RMI embraces the new Terre des Hommes report on child labor in Madagascar’s mica sector. The report shines a light on working conditions in Madagascar and complements two previous studies by Terre des Hommes on child labor and broader working conditions in the mica sectors in India and around the world. The research examines conditions in Madagascar as well as the supply chain for mica that leads to China for processing and then to multiple intermediate and end-market customers. Researchers found entire families in Madagascar employed in mica quarries and processing facilities in three regions in the underdeveloped south. The percentage of children between the ages of 5-17 that work with mica varies between 56 and 62 percent. The researchers conservatively estimate that the total number of mica workers to be 22,000, at least half of whom are minors.
Today, and reflecting the composition of our membership, the focus of RMI remains on India where we are committed to continue to work with the government, businesses and civil society organizations to promote responsible working conditions and eradicate child labor by the end of 2022. To reach our goal RMI invites all businesses and organizations involved in the mica supply chain to join regardless of whether the mica is sourced in India or other markets. Looking ahead, if our membership expands to include members that source mica from countries other than India and our financial resources expand, RMI would welcome the opportunity to leverage our experience from India and explore ways to apply our innovative model in other countries.