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India: Report released on prevalence of slavery & child labour in India's hand made carpet sector

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19 February 2014

[PDF] Written Questions European Parliament to the European Commission about the report 'Tainted Carpets - Slavery and Child Labor in India's Hand-Made Carpet Sector'

Author: MEPs Peter van Dalen and Dennis de Jong

Are you willing to examine the involvement of carpet importers and sellers – active in the European market – in slavery and child labour in the Indian carpet industry, including the companies IKEA and Wal-Mart who are listed in the report? What measures will you take to ensure that Indian carpets sold in the European market are made without slavery and child labour?...Are you willing to urge the Indian government to take effective action against slavery and child labour in the carpet industry and to undertake joint activities against these abuses? Can European companies that are affiliated with labels like Goodweave, Rugmark and/or the Care & Fair initiative of the European carpet industry demonstrate with reasonable certainty that their carpets from India have not been made by slaves or children? Are you willing to engage with European trade associations representing carpet importers and/or sellers of Indian carpets to discuss the need to take action against slavery and child labour in the production of the Indian carpets that they are buying or selling?

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11 February 2014

[PDF] Parliamentary Questions by members Gesthuizen (Socialist Par ty), Van Laar (Labour Party), Thieme (Party for the Animals) and Voordewind (Chri stianUnion) to the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation on maj or abuses in the...

Author: Gesthuizen (Socialist Party), Van Laar (Labour Party), Thieme (Party for the Animals), Voordewind (Chri stianUnion)

What is your response to the report "Tainted Carpets - Slavery and Child Labor in India's Hand-Made Carpet Sector" which highlight that in the handmade carpet industry in India major abuses such as child labour and forced labour are commonplace?...Are you willing to examine possible direct or indirect involvement of Dutch companies, including importers and sellers, in slavery, exploitation and child labour in the Indian carpet industry?...Are you willing to contact Dutch trade associations representing the carpet importers and/or etailers of Indian carpets? Do you intend to discuss with them the need for action against slavery, exploitation and child labour in the production process?...Are you willing to discuss this subject with the Indian government, if possible taking into account the Dutch-Indian Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on corporate social responsibility? What other activities do you take together with India against child labour and other violations of labour rights in the framework of this MoU?

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5 February 2014

Your Beautiful Indian Rug Was Probably Made By Child Labor

Author: Megha Bahree, Forbes (USA)

Retailers, when contacted, said they were strictly against all forms of child labor and would look into the issues raised in the report...Crate and Barrel is deeply concerned about these allegations. We take them very seriously as they involve a direct violation of our code of conduct and do not support our company values. We are actively investigating these claims...IKEA has been sourcing from India for 26 years and is committed to responsible sourcing...The four carpet suppliers we work with in India were all audited during the past year and were approved according to IWAY. IWAY includes strict requirements on labour rights, working conditions, safety and environmental protection...Williams-Sonoma Inc. has zero tolerance for human trafficking, child or forced labor in our global supply chains...When we learned of the report, we immediately assembled a high-level task force to review the possibility of any of these conditions existing within our rug vendor base...Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s will not tolerate human trafficking and slavery in our supply chain. We will quickly investigate any such situations, and take swift and decisive action against any supplier for non-compliance with our policies and standards, resulting in possible termination of the business relationship...Neiman Marcus Group does not import rugs for resale...Target has always held itself — and our partners — accountable to the highest standards of ethical business practices.

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28 January 2014

Press release: Largest-ever First-hand Investigation Into Slavery And Child Labor Finds Forced Labor Prevalent In India’s Hand-Made Carpet Sector [India]

Author: François-Xavier Bagnoud (FXB) Center for Health and Human Rights, Harvard University

The report – titled “Tainted Carpets: Slavery and Child Labor in India’s Hand-Made Carpet Sector” – explores well beyond the traditional “Carpet Belt” region of Uttar Pradesh to cover nine states in northern India where production sites belonging to 172 different carpet exporters have been found to practice various forms of illegal forced labor. Key findings of the report…contradict claims that slavery and child labor have been eliminated from the sector…the working conditions uncovered were nothing short of subhuman…major carpet exporters who were found to be using slave-like labor will be contacted and invited to collaborate with the FXB Center in an effort to eradicate these practices.

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28 January 2014

Tainted Carpets: Slavery and Child Labor in India’s Hand-Made Carpet Sector [India]

Author: Siddharth Kara

The Summary Findings of the research…3,215 cases of forced labor under Indian law…2,612 cases of forced labor under international law…2,010 cases of bonded labor…1,406 cases of child labor…286 cases of human trafficking …Production sites of 172 Indian carpet exporters documented…Average hourly wage for carpet workers of $0.21 1…Chronic underpayment of minimum wages by 40% to 65%...Women and children paid 12% to 32% less than adult males…99.9% of cases belong to minority ethnicities or low caste groups.

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