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Prevalence and Conditions (PC) Study in India

In 2007, ICF conducted quantitative and qualitative research for OCFT on child trafficking and child labor in India, as part of the three-country Study entitled: "Research on Children Working in the Carpet Industry of India, Nepal, and Pakistan." Data collection for this study was conducted between 2009 and 2011. The study researched the prevalence of working children and child labor in the production process of the export-oriented handmade carpet industry in India and included wool-processing activities (supplying the yarn) as well as carpet production and finishing. The study focused on children, defined as persons younger than 18 years of age.

The Study methodology included preliminary qualitative research, development of a national sampling frame, and a large-scale cross-sectional sample survey of factory-based and household-based production. Given the depth and complexity of subcontracting relationships in India, the factory-based sampling frame was sub-divided into Level 1 factories (owned and operated by a carpet exporter) and Level 2 factories (owned and operated by a manufacturer or processor who was not an exporter but produced for the export market). The study included systematic observation of children working in the Level 2 factories in addition to interviews.

The survey estimated that 7,449 factories and 128,268 households were engaged in India's carpet industry, employing a total of 273,897 workers in the 12 months preceding the survey, of whom 13,131 (4.8 percent) were children. More than half (53.7 percent) of the child carpet workers were girls and almost all (94.2 percent) the children working in the carpet industry in India were working in households. Nearly all (98.8 percent) the children working in households and two-thirds (64.5 percent) of the children working in carpet factories were living with their parents.

India's 1986 Child Labour - Prohibition and Regulation Act identified carpet weaving, hand-looming, and wool processing as hazardous occupations. The Study estimated that all (100 percent) children working in the carpet industry in India showed indications of being engaged in hazardous work based on international standards. In addition, all children (100 percent) reported being exposed to some hazardous agent or process and three-fourths (74.5 percent) showed indications of working excessive hours.