Disney has pulled out of high-risk countries including Bangladesh, Pakistan, Ecuador, Venezuela and Belarus over safety issues. The plan is for the company to completely remove itself from those locations by April 2014.
A series of fatal factory accidents have led to Disney’s decision to pull out. In September 2012, a fire in Pakistan killed 262 workers. Later in November, a fire at the Tazreen Fashions Factory in Bangladesh killed 112 people. Then on April 24, an illegally built building containing seven garment factories collapsed in Bangladesh and killed more than 400 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, says in a statement.
Other than the obvious choices of Bangladesh and Pakistan, Disney chose the other countries to pull out of based on a report from the World Bank on how they were governed. The ones listed above were given the lowest scores in the report.
This move makes Disney the first brand to stop production in Bangladesh entirely. However, other countries like H&M, Gap and Walmart are considering severing their ties to the country as well. Disney reportedly says it will consider allowing production in Bangladesh in the future if the country agrees to work with the Better Work program.