GEOTECH member of the Responsible Mica Initiative
In response to the Dutch TV program ‘Bodem in zicht’ in which GEOTECH has cooperated, broadcasted on March 19th 2020 on NPO3, we would like to provide you with additional information about the Responsible Mica Initiative.
The Responsible Mica Initiative is focused on the establishment of a responsible and sustainable mica supply chain in India that is free of child labor by 2022. GEOTECH is a member of this very important initiative that is determined to address the multiple underlying causes of child labor and create a long term solution. Now-a-days we notice that consumers and producers fear the use of natural mica in their supply chain and sometimes even ban it. GEOTECH’s opinion is that this is not a solution because banning mica doesn’t address the underlying causes of child labor causing it to appear elsewhere.
The world’s largest source of mica is India. Mica is a mineral that is being used in a wide range of industries. Mica can be found in cosmetic products, paints, car polishes, laptops, cell phones, almost every household equipment and many more applications. The east states of Bihar and Jharkhand is where mica is mined extensively and where a variety of factors contribute to poor working conditions including the use of child labor. The region is poor and families face financial pressure to bring their children with them to collect mica. The mica workforce lives in villages that are largely dependent on mica and offer little access to education, health care and government services. The region and the mica industry, in particular, lacks enforcement of laws and regulations which are needed to provide enforceable oversight of the industry. There is no mechanism to incentivize the adoption of workplace and labor standards or to prevent illegally mined mica from entering the global mica supply chain.
To address the multiple underlying causes of child labor such as poor working conditions, the Responsible Mica Initiative takes a holistic approach by implementing three program pillars simultaneously. Each program relies on close collaboration amongst partners and stakeholders.
Besides its membership in the Responsible Mica Initiative, GEOTECH aims to inform its customers about the strict no child labor policy. GEOTECH does not tolerate the use of child or forces labor in any of its facilities. GEOTECH will not tolerate the exploitation of children, their engagement in unacceptably hazardous work, and the physical punishment, abuse, or involuntary servitude of any worker. GEOTECH expects their suppliers and contractors with whom they do business with to uphold the same standards. Should a pattern of violation of these principles become known to GEOTECH and not be corrected, they will discontinue the business relationship.