Luxury perfumes linked to child labour, BBC finds

Home US & World Luxury perfumes linked to child labour, BBC finds
Luxury perfumes linked to child labour, BBC finds

The auditing firms most often mentioned by the conglomerates and fragrance houses on their websites, and in letters to the UN, are Sedex and UEBT. Their audit reports are not publicly available but by posing as a buyer looking for ethically sourced jasmine, we managed to get the factory A Fakhry and Co to send both of them to us.

The report from UEBT, based on a visit to the factory last year, shows there was an indication of a human rights issue, but it doesn’t go into detail. Despite this, the company was given a “verification”, which means it can say it offers “responsibly sourced jasmine oil”.

UEBT, in its response to this, said: “One company has been issued a responsible sourcing attestation, subject to an action plan… valid till mid 2024, and will be withdrawn if… not implemented.”

The Sedex report gave the factory a glowing assessment, but it was clear from its write-up that the visit had been pre-announced, and only the factory site itself had been audited, and not the smallholder farms it sourced jasmine from.

Sedex told us that it was “firmly against all forms of labour rights abuses. But no one tool alone can or should be relied on to uncover and remediate all environmental and human rights risks or impacts.”

Lawyer Sarah Dadush, founder of the Responsible Contracting Project, which seeks to improve human rights in global supply chains, said the BBC’s investigation “reveals… that those systems aren’t working”.

The issue, she said, is that “the auditors are only auditing what they’re paid to audit”, and this might not include the price paid to the labour force – “a major root cause” of child labour.

A Fakhry and Co told us that child labour is prohibited in both its farm and factory, but that the vast majority of its jasmine is sourced from independent collectors. “In 2018, under the monitoring of the UEBT, we commenced the Jasmine Plant Protection Products Mitigation Project, which imposes a prohibition on individuals under the age of 18 working on the farms.” It added that “by any comparable standards in Egypt, jasmine picking is well-remunerated”.

Machalico said it does not use pickers under the age of 18, and said it had increased the price it pays for jasmine for the past two years, and will do so again this year. Hashem Brothers said our report was “based on misleading information”.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.