Volkswagen India has taken a call to cut ties with some of its paint suppliers following an investigation by the Thompson Reuters Foundation which found them to be employing child labour. During the three-month long investigation in Bihar, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh, it was found that seven children had died. The kids were being made to work in illegal mines to extract mica. This mineral is used in car paint as it adds an attractive shine.
This investigation by the Thompson Reuters Foundation along with a similar industry study by Terre des Hommes, a human rights group, made Volkswagen India conduct an enquiry into how its paint suppliers in the country were sourcing mica.
According to a Reuters report, the carmaker's paint suppliers are considering setting-up of an 'industry and multi-stakeholder platform' to address the issue. Leslie Bothge, a VW spokeswoman, has told Reuters that the suppliers are trying to avoid child labour in the entire mica supply chain.
Bothge said that finding sustainable solutions is not an easy task and will take some time. She stated the the company's Tier-1 and Tier-2 suppliers are adopting measures to ensure that the mica sourced by them is from legal mines which do not employ child labour.