The Dark Secret Behind Your Favorite Makeup Products | Shady
On this episode of The Dark Secret Behind Your Favorite Makeup Products | Shady, our host, Lexy Lebsack explores the unethically sourced ingredient that’s in almost all makeup products. She travels to the mica mines in India to uncover the truth about child labor rings behind this mineral. Watch Shady to see what really goes into making your makeup!
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ABOUT SERIES Shady is the side of the beauty world you haven’t seen. Hosted by Refinery29 Senior Beauty Editor, Lexy Lebsack, the series swivels between the unexpected and uplifting, dives deep into the dark underbelly of beauty, gives a voice to those trampled by this quickly growing industry, and questions what it’s all worth. From counterfeit makeup to skin trafficking for cosmetic procedures, we go there.
Child labour in India and rest of the world, during 2003 in 10–18 age group, per World Bank with an estimated 11%, is in green with 10-20% incidence levels, along with countries in red (30%–40%) and brown and black (40%-100%).
In 2011 the national census of India found the total no. of child labourers, aged 5–14, to be at 10.1 million (), and the total to be 259.64 million in that age group. The child labour problem is not unique to India; worldwide, about 217 million children work, many full-time.
As per the Child and Adolescent Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986, amended in 2016 (“CLPR Act”), a “Child” is defined as any person below the age of 14, and the CLPR Act prohibits employment of a Child in any employment including as a domestic help. It is a cognizable criminal offence to employ a Child for any work. Children between age of 14 and 18 are defined as “Adolescent” and the law allows Adolescent to be employed except in the listed hazardous occupation and processes which include mining, inflammable substance and explosives related work and any other hazardous process as per the Factories Act, 1948. In 2001, an estimated 1% of all child workers, or about 120,000 children in India were in a hazardous job. Notably, the Constitution of India prohibits child labour in hazardous industries (but not in non-hazardous industries) as a Fundamental Right under Article 24. UNICEF estimates that India with its larger population, has the highest number of labourers in the world under 14 years of age, while sub-Saharan African countries have the highest percentage of children who are deployed as child labourers. The International Labour Organization estimates that agriculture, at 60 percent, is the largest employer of child labour in the world, while the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates 70% of child labour is deployed in agriculture and related activities. Outside of agriculture, child labour is observed in almost all informal sectors of the Indian economy.
Companies including Gap, Primark, Monsanto have been criticised for child labour in their products. The companies claim they have strict policies against selling products made by underage children, but there are many links in a supply chain making it difficult to oversee them all. In 2011, after three years of Primark’s effort, BBC acknowledged that its award-winning investigative journalism report of Indian child labour use by Primark was a fake. The BBC apologised to Primark, to Indian suppliers and all its viewers. Another company that has come under much scrutiny was Nike. Nike was under pressure to speak up about alleged sweatshops that harbored children that the company was exploiting to make their sneakers. Since then Nike has come out with a separate web page that specifically points out where they get their products from and where their products are manufactured.
In December 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor and India figured among 74 countries where a significant incidence of critical working conditions has been observed. Unlike any other country[clarification needed], 23 goods were attributed to India, the majority of which are produced by child labour in the manufacturing sector.
In addition to the constitutional prohibition of hazardous child labour, various laws in India, such as the Juvenile Justice (care and protection) of Children Act-2000, and the Child Labour (Prohibition and Abolition) Act-1986 provide a basis in law to identify, prosecute and stop child labour in India.
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