The broad aims of the new international standard are as follows:
- To end illegal child labor in the handmade rug industry and offer educational opportunities to children;
- To address the root causes of child labor by promoting other fundamental human rights in the workplace and creating a positive impact on rug workers lives, working conditions and the industry as a whole;
- To ensure there are changes in the community, particularly the reduction of child labor and an increase in access to children’s education;
- To provide a coherent and consistent standard that may be applied across all rug producing countries, and takes account of different production methods;
- To facilitate transparent monitoring and verification of working conditions and environmental impacts in rug producing countries; and
- To provide an independent assurance (label) for rug consumers worldwide.
The new standard’s objectives of ending child labor in the carpet industry and addressing the root causes of child labor described above are supported by seven principles. These principles cover child labor, related working conditions and the rights of young people and adult workers, environmental protection and transparency, and complement other similar improvement standards.
- Principle 1 – No child labor is allowed
- Principle 2 – No forced or bonded labor is allowed
- Principle 3 – Freedom of association and collective bargaining are recognized
- Principle 4 – No discrimination is practiced
- Principle 5 – Decent working conditions are respected
- a) Workplace safety and health
- b) Wages
- c) Working hours
- d) No harsh or inhumane treatment
- Principle 6 – Negative environmental impacts of production are identified and minimized
- Principle 7 – Business processes are transparent and adhere to local regulations
These principles are supported by detailed requirements at two levels:
Core Requirements – These are minimum entry level requirements that producers must meet in order to become licensed. These are the aspects of the standard, which are regarded as fundamental to achieving its objectives and to the credibility of the GoodWeave certification program.
Progress Requirements – These are requirements representing the areas of the standard, which are evolutionary and will be implemented over time. Producers must demonstrate efforts towards long-term improvement according to an action plan based on the capabilities and circumstances of individual producers and sites to ensure that producers improve at an achievable, progressive pace. The standard thus encourages all producers to work towards continuous improvement in inter-related areas of worker and environmental protection that support GoodWeave’s mission to end child labor.
The standard also includes principle clarifications, which are statements of intent linking each principle to the related core and progressive requirements.