Ensure your rugs are ethically sourced and have been credited with the Goodweave Label.
The child workforce need someone to stand up for them. In the years since 2000, the progress in reducing child labour has been impressive, with figures dropping from 245 million to 168 million. However, with a dramatic decrease of government support, particularly from the US, this progress is now at risk of slowing. Last year, the C&A Foundation partnered with Goodweave (of which Bazaar Velvet is a proud member) and together they work tirelessly to shine a light on these issues and transform the lives of children across the globe.
Gulafsa is a former child labourer. She never finished second grade and although she is 16, until five months ago she was illiterate. This major step forward in her life can be attributed to the power of the C&A foundation. Gulafsa finally had access to education, and now takes part in classes every day at her workplace. She still works with her hands embroidering cushion covers, however the confidence and knowledge she has gained from her education 0has served her well. A perfect example of this was when Gulafsa noticed problem with her pay check. She was able to calculate the three days wages that were missing, and had felt assured she could confront her supervisor without risking her job. She says her education has made her ‘less ashamed to talk’.
So why have so many children found themselves in the workplace rather than at school? Few companies would actively ignore an instance of child labour in their factories- however many have such an unclear idea of their supply chain they’re unable to check every plant. This is a symptom of an increasing reliance on outsourcing, which is often in the form of cottage industry production. It is in facilities like this that 90% of the labourers Goodweave rehabilitates are found. Unfortunately, this issue is often combined with appallingly low wages and even debt bondage. Therefore, helping companies reach a stage of complete supply chain transparency is a priority for non-government organisations.
Gradually, the labour rights movement are placing more trust in the private sector to facilitate change themselves. Companies are investing their money into comprehensive research of their supply chains so that they can finally see the whole picture. This is a huge task for the big players, but the C&A foundation have partnered with Target, Macy’s, Restoration Hardware and many more, to ensure this task is carried out with maximum success. Unethical working practices are brought to light and acted upon, and in turn consumers feel reassured to buy the goods they produce.
There is no doubt therefore, that the work of charities such as Goodweave and the C&A foundation is more important than ever. We hope, that like Bazaar Velvet, more and more companies will be able to certify their products as Child Labour Free, and that soon our world will be free of child labour forever.
Image and information source – GoodWeave
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