UK fast fashion retailer Primark will make a “responsible exit” from the country following the Ethical Trade Initiative’s (ETI) latest report on human rights and responsible business conduct within the country.
Primark described the situation in the country as “extremely concerning and very complex”, with international stakeholders holding differing views as to the best course of action for the garment sector.
Last week, ETI urged companies involved in garment manufacture for export to reassess their presence in Myanmar as there has been “evidence of forced labour and exploitation at a sector level”, with evidence of workers facing long hours, low wages, unpaid overtime, and harassment.
“This poses significant challenges to our ability to ensure the standards we require to protect the safety and rights of the people who make our clothes and products,” Primark said in a statement.
The fashion retailer said its only option was to begin working towards a responsible exit from Myanmar. The company will work closely with its partners and stakeholders both there and internationally to make sure the exit follows the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
“We will continue to monitor for compliance with our Code of Conduct as we work through this, and as an immediate priority, we are looking at what additional measures we can put in place to support workers in our supplier factories through this interim period,” the company said.