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Victoria's Secret Buys From Child Labor Sources: Report

Kids pick cotton at West Africa farms
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 15, 2011 4:16 PM CST
Victoria's Secret Buys From Child Labor Sources: Report
In this file photo, a pedestrian walks past a Victoria's Secret store in Philadelphia.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

(Newser) – Victoria's Secret says it's rushing to investigate claims that it buys supplies from farms that use child labor. A Bloomberg report today described a 13-year-old girl in the West African country of Burkina Faso who faces beatings at the farm where she picks cotton. That cotton is ultimately "fashioned into Victoria's Secret underwear," according to the report. Victoria's Secret parent firm Limited Brands says cotton from the country is "used in a small portion of our Victoria's Secret panty styles," CNN reports.

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"If this allegation is true, it describes behavior that is contrary to our company's values and the code of labor and sourcing standards that we require all of our suppliers to meet," Limited said in a statement. "These standards expressly prohibit child labor." Now, the firm is "prepared to take swift action." The company says it began using Burkina Faso's cotton in 2007 in an effort to "generate life-changing opportunities for some of the world's poorest women" who live there. (Read more Victoria's Secret stories.)

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