Child Labor Quick Facts

  • The International Labour Organization estimates that 215 million children ages 5-17 are engaged in child labor (ILO, Accelerating action against child labour, 2010).
  • An estimated 12 percent of children in India ages 5-14 are engaged in child labor activities, including carpet production (UNICEF, State of the World’s Children 2010).
  • Approximately six out of ten slaves in the world are bonded laborers in South Asia (Siddharth Kara, Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery, 2008)
  • It would cost $760 billion over a 20-year period to end child labor. The estimated benefit in terms of better education and health is about six times that—over $4 trillion in economies where child laborers are found (ILO, Investing in Every Child, 2003).
  • Some children are forced to weave up to 18 hours a day, often never leaving the confines of the factory or loom shed.
  • Children trafficked into one form of labor may be later sold into another, as with girls from rural Nepal, who are recruited to work in carpet factories but are then trafficked into the sex industry over the border in India (ILO/IPEC, Helping Hands or Shackled Lives? Understanding Child Domestic Labour and Responses to It, 2004).
  • Experts estimate that child labor on South Asia’s carpet looms has dropped from 1 million to 250,000 since the launch of GoodWeave in 1995.

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Children's Stories

At the age of five, Manju was already working on the rug looms. While she has since been found and freed from carpet work, some 250,000 children throughout South Asia still toil in obscurity. Through GoodWeave nearly 3,600 kids like Manju have been rescued, rehabilitated and educated, and thousands more deterred from entering the workforce.

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Stand with Sanju

Stand with Sanju film still

About the Organization

GoodWeave works to end child labor in the carpet industry by certifying child-labor-free rugs and by providing education and opportunities to rescued and at-risk children. Learn More »