Joint Campaign to Increase Child-Labor-Free Carpet Production in Nepal Launched at DOMOTEX 2017May 12, 2017
January 21, 2017
Washington, DC – International carpet brands, Nepalese carpet producers, trade officials, and supporters of ethical business came together in the GoodWeave® booth at DOMOTEX on January 14th to launch a campaign to incentivize greater commitment to child-labor-free production in Nepal’s carpet supply chains. A joint effort by UNICEF in Nepal, the Trade and Export Promotion Centre of Nepal and GoodWeave, this year-long campaign will work to secure government incentives for businesses that produce child-labor-free carpets.
The reception at DOMOTEX offered an opportunity for leading importers, exporters and trade officials to share why ethical production matters to companies, consumers, and Nepal’s future as the global leader in child-labor-free carpet production.
Erika Kurtz of New Moon Rugs noted, “It’s not expensive to do things responsibly and in the right way and it doesn’t take a lot of added efforts. For anybody not to be on board to make sure that no children are involved and that good working conditions are made available, it’s just unfortunate.”
Vidal Sasson of Rug Art shared his impressions of meeting former “carpet kids” when he visited Hamro Ghar, GoodWeave’s transit center in Kathmandu: “I was lucky enough a few years back to visit [Hamro Gahr] and the stories that the children told me really touched my heart. I know that we are doing a good job protecting those kids, and I try to help promote GoodWeave save more.”
Dawa Sherpa of Classic Custom Rugs highlighted GoodWeave’s role in helping to rebuild the carpet industry following the 2015 earthquakes that devastated the country, while also emphasizing that the unique artistry of Nepal’s carpet industry that “is not for mass production. It is specialty, custom production.”
GoodWeave will contact industry partners to share ideas for incentives that would facilitate or improve their business within Nepal. Supporters of ethical business or Nepalese carpets can contact GoodWeave to help review and comment on policy documents, participate in roundtables, and help promote the campaign on social media. All participation inquiries can be sent to Kate Francis at Kate@GoodWeave.org.
With an eye towards inspiring change in global supply chains and making Nepal the global leader in child-labor-free production, GoodWeave and its partners will seek to demonstrate how cooperation between business and government can support children as well as the bottom line.
About GoodWeave: Founded in 1995, GoodWeave is ending child labor by harnessing the power of the marketplace. The organization works at both ends of the supply chain – growing market preference for certified product in consumer countries and inspecting production sites along South Asia’s carpet belt. Any child found working is offered counseling, medical care, education and (if needed) a home – social programs supported by the sale of certified rugs. To date, GoodWeave has directly freed more than 3,600 children from labor on the looms, educated nearly 15,000 children, and improved the working conditions for 50,000 weavers in partnership with 140 import brands worldwide. On its 20th anniversary, GoodWeave announced a major expansion to bring its model to Nepal’s brick kilns and India’s apparel industry.
About UNICEF: UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org