The National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), a Disney shareholder, presented a resolution at The Walt Disney Company’s annual shareholder meeting on March 9, requesting a yearly report on the company’s efforts to determine human rights protections in foreign countries complicit in China’s genocide.
Forbes reported that NLPC asked Disney to conduct due diligence on its China supply chains and share with investors. But the corporate board did not want to go the extra mile on this issue and brought its most significant shareholders along with them to vote against the resolution. Although the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) disagreed and told Disney on January 19 that NLPC had a right to put the proxy vote before the company’s shareholders.
According to Fox Business, Paul Chesser, director of the NLPC’s Corporate Integrity Project, presented the resolution and spoke at the meeting criticizing the company for allegedly claiming such a report would be a waste of resources. At the same time, it invests heavily in China and dedicates millions to social justice initiatives elsewhere.
Chesser said, “There is a genocide going on [in China], and they do engage in slave labor, and they do force abortions upon the Uyghurs. These companies are just ignoring it. We believe that corporations should be politics-neutral.”
On the same day, over $27 million in additional funding in the FY2022 omnibus appropriations bill was given to help implement the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA). The UFLPA became law on December 23, 2021.
In 2021, US Customs and Border Protection banned Xinjiang cotton supply chains. This means any articles of clothing made from cotton sourced from Xinjiang would be held up in port containers until a company could prove forced labor did not make its product.