British multinational retailer Marks and Spencer (M&S) has revealed plans to stop sourcing from Myanmar amid concerns over human rights violations by the country.

The announcement comes a month after the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) published a report revealing that ETI Base Code standards were not being met in Myanmar’s garment sector.

The code is a set of workers’ rights standards founded on the conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). It is an internationally recognised code of good labour practice.

Myanmar’s military regime has been widely accused of violating human rights since overthrowing the government and seizing power last year.

The company is planning to fully exit from sourcing in Myanmar by March next year.

The ETI requires companies exiting the country to do so responsibly and in consultation with social partners to minimise any impact on workers and their families.

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By GlobalData

In a statement, M&S said: “The findings from the Myanmar Enhanced Due Diligence Sectoral Assessment demonstrate that it is impossible for our Global Sourcing Principles to be upheld.

“We do not tolerate any human rights abuses within any part of our supply chain and are now working towards a responsible exit from Myanmar, in line with our Responsible Exit Policy, which will see a full exit by March 2023.

“Over the next six months, we will continue to work closely with relevant stakeholders including the Ethical Trading Initiative throughout the consultation process, to ensure that our suppliers adhere to national laws and human rights are upheld.

“We are also looking at what additional measures we can put in place to mitigate the effects of the decision on the individual workers in Myanmar.”

Last March, Italian fashion brand Benetton Group suspended all new orders from Myanmar amid increasing civil unrest in the country.