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Corporate News


RE: Harvard Report:
[International]  Tainted carpet: slavery and child labor in India’s handmade carpet sector
January 31, 2014

IKEA is committed to ensuring that all its products are made under good working conditions and we have a clear ban on forced and bonded labor and child labor. We could not agree more on the importance of ensuring that there is no child labor and that the rights of workers are respected across the entire carpet industry. We do not currently source hand knotted and hand tufted from India, which are mentioned in the report. For the carpets we do source from India, we buy from four suppliers and work closely with them to ensure our strict requirements are met. All four suppliers were audited in the past year and were approved to our code of conduct IWAY. IWAY contains strict requirements on labor rights, working conditions and environmental protection, including a complete ban on forced and bonded labor and child labor.

IKEA has been sourcing from India for 26 years and is committed to responsible sourcing. We source handmade carpets from four suppliers in India, but we do not currently source hand knotted and hand tufted carpets from the country. We work very closely with suppliers to ensure that all our products are produced under good working and environmental conditions. IKEA does not accept child labor and works actively to prevent it.

The comprehensive report focuses on a very important topic. IKEA could not agree more on the importance of ensuring that there is no child labor in the carpet industry, the rights of workers are respected and that there are no inhumane or unsafe working environments.

IKEA sources handmade carpets from the Bhadohi region of Uttar Pradesh in North India. We are proud that together with our suppliers, we have been able to ensure good working conditions, fair wages and improved production processes in carpet production.

In 2004 we began consolidating carpet production in India from a number of smaller production units. Today we work with just four suppliers making handmade carpets in India. These suppliers receive regular un-announced audits by IKEA auditors and third party auditors to check compliance with our code of conduct, IWAY. 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. It includes a complete ban on forced and bonded labour and child labour and explains how we will always act in the best interests of children. We require all our home furnishing suppliers to be approved according to our code of conduct or they are phased out of our supply chain.

We are also working to tackle the root causes of child labor. Since 1994, IKEA Group and the IKEA Foundation have been working with organizations like UNICEF and Save the Children to fight the root causes of child labour and promote a better quality of life for communities in India. The projects supported by the IKEA Foundation tackle issues such as poverty, lack of schools and trained teachers and inadequate healthcare systems. Read more at www.ikeafoundation.org