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Resource ID: #28670
Subject: Child Labor
Source: Staff
Affiliation: NBC News
Date: 2019-11-18



Child labor in Madagascar supports and propels an international mica industry reliant on the work of some of the world’s most vulnerable, poor, and isolated people. NBC News’ investigation revealed thousands of children mine, sort, and split mica in Madagascar, which supplies overwhelming demand from China, where over 90 percent of the country’s mica ends up. Once in China, mica becomes a key element of finished electronic parts like batteries, capacitors, engines, wires, and insulating materials that are bought by companies manufacturing complex machinery, including airplanes, trains, and cars. The opaqueness of mica’s supply chain has made it challenging for companies to fully scrutinize their suppliers’ sources. Given that mica is not currently listed by the Department of Labor as being mined by children in Madagascar, and no formal enforcement mechanism exists, many companies are not motivated to examine the origins of the components they purchase and assemble.

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