I just discovered an amazing organization, GoodWeave USA, whose mission is to “end child labor in the handmade rug industry and offer educational opportunities to children in South Asia”. Thanks to GoodWeave, the number of children working in the handmade rug industry is currently estimated at 250,000; this is down from 1 million in 1994. Impressive!
In January 2010, NBC’s Nightly News ran a story by Tom Snowden on child labor in the handmade rug industry. I highly recommend watching this 3:34 video where Mr. Snowden interviews GoodWeave staff, shows children working behind looms, and interviews U. , a photographer and filmmaker, who’s show, Faces of Freedom, was then on exhibit at the World Bank in Washington DC. The link here for Mr. Romano is a very interesting 2:00 audio interview conducted in June of this year.
You might wonder how you can be certain if the handmade rug you wish to purchase is fairly made? GoodWeave has a certification program, complete with a label which will appear on all rugs that they have certified as being made by adult artisans only. By asking the retailer where you shop for this label, you will be encouraging them to purchase certified rugs.
I would love to hear from you, let me know what you think of this.
Until next time…..