CSR Procurement Guidelines. These Guidelines were originally issued in July 2008 and then revised in April 2011 to provide a specific guide for our production partners regarding socially responsible procurement practices.
"We expect that our production partners comply with these guidelines, which are based on relevant laws, international standards and guidelines that focus on protecting human rights, ensuring workplace safety, promoting corporate ethics and safeguarding the environment. These guidelines include provisions on the sourcing of raw materials and the importance of investigating the source of materials to avoid using any unlawfully collected materials.
"For more information on our production processes, you might want to look at our most recent Corporate Social Responsibility report: http://www.nintendo.co.jp/csr/en/index.html"
Here’s the video: