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Demonstrators at Primark ahead of Panorama documentary

A handful of campaigners gathered outside Primark’s London Oxford Street flagship this morning to demonstrate against the chain’s alleged use of child labour.

The 10 or so campaigners from the anti-poverty charity War on Want turned out to make their views known ahead of tonight’s BBC Panorama exposé programme about Primark and its suppliers which airs at 9pm on BBC One.

Last week Primark axed three of its Indian suppliers for sub- contracting embroidery work to groups using child labour after it received information from the BBC documentary makers.

A Primark spokesman said: “The newspapers were talking about hundreds of people demonstrating outside of Primark, but it just didn’t happen.”

The demonstration was over by 10.30am this morning and Simon McRae a senior campaigner at War on Want said: “It was a bit early for the shoppers but there were 10 or so demonstrators and a good media turnout. It is part of an ongoing campaign on the back of the BBC investigation.”

Readers' comments (4)

  • The manufacturing process for highly embellished product in India invariably involves home workers - despite many years of experience in this region I have yet to see bulk production of sequin embellishment work on factory site. Factories sub-contract to individuals who control the home worker networks regionally. The villages, often remote, will not be accessible to QA staff however diligent or intrepid they may be (which will certainly be less diligent or intrepid than TV journalists looking for a good story).
    Workers are paid by piece - increasing domestic output through the labours of their children is an inevitable consequence of their poverty. Taking the work away is NOT the answer.

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  • Here we we go again ! What were the protesters wearing ? Nobody can honestly exploite child poverty and no buyer would ever buy from a factory knowingly . They have done the correct thing but what happens to the workers in the factory now ?
    Why do they not go to the more premium brands who buy in China ,India etc and then sell in the retail making a huge profit.
    Nobody forces the public to buy in the shops .This has been going on since the begining of time and will continue. Sorry but you have a choice!

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  • Here we we go again ! What were the protesters wearing ? Nobody can honestly exploite child poverty and no buyer would ever buy from a factory knowingly . They have done the correct thing but what happens to the workers in the factory now ?
    Why do they not go to the more premium brands who buy in China ,India etc and then sell in the retail making a huge profit.
    Nobody forces the public to buy in the shops .This has been going on since the begining of time and will continue. Sorry but you have a choice!

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  • Yes of course it is almost impossible for retailers to "stay ethical" when their manufacturers are cutting corners off their own free-will. But the question remains WHY do they cut these corners? Some will be due to straight forward greed from the supplier, but a lot of it is from the extreme pressure placed on the suppliers by the retailers. Take the factory named and shamed last night - the owner admitted to making 2 million pieces for Primark - he will have had to create an infrastructure which will disintegrate without Primark's business. Sourcing cheaper and cheaper is creating a lot of these problems, even if it is not the retailers intention or desire to use child labour.

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