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December 16, 2011  | by: Ama Kwarteng

Victoria's Secret Revealed

Victoria’s Secret describes its underwear as “Good for women. Good for the children who depend on them.”  However, Bloomberg News revealed a new report that says that the cotton used to make Victoria’s Secret underwear was picked by abused child laborers in Burkina Faso.

The report comes after the story of 13 year old named Clarisse became public. Clarisse, who works on a farm that supplies the majority of Victoria’s Secret’s cotton, was forced to dig hundreds of rows to sow the cotton by herself in intense heat. If she stopped, her cousin and her foster parent “whipped her across the back with a tree branch…”

Bloomberg News says that the “fair-trade farmers told researchers they didn’t pay the kids” which leads many people to accuse the lingerie company of playing a role in the scandal, but Victoria’s Secret says that they never saw the study by the researchers, published in 2008 by the National Federation of Burkina Cotton Producers, which stated that the children were forced to work without pay.

An executive of Limited Brands Inc. (Victoria Secret’s parent company), Tammy Roberts Meyers, responded to the allegations:

“They describe behavior contrary to our company’s values and the code of labor and sourcing standards we require all of our suppliers to meet…Our standards specifically prohibit child labor…We are vigorously engaging with stakeholders to fully investigate this matter.”

Reviews by Fairtrade International are being done on the farmers in the area under suspect so that, hopefully, this can be prevented in the future.

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