Faces of Freedom at the Miami International Airport

Nov 19th, 2009 through Apr 2010

Faces of Freedom: Behind the Looms, a photography exhibition documenting efforts to end child labor in South Asia’s carpet industry is on display at Miami International Airport’s South Terminal Art Gallery beginning Thursday, November 19th through April 2010. The collection of photos, developed by the Washington, DC-based organization RugMark USA in conjunction with award-winning photographer U. Roberto Romano, takes you behind the looms and inside the lives of “carpet kids” – children illegally employed to weave carpets in India, Nepal and Pakistan.    

The exhibition also features a breath-taking selection of child-labor-free, hand-spun, hand-carded and hand-knotted Himalayan wool carpets by Odegard, a leader in contemporary carpet design with showrooms across the U.S., to include Miami. RugMark, an international nonprofit organization working to end child labor and offer educational opportunities to children in South Asia, assures that the carpets are child-labor-free through its GoodWeave™ certification.

An estimated 250,000 children in South Asia continue to work in inhumane conditions portrayed in these photos. Children aged four to 14 are kidnapped or sold into debt, bondage or forced labor, where they suffer a myriad of physical and mental abuses. The GoodWeave certification program works to end exploitative child labor by inspecting weaving looms and providing rehabilitation and education for former child weavers. Experts estimate that child labor in South Asia’s carpet looms has dropped by two-thirds since the launch of RugMark in 1994.

Miami International Airport
South Terminal Art Gallery
4200 NW 21st Street
Miami, Fl 33122

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