Since its creation in 2017, RMI has demonstrated to communities and stakeholders engaged with the mica supply chain that incremental systemic choices can be decisive in accelerating the eradication of child labor and poor working conditions, core components of RMI’s vision. RMI membership has grown to 82 businesses and organizations engaged in the mica supply chain originating in communities in India and Madagascar.
For six years, RMI has coordinated effort of individuals and institutions committed to achieving a collective vision. Upstream of mica supply chains in India, the impact of RMI’s presence and programs is now visible in 180 mica-dependent villages and in mica processing units. In Madagascar, RMI first steps are promising. Downstream, RMI member workstreams fulfill a range of human rights and related due diligence expectations related to current and anticipated legal requirements. Along the entire value chain, the deployment of a landmark blockchain-based traceability platform enables RMI and its members to closely monitor the sustainability performance of all actors involved.
In India, the continuous engagement of the RMI team along with the Jharkhand Mining and Geology Department has led to the publication of a long awaited “Dhibra Policy,” creating an opportunity for a sweeping and positive transformation of the mica ecosystem in the region. Over the year, RMI support of mica processors in Jharkhand also scaled up with the development of an extensive set of both on site and e-training modules. Five third-party audits at processors were conducted with the close support of the RMI team on the ground. RMI has added 50 villages under its Community Empowerment Programs, reaching 180 villages and improving the living conditions of more than 91,000 children and adults. In its first full year in Madagascar, RMI focused its efforts on developing a deep understanding of the context related to mica mining. A team is now active in Fort Dauphin, directly in contact with key stakeholders of the mica supply chain. Already, two exporters have joined RMI and a few more have also shown great interest in implementing responsible workplace practices on their premises.
Looking ahead to 2023 …
RMI will publish the results of a two landmark reports commissioned to help remove barriers toward the payment of a living income to mica workers whether employed in mica collection or at processing units. Building on the recent progress demonstrated by Jharkhand government, RMI will continue to provide expertise and support to help implement a model for the formalization of mica picking and related supply chains in the state which will include the creation of cooperatives for mica pickers. The launch of a pilot project in Madagascar will enable RMI to develop a customized strategy in Madagascar to address mica related issues in the country and demonstrate the efficacy of RMI’s holistic approach. In tandem with these developments, RMI will continue its efforts to leverage existing members and partnerships and develop new ones which will remain a vital resource for change in mica mining communities.