India: Child labour reported in mica supply chains, companies insist their suppliers follow good practices

Lalita is among hundreds of children who help their families make ends meet by spending their day collecting mica. The mica adds glitter to powders, mascara and lipsticks of top global brands although a complex supply chain makes pinning down the exact origin almost impossible. The families of the children who collect the mica often sell it to small traders who in turn sell it to big suppliers. Major companies insist their suppliers follow good practices. 

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Company response
18 October 2015

Revlon's statement

Author: Revlon

Our main suppliers, including BASF and MERCK, have confirmed that our mica material is sourced from gated mines, and confirmed their compliance with our terms of engagement forbidding the use of child labor in their extended supply chain.

Article
11 October 2015

Children labour to bring sparkle to make-up

Author: AFP

The mica adds glitter to powders, mascara and lipsticks of top global brands although a complex supply chain makes pinning down the exact origin almost impossible, say activists....The families of the children who collect the mica often sell it to small traders who in turn sell it to big suppliers...In 2009, German pharma giant Merck was accused of using mica mined by children and supplying it to brands such as L'Oreal and Revlon...Merck has since implemented several measures to make sure that "all mica used for the manufacture of our pigments comes from child labour free sources," the company said in a statement....Activists however say remote areas make monitoring impossible and there is no way to guarantee the mica is child-labour free...Merck, our main supplier in India, only sources mica from legal gated mines and has submitted proof that its entire supply chain is secured," a spokeswoman for L'Oreal said in an email to AFP...Cosmetic giants such as Estee Lauder and Chanel have recently joined a scheme to help fund the education of children going back to schools. 

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