MSIF funding boost for GoodWeave
The anti-child and forced labour rug labelling scheme has received a major funding boost from the Modern Slavery Innovation Fund.
The NGO is to receive about £600,000 over the next two years from MSIF enabling it to roll-out its operations into new product sectors. MSIF was set up following the introduction of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, and is specifically to help pay for projects to stop child slavery in factories supplying products to this country and work to identify and disrupt key human trafficking routes to the UK used by organised crime gangs.
GoodWeave has made major in-roads into reducing child labour by 80% in the South Asian rug industry since its inception 1995.
The International Labour Organisation estimates there are 168million children and 21million forced labourers. Standard corporate compliance and auditing programmes fail to help the vast majority of victims, because their reach remains within factories. Meanwhile, the most exploited workers are virtually invisible at the bottom of the chain in difficult-to-trace locations, including cottage industries and home workers. This situation is typical of the handmade rug sector in India and Nepal, where GoodWeave already operates. The grant will allow GoodWeave to fast-track developments into other manufacturing sectors in India and Nepal and help more UK companies establish a real-time map of their supply chains, from factories right down to home-workers.
GoodWeave’s first aim is to expand engagement with leading UK companies and brands in the rug, embellished clothing, home textiles and jewellery sectors, and spearhead the setting up of accurate mapping of their supply chains, right down to home-workers. This will highlight where child and forced labour exists amongst their existing producers and subcontractors.
It also wants to advance the adoption of the GoodWeave labelling scheme amongst producers in India and Nepal and encourage the roll-out of the scheme into new consumer goods sectors, either under the GoodWeave umbrella organisation or as an industry specific scheme.
Its third aim is to introduce a digital platform to collate and present the results of audits and inspections to GoodWeave partners, and so provide timely, confidential and accurate information. This real-time window will allow speedy analysis and decision-making by UK based staff.
‘The power of our model comes from partnering with business to reach bottom-tier workers who are ordinarily hidden from sight. More than 90% of the children we rescue are identified in cottage industry settings. The MSIF funding will enable us to reach into more supply chains and implement programs to protect children and adults from forms of modern slavery,’ said Nina Smith, GoodWeave ceo.