In September, ILO News reported that the inventor of a new “ergonomic” loom – designed to help reduce the use of child labor in the carpet weaving sector by improving the working conditions and incomes of adult weavers – received the 2005 Tech Museum Prize for “pioneering work that benefits society through the use or development of new technologies.”
Award recipient, Mr. Saeed Awan, Director of the Centre for the Improvement of Working Conditions and Environment (CIWCE) in Lahore, Pakistan, says he conceived the idea for an ergonomically designed loom during a risk assessment of the working conditions of child laborers in the carpet industry. During the assessment, done on behalf of the International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labor (IPEC) of the International Labor Office (ILO), Mr. Awan found that carpet weavers suffer from major health problems due to poor, archaic loom design.
Compassion – the Mother of Invention
ILO News reports that 30 homes and workplaces have already received the new ergonomic looms in three districts in Pakistan, “resulting in major health improvements for adult carpet weavers.”
“The real winners of the award” said Mr. Awan, “are the millions of carpet weavers. I hope that this loom will be adopted throughout the country and reduce child labor.”
Benefits Beyond Injury Prevention
ILO News also reported that IPEC has used this method to encourage families to send their children to school instead of working. To date, ILO-IPEC, with the financial support of carpet manufacturers and the US Department of Labor (USDOL), has reportedly rehabilitated around 26,000 working children in this sector.
Sources: Noticias.info; ILO News