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The dark side of the cosmetics industry: Child labour used to mine mica in India

In Jharkhand, one of India's poorest States, children are seen picking mica. Child labour is still one of the main sources of mica production, a mineral coveted by many industries for its alluring sparkle.
In Jharkhand, one of India's poorest States, children are seen picking mica. Child labour is still one of the main sources of mica production, a mineral coveted by many industries for its alluring sparkle. © FRANCE 24

Some 60 percent of the world's production of mica - a mineral coveted for its sparkle, especially by the cosmetics industry - originates in two of India's most impoverished states: Bihar and Jharkhand. But before mica ends up in shiny lipsticks and other make-up products, it crosses many borders, through networks of middlemen and wholesalers. This lack of traceability helps conceal a harsh reality: those who mine mica are often children who never get to attend school. Our India correspondents report.

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