your beautiful indian rug was probably made by child labor
According to a new study from the University of atHarvard, The fxb Center for Health and Human Rights, Indian carpets are likely to be woven by children and often by slave labor.
Pollution carpet: slavery and child labor in India --
In more than 3,200 cases in nine states of India, hundreds of cases of forced labor, bonded labor, child labor and human trafficking were found in carpet factories run by exporters, they shipped the carpets to some of the largest retail stores in the United States. S.
The report, written by Siddhartha Kara, a part-time faculty at Harvard University, records the supply chain of contaminated carpets from production to U. S. retail outlets.
According to this report, some retailers selling carpets from these exporters and importers include demi West, Bloomingdale, Neiman Marcus, Target, Williams-
Including Sonoma, Pottery and Ikea.
When contacted by retailers, they said they were strictly opposed to all forms of child labor and would investigate the issues raised in the report. (
You can read their detailed reply below. )
Child labor is an old problem in India and I found this out when I reported on the topic for Forbes in 2008.
I traveled from cotton fields in Monsanto, Andhra Pradesh, southern India, to slums in Delhi, to sandstone quarries in Rajasthan, to carpet belts near Varanasi
Everywhere, I meet hard-working children, picking cotton buds, putting sparkling stones on photo frames and pen frames, cutting stones on pebbles and paving stones, and weaving carpets.
Some people are only five or six years old, while others have spent adolescence in these jobs, living in extreme poverty, often away from their families.
So while this is nothing new, it is worrying that child labor is still so prevalent in India, despite adequate scrutiny.
India\'s carpet industry has traditionally been concentrated in cities such as bhadohi, Mirzapur and Varanasi in the eastern south of the most populous northern states, as well as the poorest states.
Although cases of child labor in these areas have decreased, this practice has not ended after years of review.
Instead, it has moved to other cities, about three, hundreds of kilometers away --
The urban areas of shahaha Hanpu, badahan and hadoye. An eight-
Members of the research group led by Kara found that child labor was rampant in the region and had been present for a long time, almost entirely in rural Muslim villages.
The vast majority of children who do carpetwear are women, unlike other countries where weavers are usually young boys.
\"The slavery and child labor of carpet weaving have reached an alarming level, which seems to be the norm for new carpet belts in and around the region,\" the report said . \".
The researchers found that the entire Muslim village was severely affected by weaving carpets in rural areas around the cities of shahajahanpur, Morena, central state, and gualiur in Uttar Pradesh.
The average wage for Muslims is also $1. 8-58hourworkday--or $0. 20 an hour--
Followed by the lowest caste of Hindus, the price is $1. 65 or $0. 21 an hour.
Kara\'s team also found cases in which families sold their children to contractors in exchange for work at the carpet factory.
Then, before a parent is promised some income from the child\'s Labor, the child has to pay about $40 in advance.
However, it is reported that in all cases, these children are subsequently charged for living areas, food and water, medicines and are deducted for errors at work.
Children are usually paid $0. 11 an hour--
It is alleged that they are still making advances.
Some or all of these salaries are ostensibly sent to parents, the report said, but there is no way to confirm whether this is indeed the case.
The average advance payment for the bonded labor on record is $85 and the maximum advance payment is $150, usually for wedding expenses.
In all cases, the workers reported that they could not leave the carpet
Until they were told that their debt had been repaid, most had little knowledge of how much debt they had left.
According to the report, bonded labor reports that their actions and alternative employment are subject to strict restrictions, long hours of work, inadequate food and medical care for injuries, and face even if they are sick or injured
Kara\'s team conducted the study in nine states, covering 95% areas of hand-woven carpet.
The survey found that at least 45% workers in India
The carpet industry is subject to forced labor under Indian law;
According to international law, about 37% people have been subjected to forced labor;
About 28% kilometers from bonded labor;
About 20% per cent of child labor;
About 4% per cent of human trafficking.
As the carpet industry in India employs about 2 million employees, Kara believes that there are about 400,000 forced workers and about child labor in this labor force.
The researchers found that many children work, eat and sleep in small houses in the countryside, rarely (if any) go out for a few weeks or months, and are often subjected to verbal and physical abuse.
What does the company say (
Their reply has been edited for clarity and brevity)
Crates and barrels: \"crates and barrels are deeply concerned about these allegations.
We take them very seriously because they directly violate our code of conduct and do not support the values of our company.
We are actively investigating these allegations and have contacted the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University.
We are also conducting an internal audit of all our suppliers in India.
Ikea: \"Ikea has been purchasing from India for 26 years and is committed to responsible procurement.
We purchase hand woven carpets from four suppliers in India, but we do not currently purchase any hand knotted or hand tufted carpets from India.
Today, we only work with four suppliers who produce hand woven carpets in India.
These suppliers receive them regularly
Ikea auditors and third-party auditors have announced and announced audits to check compliance with our code of conduct IWAY.
All four carpet suppliers we worked with in India have been audited over the past year and approved under IWAY.
IWAY has strict requirements on labor rights, working conditions, safety and environmental protection.
It includes a comprehensive ban on forced labor and mortgage labor and child labor, and explains how we will always act for the best interests of children.
We require approval of all our home suppliers in accordance with our code of conduct, otherwise they will step out of our supply chain.
Williams Sonoma company
: \"The situation described in the report is very worrying, intolerable, and in conflict with our corporate values. Williams-Sonoma Inc.
We have zero tolerance for human trafficking, children or forced labor in the global supply chain.
We strive to select the right suppliers and ensure that they comply with a strict set of standards, ethics and practices.
We have an ongoing approach to audit our factory on a regular basis.
When we learned about the report, we immediately organized
The level task force reviews the possibility of any of these conditions present within our carpet supplier base.
The first step we took was to send our global compliance team to India for additional audits of our carpet factories.
So far, we have not found any evidence that our factory is involved in these practices.
We will continue to engage with our suppliers on this issue. \"Macy\'s Inc.
: \"Macy\'s and Bloomingdale won\'t tolerate human trafficking and slavery in our supply chain.
We will promptly investigate any such situation and
Compliance with our policies and standards leads to possible termination of business relationships.
We are aware of the report published by the Harvard FXB Center for Health and Human Rights and are ready to investigate any specific allegations of carpets provided to us concerning slavery or human trafficking chains in supply.
Please note that most of the carpets sold by our company are machinesmade --not hand-made.
It should also be noted that Macy\'s is the only national retailer in the United States. S.
Offers a range of hand made
GoodWeave is an international organization dedicated to ensuring that there is no child labor in hand-made carpets in Nepal and India.
Neiman Marcus Group: \"Neiman Marcus Group does not import carpets for resale.
Kara of Harvard University did not agree, saying: \"We can confirm that Neiman Marcussells sells carpets made in India that are linked to some of the major importers and exporters we have recorded, they used, to varying degrees, the practices described in the reports in the five types of exploitation Labor.
\"Goal:\" Always stick to yourself--
Responsible for the highest standards of ethical business conduct.
As stated in our supplier engagement standards, we will not deliberately work with any company that does not meet our ethical standards.