Mining mica: can the industry overturn its legacy of exploitation?

By Heidi Vella

Eight-year-old Frederic works morning or afternoon shifts, depending on his school schedule, sorting mica alongside his elder brother. His hands are marked by traces, wounds and scars caused by the repetitive task of removing the calcite.

Thirteen-year-old Felicia, who has never attended school, works Monday to Sunday for a sorting company. The money she earns helps support her mother and eight siblings, but is having a negative impact on her health.

These are just two stories of child labour in the illegal mica mining sector of Madagascar detailed by a new report by NGOs Terre des Hommes and SOMO.

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