CARPET FACTORY IN MARRAKESH, MOROCCO
Photograph by YANN ARTHUS BERTRAND
Photographer’s Description: Like Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria, Morocco is a major carpet production centre. These carpets are traditionally woven with wool, a symbol of protection and joy, sometimes combined with silk, cotton or camel or goat hair. The colours and patterns are typical of the regions where the carpets are made and it is in the High Atlas, up against where Marrakesh is situated, that the shades are warmest.
The workforce is mainly feminine but also includes children. Child labour was declared a national cause in Morocco where 600 000 children younger than 14 are forced to work and deprived of education. In the world, 352 million children aged between 5 and 14 work. Over 246 million of them work illegally and almost 171 million work in dangerous conditions. 61% of these children are exploited in Asia, 30% in Africa and 7% in Latin America. Labels which guarantee that the consumer is purchasing a product that was not made by a child are starting to appear on certain products but they are still rare.