New research has revealed that the continued use of mica within cosmetics could be inadvertently linking the Canadian beauty market with child labor problems, according to the report the Hidden Cost of Beauty, released on World Vision.

There is said to be a high risk of child labor in the country’s multi-billion dollar cosmetics market, with the report stressing the need for legislative action and other realistic solutions to address the issue within Canada.

While it is thought many Canadians are unaware of the risks posed by the mining of mica, the practice is alleged to be one of the worst forms of child labor and human suffering with over a quarter of the world’s mica coming from illegal mining in India. There are said to be up to 22,000 children working in dangerous conditions in the country.

Michael Messenger, President and CEO, World Vision Canada, said, “Child labour is a global problem, but it’s also a Canadian problem. Billions of dollars of beauty and other products that have a high risk of being made by children are imported into our country every day. There is a clear opportunity for the Canadian government to address our country’s link to child labour by introducing supply chain transparency legislation. The UK and other jurisdictions have brought in new laws, it’s time for Canada to be a leader on this issue too.”

According to the report, $798.2 million (CAD) in Canadian imports of common make-up products are at risk of having child labor in their supply chains (eye, lip and face make-up and nail preparations), while other at risk products containing mica include sunscreen, deodorant/antiperspirant, toothpaste and dental care, and shampoo.