Primark Makes Responsible Exit From Myanmar
In September 2022, in response to the Ethical Trade Initiative (ETI)’s independent assessment on responsible business conduct within Myanmar, Primark made the challenging decision to initiate a responsible exit from the country. The conclusions drawn from this independent assessment solidified their recognition that they could no longer uphold the exacting ethical standards they require to safeguard the rights and safety of the individuals contributing to their products.
Primark has diligently been executing its responsible exit plan in close consultation with partners and stakeholders both within Myanmar and on a global scale. This course of action is guided by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, as well as ACT’s responsible exit guidelines. In collaboration with other prominent brands, Primark worked closely alongside IndustriALL to formulate a comprehensive framework for a responsible disengagement from business activities. This framework serves as the blueprint for Primark’s gradual exit from Myanmar, in alignment with the terms established with IndustriALL. Throughout this exit process, Primark has maintained a close working relationship with factories, suppliers, trade unions, basic labour organizations and project partners. Their aim has been to address emerging issues during this transitional phase and, whenever feasible, enhance the management capabilities of the factories while minimizing any adverse impact on the workers within their suppliers’ facilities. New orders were suspended in October 2022, and the final orders are anticipated to be dispatched by year-end.
Since the announcement to cease sourcing from Myanmar, Primark has significantly augmented the size of their Ethical Trade team operating on the ground. This expansion has allowed for more frequent visits to suppliers’ factories, thereby enhancing oversight. Primark is committed to thoroughly investigating and, where feasible, rectifying any allegations brought to their attention. The safety of both the Primark team and the workers within their suppliers’ factories remains at the forefront of their concerns.