Today, June 12, is World Day Against Child Labour.
160 million children around the world are currently involved in child labour, some being as young as 5.
The theme for this year is "Universal Social Protection to End Child Labour". According to a recent ILO/UNICEF report, increasing social protection and making the process of receiving benefits more accessible are key to ending child labour. Social protection in the form of cash benefits helps families deal with sudden financial or health issues, and results in reduced child labour and improved school attendance, the report shows.
The report also calls on governments to ensure social protection covers all life stages by providing child and family benefits, maternity and unemployment benefits, old-age pensions, and health protection.
"There are many reasons to invest in universal social protection but eliminating child labour has to be one of the most compelling."
- Guy Ryder, International Labour Organization (ILO) Director-General
While the UN is calling on governments to invest in greater social protection, not-for-profit organisation GoodWeave International are doing amazing work on the ground in India and Nepal, rescuing children from factories and providing them with education opportunities. Since the organisation began in 1994, the Goodweave team have rescued 8981 children from situations of child labour, provided 44,423 children with access to schooling, and have deterred hundreds of thousands of children from entering situations of work. Originally focusing on child labour in South Asia's carpet industry, GoodWeave have broadened their focus to address the apparel, home textiles, jewellery, brick, and tea industries.
When Hem Moktan was 13 years old he was found working in a carpet factory in Kathmandu. After being rescued by a GoodWeave inspector, he went on to receive an education at the GoodWeave transit home. Hem describes the time he was rescued from the factory as "the happiest moment of my life".
Today, Hem works as a GoodWeave Child Development Officer in Nepal, where he supports and protects other children who have been caught up in child labour. Watch the video below to hear his story.
GoodWeave have developed the GoodWeave label to help consumers buy products with confidence knowing they are guaranteed to be free from child, forced and bonded labour. The label signals to customers that the rug was made ethically, and that the manufacturer is committed to children’s welfare, worker’s rights and strengthened worker communities.
When manufacturers and exporters become licensed with GoodWeave, they agree to receive random, unannounced inspections from the GoodWeave team.
Look for rugs with the GoodWeave Label (above) to ensure the rug you're buying is free from child and forced labour
You can read the complete details of the GoodWeave Standard here.
Oh Happy Home
Oh Happy Home (formerly Happy as Larry) are an Australian rug and homewares brand who are licensed with GoodWeave International. They were proudly one of the first rug businesses in Australia to become GoodWeave accredited.
Made in India and Nepal, all Oh Happy Home homewares are made with transparency, from the yarn making to the weaving to the final washing and cutting. All rugs and cushions are made in small weaving runs in order to keep the weavers in work throughout the entire year.
As a licensed brand of GoodWeave you can be assured that Oh Happy Home products has been ethically made, and a portion of the funds are used to rescue and educate children found in the carpet industry.
Watch the video below to learn more about the Oh Happy Home makers and the rug-making process.
Shop Oh Happy Home rugs and cushions here.