It is a challenge to make a decent living in the impoverished south of Madagascar. Mica mining is one of very few options for people to earn a low but relatively steady source of income. Mica is mined by families - parents and children together - who suffer in harsh, unhealthy and unsafe working conditions and may earn just enough to afford one meal a day.
Recent reports indicate that an estimated 10,000 children work in the mica sector in the southern region of Madagascar, including in constructing mines, extracting and sorting mica, and hoisting loads of mica out of mines. Young girls are also vulnerable to sexual exploitation around mica mining sites. Children in the mining sector suffer from respiratory problems and diseases such as diarrhoea and malaria and are at risk of injury from collapsing mines.
The rights of many children in the mining communities are violated. They go to work from a young age on an empty stomach in unsafe conditions and do not have the chance to go to school, play or rest.
Terre des Hommes Netherlands (TdH-NL), UNICEF the Netherlands, UNICEF Madagascar and the company VDL are working on implementing a project, financed by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency´s (RVO) Fund Against Child Labour, to contribute to the Elimination of Child Labour in Madagascar’s Mica Sector.
We ensure that children are taken out of the mines and have access to quality education or life skills training. We ensure that families in mica communities receive a fair income through alternative and additional income-generating activities and financial literacy training. We ensure supply chain actors are transparent and responsible by mapping the relevant stakeholders, building a database for mica activities and training upstream private sector.
We advocate to national institutions to expand the social and child protection systems to mica mining areas, which will make families less dependent on child labour for survival.
Join our fight. Let us work towards eradicating child labour in Madgascar’s mica mines.
Together with experienced partners we are working towards a world without child exploitation, where young people can feel safe today and better about tomorrow. Join our fight.