Sourcing from Myanmar

16/12/2021

As a responsible business, our first priority will always be the safety and wellbeing of the people who make our clothes and products. We are also conscious of the thousands of workers who rely on us for their livelihoods through employment at our suppliers’ 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.

Our approach to working in Myanmar

Health and Safety is at the heart of our Primark Code of Conduct, which all suppliers must comply with as part of doing business with us.  Our Code also includes further clauses which support workers’ general safety and wellbeing. These include:

  • The requirement for grievance mechanisms
  • Acceptable hours of work
  • Legally regulated wages
  • Support for freedom of association

Before Primark places any orders with a prospective supplier, we assess the working conditions at the factories they intend to use through the Primark ethical trade audit. This includes a formal inspection of the health and safety factors in the facility. These audits are then repeated, unannounced, at least once a year, often more.

Members of our Ethical Trade team are based on the ground in Myanmar and are trained to work directly with workers, factory management and our suppliers, all of whom remain engaged and active despite the current challenges. For example, they continue to monitor that workers’ wages are paid every month.

We continue to consult with unions, labour groups and NGOs locally and internationally, and will always act on any grievance raised by workers that highlights any breaches of our Code of Conduct through these bodies.