It's hard to believe today, but children still toil under terrible conditions, making hand-knotted carpets that are sold in the U.S. and Europe. Contrary to popular belief, these children are employed illegally and rarely receive adequate wages for their labor. Instead, they are exploited, receiving only a fraction of the money adults would receive for the same work. Carpet manufacturers continue to employ children for this very reason; they are the main source of cheap labor. Children are incapable of forming unions, they are easily intimidated, and they can not demand decent wages.
Demand for child labor is so high that children are often sold by desperate parents. The children are then forced to work long hours, day and night, unable to attend school, and often subject to abuse and malnourishment. This perpetuates a cycle of poverty since most of these children never get the education and training needed to obtain a livable wage. Throughout their adult lives, they live on a subsistence basis and remain desperate enough to send their own children off to work, repeating the cycle.