The Walt Disney Company has announced it will pull out of Bangladesh, Pakistan, and three other countries by April next year, in response to the outbreak of fatal factory accidents.
The company will halt production of branded merchandise
in some of the "highest-risk countries" like Bangladesh, Pakistan, Belarus, Ecuador, and Venezuela by April 2014.
The move is in response to the November fire at the Tazreen Fashions Factory in Bangladesh's capital Dhaka
that killed 112 people, and another fire in Pakistan that killed 262 garment workers last September.
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Though the choice to pull out of the high-risk countries was already made, the factory collapse last week reinforced Disney's decision. On April 24, an illegally constructed eight-story building that housed several garment factories collapsed near the Bangladeshi capital, killing more than 500 people.
"After much thought and discussion we felt this was the most responsible way to manage the challenges associated with our supply chain," Bob Chapek, president of Disney Consumer Products, said in a statement Thursday.
The Walt Disney Company reportedly based its decision to pull out of the five countries on a report from the World Bank that assesses how countries are governed, taking into account accountability, corruption, and violence, among others. The countries Disney halted production in had the lowest scores.
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Disney isn't the only corporation reconsidering its ties with Bangladesh. Earlier this week, a group of retailers including H&M, Wal-Mart, and Gap met with nongovernmental organizations and labor rights advocates in Frankfurt to discuss health and safety issues in the 4,500 garment factories in Bangladesh, according to CNN Money.
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