If enough people decide to buy one rug over another because it was made without child labor, then retailers and importers will demand only child-labor-free rugs from their manufacturers in producing countries. This is GoodWeave’s theory of change. There will be a snowball effect, a “tipping point” in the market: businesses will sign with GoodWeave, because they need to stay competitive and because they recognize the need to address child labor. In other words, GoodWeave will reduce the demand for rugs made with child labor and replace it with demand for certified child-labor-free rugs.
GoodWeave’s six-country network, operating in both producer (India, Nepal and Afghanistan) and consumer countries (U.S., U.K. and Germany) fulfills its mission through:
- Standard-setting – GoodWeave International establishes the standard behind the certification label. The current standard’s core requirement is no child labor. Recognizing that child labor is a complex issue and cannot be addressed in isolation, GoodWeave has developed an expanded standard that includes related labor and environmental criteria to be introduced between 2012-2013.
- Monitoring and Certification – Local inspectors visit licensed manufacturers on a surprise, random basis. Companies that join GoodWeave and meet its strict no-child-labor standard are issued unique, traceable certification labels for their carpets.
- Rehabilitation and Education to Child Laborers – GoodWeave inspectors rescue child laborers who are offered rehabilitation, education, vocational training and (eventually) job placement. Children are reunited with their families when possible. Through GoodWeave more than 3,600 kids have been rescued, rehabilitated and educated, and thousands more deterred from entering the workforce.
- Child Labor Prevention – GoodWeave takes several direct actions to prevent child labor, from awareness work at all levels of producer communities, including the provision of daycare and early childhood education for the children of carpet weavers and school sponsorship for children at-risk of working.
- Market Promotion and Expansion – GoodWeave offices in the U.S. and Europe implement consumer awareness campaigns and recruit importers and retailers to carry products certified child-labor-free with the GoodWeave label.
- International Governance and Accountability – A representative council from producer and consumer countries governs the international network. Stakeholder committees lead the development of standards and certification.
GoodWeave believes that ultimately industry should pay for its own regulation and was set up as a self-financing model. Importers and exporters who use the GoodWeave label on their rugs pay license fees totaling 1.25 to 2 percent of the export value of shipments. The majority of these fees help to fund social programs in South Asia, while the balance is invested in building awareness among consumers and developing a marketplace in which child-labor-free certification is demanded and available.