Rugmark is a global program, operated by Rugmark International. Its primary goal is to end illegal child labor in the manufacturing of oriental rugs. Its secondary goal is to educate the children they rescue, so they may become functional adults. It operates in three countries: India (starting in 1994), Nepal (starting in 1995), and Pakistan (starting in 1999). The program as a whole grew out of a consumer awareness campaign in Germany in 1990.

The way it works:

A manufacturer of oriental rugs agrees to not use illegal child labor (usually in the form of slave labor, I'm assuming), and to unannounced inspections by Rugmark inspectors. In exchange, they earn the right to place the Rugmark emblem on their product. Each of these rugs is individually numbered, so it can be traced to the specific loom that it comes from, insuring that counterfeits will be found out.

Currently, Rugmark exports to North America and Europe. For more information, and a picture of their emblem, you can go to their website, at www.rugmark.org.

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