The Girl Scouts had not responded to repeated requests from the AP for comment about the findings ahead of Tuesday’s story, which found many children working in the palm oil industry do not have access to adequate school or health care and that some never learn to read or write.
The story detailed how others live in fear of being rounded up by police and tossed in detention centers because they were born on plantations to parents who are working illegally, and how girls are vulnerable to sexual abuse.
Reporters traced child labor to the supply chain of one of the Girl Scout cookies’ bakers, Little Brownie Bakers, owned by the Italian confectionary brand Ferrero, which did not comment on the findings.
The other baker and its parent company, Canada-based Weston Foods, did not provide any details about its supply chain, citing proprietary reasons. Both said they were committed to sourcing sustainable palm oil.