Responsible Mica Initiative Publishes 2021 Annual Report Detailing Progress in Empowering Communities and Eradicating Child Labor

PARIS–()–The Responsible Mica Initiative (RMI) is pleased to announce the publication of its 2021 Annual Report detailing the organization’s mission, milestones and key achievements over the course of the past year.

Establishing a fair, responsible and sustainable mica supply chain that is free of child labor remains the ultimate goal of RMI. Since its creation in 2017, RMI has demonstrated the efficacy of its multi-stakeholder, holistic and action-oriented approach. RMI membership has grown to 74 businesses and organizations engaged in the mica supply chain originating in communities in India’s states of Bihar and Jharkhand.

For five years, RMI has coordinated effort of individuals and institutions committed to achieving a collective vision. The impact of RMI’s presence and programs was validated by the responses of communities to the pandemic and can now be seen in mica processing units, in mica-dependent villages covered by RMI’s Community Empowerment Programs and local partners. RMI also saw that more can and will be done to build on this momentum: RMI will extend its programs to 2030 in India, beyond its initial five-year mission, and launch new initiatives in Madagascar.

In India, the heart of RMI’s strategy remains centered on three program pillars supported by multiple stakeholders ranging from local civil society organizations (CSOs) and businesses to RMI members, program partners and government officials. RMI has implemented Community Empowerment Programs (CEPs) in 130 mica-dependent villages, improving the living conditions of more than 50,000 children and adults. An external assessment confirmed the real impact the programs have had. RMI and its CSO partners continued to adapt CEPs to meet community needs that were exacerbated by the pandemic. RMI also developed and piloted a mica traceability platform designed to monitor the progress of all RMI members and to better understand their supply chains. Despite the need of authorities to focus on the pandemic, RMI pursued direct engagements with local governments and completed the design of two models for the formalization of artisanal and small-scale mines in Jharkhand that would create legal frameworks for their operation.

Building on its experience in India, RMI is excited to announce that it plans to allocate resources to address issues encountered by artisanal mica miners in the south of Madagascar. RMI has begun the process of registering in Madagascar and RMI representatives have already met with members of Madagascar’s parliament. MPs recognized RMI’s programs as a powerful resource that could be deployed in the country to address child labor and other workplace issues encountered by its mining communities.

In 2022, RMI will scale-up the implementation of the Global Workplace Standard for Mica Processors in India. This work will be supported by the India-based Manager for Workplace Standards & Sustainability who joined RMI in 2021. The CEPs will be strengthened based on the outcomes of the external impact assessment and expanded in conjunction with other organizations in the region. Two important studies will be undertaken to better understand community needs: the first will estimate the living wage of a typical mica worker in India and in Madagascar and the second will assess the distribution of added value along the mica supply chain. The engagement of government leaders with the support of local business owners will continue to promote the significant impact that a legal framework for the mica industry will have on the entire value chain. Finally, by pursuing efforts to leverage existing members and partnerships and developing new ones, RMI will be able to offer its approach as a tool for change in mica mining communities outside of India, and especially in Madagascar.

About the Responsible Mica Initiative

The Responsible Mica Initiative is a non-governmental organization created to establish a fair, responsible and sustainable mica supply chain in India by promoting responsible sourcing practices, and eradicating child labor and unacceptable working conditions. RMI members are drawn from industries associated with the mica supply chain in partnership with civil society organizations and local stakeholders. The Responsible Mica Initiative is an association, established in accordance with the French Law of 1901 concerning non-profit organizations, with its head office located in 6 rue d’Armaillé, 75017 PARIS – France.

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