BBC warns of link between some luxury perfumes and child labor

BBC warns of link between some luxury perfumes and child labor
BBC warns of link between some luxury perfumes and child labor

An investigation by the World Service of the BBC revealed that Children have collected ingredients used by suppliers of luxury perfume brandsdespite the fact that they have a zero tolerance policy on child labor.

The documentary “Perfume’s Dark Secret”released this Tuesday, shows jasmine trade in Egypt -a country that produces almost half of the world’s supply of this flower-, and reveals how child labor became part of the supply chain for certain fragrances.

The BBC visited the jasmine region of Egypt during the harvest season in the summer of 2023 and found minors, some as young as five years old, working in the fields of that flower that supplied global brands through factories in that country.

The investigation reveals the use of Egyptian jasmine in some of the perfumes owned by two perfume conglomerates, also known as the “masters” of the perfume industry: L’Oréal and Estée Lauder.

As part of the analysis, the BBC He tracked down the factories where they received the jasmine harvest from the fields where children worked.

The families of the little ones told the BBC who faced the difficult decision of involve their children in collecting to ensure they could earn enough money to buy essentialsputting the health and education of minors at risk.

Pickers often earn as little as a dollar a daywhile the giant conglomerates of the perfume industry make enormous profits, highlights the BBC.


He UN special rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, Tomoya Obokatareviewed the evidence of the BBCincluding undercover filming in Egyptian jasmine fields, and said that due to the detrimental impact this work has on children’s health and education, “may constitute the worst form of child labor”.

The team that did the research –BBC Eye– presented the findings to The reala brand that recognized that “despite very strong commitments, we know that, in certain regions of the world where L’Oréal suppliers operate, certain practices do not meet our commitments“.

“However, we do not shirk our responsibilities and we are fully committed to making things evolve the right way“, they advanced.

Estee Lauderfor its part, noted that “the rights of all children must be protected. And we have contacted our suppliers to investigate this serious matter“.

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