Location: Sri Lanka
Summary: Gap Inc. is closely monitoring the peace and reconciliation process in Sri Lanka, and is seeking to ensure our Code of Vendor Conduct is being adhered to by factories producing Gap Inc. branded apparel.
Gap Inc. takes the human rights concerns related to the Sri Lankan conflict and its aftermath seriously. We are monitoring the steps taken by the U.S. government, the EU and the United Nations to address these concerns, and we believe these institutions are best placed to be engaging with the Sri Lankan government at this time.
The conflict in Sri Lanka has been particularly hard on working Sri Lankans of all backgrounds, and based on expert consultations, we feel that one of the most meaningful contributions we can make to help improve the overall environment in Sri Lanka is by providing safe and fair working conditions to individuals regardless of political affiliation or ethnicity. This is particularly true because apparel production is an important and much needed source of jobs in the country.
At Gap Inc., we strongly believe in non-discriminatory hiring practices, and fair, equitable working conditions. To ensure these values are upheld, our Social Responsibility Specialists conduct announced and unannounced visits to factories that we monitor. In Sri Lanka, our specialist team is comprised of both Tamil and Sinhalese employees who speak the local language, understand the culture, and have deep experience in this work.
Many of our efforts to improve conditions in Sri Lanka are done in partnership. In one example, we partnered with EAM Maliban Group, a Gap Inc. vendor, to provide workplace training programs in 13 factories in Sri Lanka that provide female garment workers with life skills and enhanced technical skills education. We have also partnered with Habitat for Humanity to rebuild homes after the tsunami, as well as with Brandix to provide a clean water resource training center and install wells.
We will continue to closely monitor the situation in Sri Lanka, and will carefully consider recommendations made by the U.S. government, the EU, the United Nations, and other appropriate international bodies that provide guidance on how apparel companies can play a positive role in bringing lasting peace to Sri Lanka.