Disney has given the order to cease production of their licensed items in what they call “high risk” countries; namely, Bangladesh, Ecuador, Venezuela, Belarus and Pakistan. Bangladesh is the first to go, with the latter four losing factories by next spring.
The company’s decision comes at a time when horrific factory accidents are on the rise; last November a fire at Tazreen Fashions Factory in Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka, left 112 people dead, and another fire in Pakistan killed 262 garment workers just two months before. With the news of last week’s factory collapse that killed more than 400, Disney made the decision in order to back health and safety conditions.
“After much thought and discussion we felt this was the most responsible way to manage the challenges associated with our supply chain,” said Bob Chapek, president of Disney Consumer Products.
Although the news won’t be taken lightly by those who are in favor of big companies sourcing from countries where the jobs are desperately needed, Disney reps say they aren’t averse to working with Bangladesh in the future; however, they will only be working with factories which are in a partnership with the Better Work program. Run by the International Labor Organization, it ensures health and safety conditions for factory workers.