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Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

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BBC Three to explore the realities of child labour

Stacey Dooley with Santi (left) and Santoshi (right), working kamlari girls in Kathmandu (image: Ricochet)

Stacey Dooley, who emerged as one of the stars of the hit BBC Three series, Blood, Sweat And T-Shirts, returns with a new two-part series exploring the issue of child labour in Nepal and the Ivory Coast.

Two years ago fashion fanatic Stacey Dooley's life took an unexpected turn when she travelled to India for the series Blood, Sweat And T-Shirts to live and work alongside the people in the Indian fashion industry making clothes for the UK High Street.

In the cramped backstreet workshops of the Mumbai slums she came face to face with child labour, and what she saw there changed her life forever.

When she returned to the UK, Stacey began campaigning against child labour, organising events to raise money for charities and even appearing on BBC Two's Newsnight to raise awareness.

Now she realises that child labour is a global issue. Across the world there are an estimated 218 million children working so Stacey is embarking on two separate journeys that will take her into the heart of the modern day phenomenon of child labour.

Danny Cohen, Controller of BBC Three, says: "These are remarkable, dramatic documentaries about how young people live in other parts of the world.

"They are presented by 22-year-old Stacey Dooley – a British girl-next-door who possesses charm and bravery in abundance."

In the first programme she heads to Nepal where tens of thousands of children are forced to leave their families, often as young as eight or nine years old, to work in factories or as domestic slaves, often in shocking conditions.

She will discover that there are no easy answers and that many of the child labourers are sold by their poverty-stricken families for an annual fee that is around the price of a goat.

Working alongside local charities, Stacey attempts to change the lives of some of the country's forgotten children who she meets along the way.

In the second programme, Stacey heads deep into the heart of the Ivory Coast where almost half of the world's cocoa, the key ingredient in chocolate, is grown. In recent years, hundreds of thousands of children have been found working in West Africa's cocoa plantations.

Her mission is to explore the extent to which children are still wielding machetes in the cocoa plantations and to find out if an ordinary British girl can make a difference.

The series was commissioned by Harry Lansdown, Commissioning Editor for BBC Three Features, Formats and Specialist Factual.

He says: "Factual on BBC Three is going from strength to strength with the channel just celebrating its highest ratings ever amongst 16-34 years with the success of the Adult season.

"This programme promises to be another impactful series that explores an important issue in an accessible way for our viewers."

The series will be made by Ricochet. The Creative Director there is Mark Rubens and the executive producer is Tim Quicke.

Tim says: "It was fantastic to be given the opportunity to make such brave a series.

"It has been exhilarating working with Stacey, a TV newcomer engaging in important global issues in such a powerful, yet accessible, way."

Notes to Editors

Statistics come from the International Labour Organisation 2009 World Day Against Child Labour report.

This year's follow up to Blood, Sweat And T-Shirts – Blood, Sweat And Takeways, which explored the human cost of food production in South East Asia – was the highest ever rating factual programme on BBC Three.


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