Rihanna's Fenty Beauty accused of using child labor in India

Rihanna's cosmetics brand faces allegations of using mica derived from child labor

TOPSHOT - Singer/actress Rihanna attends the World Premiere of OCEANS 8 June 5, 2018 in New York. - OCEANS 8 will be released nationwide on June 8, 2018. (Photo by ANGELA WEISS / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)
(Image credit: ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

A complaint has been filed against Rihanna’s cosmetics brand, Fenty Beauty, for its alleged use of mica derived from child labor in India. 

Vinya Joshi, of the activist organization Legal Rights Observatory, filed the complaint to seek an investigation from the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) on the source of Fenty Beauty’s mica. 

Joshi’s statement alleges Rihanna’s company uses child labor to extract ‘blood mica’ from mines in Jharkhand, one of India’s poorest regions. 

The NGO’s representative claims that Fenty Beauty does not have the correct certification to prove it does not use child labor in the production of its products. 

The makeup company recently revealed that it does not carry out audits of its suppliers, but instead, “expects its direct product suppliers to adhere to and to implement, our Supplier’s Code of Conduct, which addresses working conditions for suppliers and specifically prohibits the use of involuntary or forced labor, human trafficking, child labor, and harassment and abuse.” 

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Children working on a mica mine in Jharkhand, India

(Image credit: DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP via Getty Images)

India is one of the world’s largest producers of mica, a mineral often used to add shimmer and color to makeup. Unfortunately, about 70% of the country’s mica mines are unregulated by the government. It is estimated that 22,000 children are employed in the industry, working for as little as 20 to 30 rupees a day, or 29 to 42 US cents, in extremely hazardous conditions. 

The spotlight on Fenty Beauty came just days after the Barbadian singer voiced support for Indian farmers' protests against new agricultural laws. Rihanna brought worldwide attention to the cause with just one Tweet, rallying both praise and criticism for weighing in on the issue. 

Joshi is now calling for Rihanna’s business to face some scrutiny, requesting the NCPCR to carry out a full investigation into the source of Fenty Beauty’s mica and to take the appropriate legal measures if the allegations are found to be true. 

Fenty Beauty has not yet responded to woman&home's request for a statement. 

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.