South Asia is a region known for producing beautiful handmade rugs which are sold all over the world. What many people don't know or consider when admiring these exquisite pieces is that most of them are made by young children under exploitative and inhumane labor conditions.
This year at Dwell on Design in Los Angeles, we're looking forward to hosting a special touring exhibition called Faces of Freedom, which aims to raise awareness about child labor in the carpet industry through photographs taken in the carpet factories and weaving facilities of South Asia.
Sponsored by the RugMark Foundation, a non-profit with a mission to end exploitative child labor practices in the carpet industry of South Asia, the exhibition features the work of U. Roberto Romano, a photographer and filmmaker. He visited both carpet factories that still employ child labor and those that have been certified by Rugmark.
In addition to certifying rug manufacturers as child-labor-free, the organization also runs rehabilitation and education programs for thousands of children who have gotten away from the factories and then faced the need for schooling and reconnection with their families. The photo exhibition depicts many of these children, who are finding their way to a better life.
Be sure to check out the Faces of Freedom exhibition at Dwell on Design 09, which will run from June 26-28 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Tickets available at dwellondesign.com.