Improve Conditions for All Workers

Addressing child labor effectively requires more than simply prohibiting the practice as a matter of law, policy or standard. One important part of the equation is ensuring that adult workers are better compensated and better treated within their workplaces.

A Better Workplace for Everyone

Compliance with the GoodWeave Standard signifies an employer’s agreement not to use forced or bonded labor of any kind, regardless of the worker’s age. Debt-bondage—like low wages and poor workplace conditions—typically leads to the kind of desperation within worker communities that allows child labor to flourish. By engaging directly with these issues, we’re improving the lives and salaries of workers while simultaneously helping businesses retain their employees. This approach ultimately weakens the economic rationale for child labor in the first place.

GoodWeave’s Certification Standard stipulates the primary requirements for a licensed exporter’s certification:

–        No child labor is allowed,

–        No forced or bonded labor is allowed, and

–        Work conditions are both documented and verifiable.

In addition to these, the Progress Principles are designed:

To encourage

–        Freedom of association,

–        Collective bargaining power and decent working conditions.

And to discourage

–        Workplace discrimination,

–        Negative environmental impacts.

In future revisions of the GoodWeave Standard, these Progress Principles will be elevated to the status of Certification Principles, as producers demonstrate their increased ability to meet them. In the meantime, a special business-to-business incentive program recognizes those companies that are already in compliance, matching them with buyers who have requested the names and profiles of our “top tier” producers.

Building Skills, Building Lives

We are also improving working conditions—and supporting businesses—by implementing workforce training programs, such as our Weaving Opportunities vocational training program. Initiatives like this one have been shown to increase worker retention rates and minimize the need for child labor to fill the seats of looms vacated by adults. The Weaving Opportunities program is geared toward poor women from vulnerable communities, providing them with a marketable skill that can help lift their families out of poverty.