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April 16, 2014

Child labour behind international cosmetics brands

New report from DanWatch

12 out of 16 international cosmetic companies cannot exclude that child labour is behind their products

The hammer hits the shimmering wall in the mines very accurate. The mineral that falls off in flakes is called mica, and it is used for glitter in natural cosmetics. The hand that holds the hammer, belongs to the 7 year old Karulal Bansi. He works five days a week, 7-8 hours a day for 30 cents an hour in one of the illegal mines in the northeastern Indian state Jharkhand.

The 7-year old boy is one of estimated 5000 children, that extracts mica from illegal mining in the states Jharkhand and Bihar. Illegal mica, which cosmetic companies cannot or will not deny, will end up in their products in the European market. Through several intermediaries, that buy mica from both legal and illegal mines in India, the mica is sold to exporters with international customers as L’Oreal and Estée Lauder.

In a new report from DanWatch, Who suffers for beauty – The child labour behind make-up’s glitter, 16 companies behind 20 cosmetic brands are examined. 12 cannot or will not due to competitive reasons, disclose, where they buy the natural ingredient, mica, for their make-up. But research by DanWatch in Jharkhand and Bihar shows strong ties between two of the region’s biggest buyers of mica and several of the world’s biggest makeup brands.

“The export of mica from India is eight times higher than the official production of mica in India, which shows with all clarity that illegal mica, which often involves children down to five years of age, is a significant problem in India. This report confirms that the companies does not provide the consumers a clear picture of their supply chain”, says director of DanWatch, Eva Hesse Lundström.

An estimated 5000 children are unofficially working in the illegal mines in Jharkhand and Bihar, says the Indian child rights foundation Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA). According to UN Child Conventions, it’s illegal for children under 14 years to work with mica extraction or in mining in general.

Read the full report Who Suffers For Beauty – The child labour behind make-up’s glitter: .

Image of the cover of the report: .

See photographs here: --[soon]-- .

Watch videoclip here:

Contact: Director, DanWatch, Eva Hesse Lundström, m: 0045 51 77 81 80.
Editor in Chief, DanWatch, Louise Voller, m: 0045 2784 8139.

DanWatch is an independent research centre and a journalistic corporate watchdog that sets up new agendas by investigating and publishing the consequences of investments, trade, purchasing and production in foreign countries by Danish and multinational companies and brings CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) into focus by covering nature and the environment.

Landelijke India Werkgroep - April 16, 2014