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Company Response

8 Jul 2022

Primark's response to allegations of abuses in Myanmar garment factories


The situation in Myanmar is extremely concerning and is highly complex with international stakeholders, including governments and unions, holding differing views as to the best course of action for the garment sector. We have therefore determined that any decision regarding the future of our business in the country will be guided by the human rights impact assessment being prepared by the Ethical Trade Initiative (ETI). This will align with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights which underpin how we work in all our sourcing countries.

While the impact assessment is ongoing, we remain fully committed to all orders in Myanmar. We continue to monitor for compliance with our Code of Conduct to support the safety and welfare of workers and have heightened our due diligence to give us confidence that none of our suppliers’ factories have links to the current regime. We continue to work closely with all stakeholders and our own team on the ground as the situation evolves...

We investigate every issue brought to our attention about Primark-approved factories and all efforts are made to resolve where possible. We are aware of the cases raised by BHRRC and we launched investigations as soon as we were alerted to them. In all cases, remediation is either being put in place or has been completed by Primark solely and/or with third parties. We no longer work with two of the suppliers in question due to their failure to meet our Code of Conduct requirements...

[The full response is attached]

UPDATE: In September 2022, Primark announced it would be working towards a responsible exit, following the Ethical Trading Initiative's assessment on human rights and responsible business conduct within Myanmar, which found evidence of forced labour and exploitation, denial of freedom of association and state-sponsored violence and corruption. The report concluded that normal human due diligence is not possible in Myanmar, and recommended brands to consider and plan for a responsible exit.

Part of the following timelines

Myanmar: Garment workers dismissed from handbag factory for removing masks at factory entrance; incl. co. response

Myanmar: Settlement reached after garment worker at UNIFA handbag factory dismissed without compensation; incl. co. response

Myanmar: Garment workers at Huabo Times report labour rights violations incl. mandatory overtime, excessive production targets & abuse; incl. co. response

Myanmar: Unionists at Huabo Times garment factory allegedly face arrest & dismissals; incl. co. response

Myanmar: Garment workers dismissed for failing to return to work despite security concerns & travel difficulties amid the military takeover; incl. co. responses

Myanmar: Garment workers report violations of freedom of association at GTIG Huasheng (Myanmar) factory; incl. co. responses