Case Study On Child Labour
This page presents all relevant good practice case studies that showcase how business have addressed the Child labour dilemma. Case studies have been developed in close collaboration with a range of multi-national companies and relevant government, inter-governmental and civil society stakeholders. We also draw on public domain sources, including the UN Global Compact's own published Communications on Progress through which signatories are required to report on their performance against the Ten Principles.
The case studies explore the specific dilemmas and challenges faced by each organisation, good practice actions they have taken to resolve them and the results of such action. We reference challenges as well as achievements and invite you to submit commentary and suggestions through the Forum.
IN-DEPTH(Print seperately)IKEA: Child education issues and UN partnership *
IN-DEPTH(Print seperately)Starbucks: Child education issues - Guatemala *
IN-DEPTH(Print seperately)Singer: Child labour issues - Bangladesh *
IN-DEPTH(Print seperately)Monsanto and Bayer: Child labour issues - India *
IN-DEPTH(Print seperately)ILO, UNICEF et al.: Combating child labour in football production – Pakistan
Social Fora for Banana/Flowers Production: Promoting social dialogue – Ecuador
Established in 2003, the Social Forum for the Banana Production Sector was created after reports by Human Rights Watch on child labour and obstacles to freedom of association in Ecuador. A tri-partite initiative, the Forum promotes social dialogue. In May 2004, the Forum produced a Banana Sector Plan on the elimination of child labour. In 2002, the Flower Forum was created in Ecuador to foster social dialogue with leaders from the government, companies and trade unions. The Flower Forum seeks to get children out of hazardous work, such as applying pesticides, and into non-hazardous aspects of flower production.
ECLT: Bringing tobacco stakeholders together – Global
Supported by the ILO, the Elimination of Child Labour in Tobacco Foundation (ECLT) brings together tobacco companies, the International Union of Food and agricultural workers, trade unions and the International Tobacco Growers Association. The Foundation produces independent research, funds local community-based projects and shares best practice. The members of the ECLT include companies, such as Altria, British American Tobacco, Imperial Tobacco, Japan Tobacco and Philip Morris. This is a multi-stakeholder initiative which also includes the International Tobacco Growers Association and the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurants, Caterers and Tobacco Workers Federation.
Abrinq: Label for child-friendly companies – Brazil
A Brazilian Foundation, Abrinq works to promote the rights of children and adolescents up to the age of 18. In 1995, Abrinq created a child-friendly label to be put on products denoting that a company is promoting the rights of children. Abrinq has been active in combating child labour in several supply chains, including orange juice, coal, sugar and tobacco. The Foundation has facilitated the establishment of social pacts between key players in the industry which ban the use of child labour.
RugMark International: Label for carpets made without child labour – India, Nepal
RugMark is an international NGO which works to end child labour in the carpet industry in India and Nepal. RugMark has developed a label known as “Good Weave” which is affixed to rugs made without child labour. RugMark works to rehabilitate children found in the carpet industry. Thus far, it has freed 3,000 children working in the carpet industry and provided them with access to education facilities, including literacy programmes, schooling, day care and vocational training.
FWF: Enhancing working conditions in supplier factories – EU, Global
The Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) works to promote good labour conditions in the supply chain for sewn textiles. The FWF has developed a Code of Labour Practices which includes a prohibition on the use of child labour. The Code references ILO Conventions 138 and 182. FWF provides a mechanism for verification for European companies. Each year, the FWF reviews the workplan of its members to ensure that they are implementing the FWF Code of Labour Practices. The FWF has also developed a complaints mechanism to address workplace grievances.
IFC: Anti-child labour policy – Global
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, issued a policy statement on forced labour and harmful child labour in 1998. Under this policy, the “IFC will not support projects that use Forced or Harmful Child Labour as defined by the ILO Convention No. 29, article 2. The IFC will incorporate the necessary provisions in its contractual documents to implement this policy.” The policy was issued in March 1998. Interim guidance on implementation issues for addressing harmful child labour was made available in July 1999.
BSCI: Enhancing social conditions among retailers – EU, Global
The BSCI is the broadest business-driven initiative for increasing social compliance in the supply chain. A membership organisation, BSCI has developed the BSCI Code which addresses a wide range of supply chain issues, including a prohibition on child labour. Members adopt the BSCI Code internally and require their suppliers to come into compliance. BSCI provides capacity building in the form of training and technical assistance. It relies on external monitoring to ensure conformance to the BSCI Code. As of October 2009, there are 381 brands and retailers participating in the BSCI.
Made-By Initiative: Label for fashion companies on social concerns – EU, Global
Headquartered in Amsterdam, Made-By is a shadow label used by a wide range of fashion companies in Europe to promote garments made in socially responsible factories and with organic raw materials. Made-By companies receive technical support to implement sustainable practices in the supply chain. Factories in China, Peru, Benin, Zambia and Senegal are benefiting from the programme. The Made-By Initiative benefits from the expertise of Solidaridad, a Dutch development organisation striving for poverty alleviation, which developed the initiative. Participating companies receive a score card, which shows the percentage of a collection that was produced by certified suppliers and the amount of organic cotton used in the collection.
Obeetee: Eliminating child labour in the carpet sector – India
A leading Indian manufacturer and exporter of rugs, Obeetee launched an awareness campaign to raise awareness about child labour in 1986. Obeetee does not buy products made by children. Obeetee established 21 depots to centralise production and to avoid weaving in the home where child labour often takes place. When announcing the no child labour policy, the company took the unusual step of paying suppliers more, so as to allow them to train adults to do the work. Suppliers who use child labour are blacklisted. Carpets made without child labour are labelled through the Kaleen label, a programme run through the Carpet Export Promotion Council of India.
Muramati: Working with an NGO to combat harmful child labour – Kenya
A Kenyan exporter of tea, Muramati collaborates with the Child Welfare Society of Kenya (CWSK) to raise awareness about harmful child labour. The CWSK receives support from the ILO and IPEC to combat child labour by providing education to children. Muramati works with the CWSK by financing student loans and by finding jobs for workers once they have been through the training programme run by the CWSK.
ICI: Changing the way cocoa is grown – Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire
Founded in 2002, the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI) is a partnership of NGOs, trade unions, brands, and cocoa processors who work to address child labour through a range of programmes, including: working at the national level to build the capacity of ministries, working at the regional level, supporting social programmes and promoting radio and other media programmes that raise awareness about the consequences of child labour.
Cadbury: Enhancing the sustainability of cocoa farmers – Global
In partnership with the UN Development Programme, local governments, farmers, and communities, Cadbury, a large British multinational in the confectionary sector, has established a partnership to enhance the sustainability of one million cocoa farmers in Ghana, India, Indonesia and the Caribbean. In this 10 year programme, £45 million will be invested to improve the income levels of farmers and build partnerships. The partnership is active in 100 communities in Ghana, where the initiative is constructing new school buildings and forming youth clubs.
IKEA: Combating child labour in the supply chain – South Asia
In addition to having KPMG conduct unannounced site visits of all suppliers and subcontractors in South Asia, IKEA, a large retailer, has hired a Children’s Ombudsmen to oversee all aspects of its work with children. IKEA holds workshops for suppliers on a wide range of issues, including child labour. According to its code of conduct, ‘The IKEA Way of Preventing Child Labour’, IKEA requires all suppliers to maintain a registry of all workers and to include their date of birth. IKEA is also partnering with UNICEF to combat child labour in the carpet-producing area of India, Uttar Pradesh. The IKEA-UNICEF partnership seeks to address the root causes of child labour, including poverty and indebtedness. IKEA has helped to establish 1,600 women’s self help groups, reaching 22,000 women. In these groups, women learn about the rights of children, health and nutrition, saving money and starting up small businesses in order to eliminate debts. As a result of the project, more than 80,000 children have enrolled in schools in 500 villages.
H&M: Providing opportunities for children through a partnership with UNICEF – India
H&M, a large clothing retailer, and UNICEF have launched a five-year initiative to focus on the rights of children in cotton-producing regions of Southern India. H&M has donated US$45 million to rehabilitate child workers by providing them with educational opportunities and access to better health care and nutrition. H&M will also sell bags and then provide a share of the profits to the programme.
Marks & Spencer: Plan A and child labour - Global
Under its pillar on ‘fair partner’, M&S has committed to a number of ethical trade and labour standard commitments, which assists in the elimination of child labour within its supply chain. By the 2009/10, the company (1) extended its use of Fairtrade certified products and purchased approximately a third of the world’s Fairtrade cotton, (2) increased Fairtrade food sales by 55% from 2006/7 and sold 7.9 million Fairtrade cotton garments and (3) assisted its suppliers to develop six ethical model factories to identify and share best practice. Factories will be extended in 2012.
GSCP: Efficient ethical supply-chain management through peer cooperation – Global
The Global Social Compliance Programme (GSCP) was formed because “the proliferation of codes, audit duplication and divergence of approach is causing inefficiency and slowing improvement within the supply chain”. It provides a global, cross?sector platform to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and best practice to “build comparability and transparency between existing social compliance and environmental compliance systems.” The GSCP is based on three key pillars:
· Development of a set of reference tools to describe existing best practice – and to “provide a common interpretation of fair labour and environmental requirements and their implementation”. This is with the aim of enabling mutual recognition between existing programmes using these tools as a ‘benchmark’ through the GSCP equivalence process
· The building of comparability between different systems – and the facilitation of data sharing between different databases
· Collaborative approaches towards capacity building
The GSCP currently has 39 members, including Adidas Group, Chiquita, Gap Inc., S.C. Johnson, Hasbro, Timberland and Walmart. In addition, the GSCP’s advisory board includes representatives from UNI?Commerce, FGTA?FO, the International Federation for Human Rights, ICCR (SRI), the Global Partnerships Forum and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
IKEA Foundation: Giving children a route out of child labour – Pakistan
The IKEA Foundation works in partnership with Save the Children and UNICEF to prevent child labour – donating €8 million up until the start of 2013 and pledging a further €9 million. Its efforts are focused on cotton-growing areas in Pakistan – including root causes behind child labour – and include projects focused on:
- Providing access to education
- Engaging families, farmers and communities around attitudes towards child labour
- Facilitating efforts by families to find other sources of income
The Foundation estimates that by 2017, partnership projects should benefit more than 4 million children. The Foundation cites the example of one child who has already benefited; a 13 year old girl called Palwasha, whose family used to beg for a living in Pakistan. Save the Children used funding from the Foundation to establish community groups and children’s clubs in her local village – and these helped convince Palwasha’s parents that sending her to school was in her best interest.
Kraft: Minimum age requirements for suppliers – Global
Kraft Foods institutes a three-step process towards supplier management. This is based on: (1) Supplier selection and analysis (including an assessment of their code of conducts and reputation – as well as their ability to deliver); (2) Corporate responsibility in supplier contracts (including the development of contracts that incorporate corporate responsibility provisions – including those relating to forced and child labour, for example; and (3) Assessing corporate responsibility through AIM-PROGESS, Program for Responsible Sourcing (an industry initiative that allows a supplier to provide common information relating to corporate responsibility to its customers – allowing such customers to make independent business decisions on the basis of that information). At the time of writing, Kraft Foods was rolling out AIM-PROGRESS to its suppliers and business partners – a process that is likely to take several years.
Kraft Foods imposes a number of conditions on suppliers, including those relating to child labour. Suppliers are required to not use (directly or indirectly through subcontractors) anyone under the age of 18 unless legal, necessary and the following criteria are met:
· Suppliers comply with national law or ILO Convention 138 – whichever imposes the higher minimum age. Convention 138 cites minimum employment age as the local mandatory schooling age – but not less than 15 years of age (14 in some developing countries) – subject to mandated exceptions
· Employees working on the manufacture or packaging of Kraft’s products, serving as temporary Kraft employees or working in Kraft facilities must be at least 15
· Suppliers demonstrate that the employment of such individuals “does not expose them to undue physical risks that can harm physical, mental, or emotional development.”
Apple: Facilitation of age-responsible hiring practices by suppliers – China
In 2012, Apple marked the third year of operation of its Prevention of Underage Labor training programme – aimed at helping its suppliers identify and prevent underage labour. During 2012, it provided training to 84 suppliers in China that were located in provinces that represent a high risk of child labour. The training addresses effective age verification methods, as well as the steps to be taken if underage employees are identified during auditing. It also introduced a guidebook to assist with the verification of legal identification documents and the assessment of the recruitment practices of third-party labour agents. Following training, the selected suppliers assess their internal and external child labour risks – and create action plans to address any concerns. These are then reviewed by Apple. Where necessary, suppliers are assisted in the implementation of their action plans by industry consultants. In addition, higher risk suppliers are given the names of labour agents that have been associated with child labour – as well as guidance as to how to work with labour agents, including advice around:
- Ensuring the labour agents have all necessary licences and permits
- Conducting regular audits of labour agents’ recruitment practices
- Reporting violations, both to Apple and to the local authorities
Apple: Transparent reporting/effective action on child labour amongst subcontractors – China
In its Supplier Responsibility 2013 Progress Report, Apple notes that during 2012, it found no cases of underage labour at any of its final assembly suppliers. Nonetheless, it notes that “dishonest third-party labor agents conspire to corrupt the system”. In an example of transparent reporting, it cites the example of an audit of supplier Guangdong Real Faith Pingzhou Electronics Co., Ltd. (PZ) in January 2012, during which it identified 74 cases of workers under the age of 16 – in violation of Apple’s Code of Conduct. The contract was terminated.
In addition, Apple notes that one of the region’s largest labour agencies – Shenzhen Quanshun Human Resources Co., Ltd. (Quanshun) – knowingly provided children to PZ. This reportedly included collusion with families to forge relevant identification documents to give the impression children were older than they were. Apple informed the provincial government of these practices – and Quanshun was subsequently fined and had its licence suspended.
Meanwhile, Apple cites two further outcomes from the episode:
The affected children were returned to their families – and Quanshun “was required to pay expenses to facilitate their successful return”
The company that subcontracted its work to PZ was prompted by Apple’s findings to audit its other subcontractors for underage labour – widening the positive impact of the discovery
Hewlett Packard: Eliminating student and temporary labour from supply chain - China
Electronics manufacturer Hewlett Packard (HP) has begun imposing limits on the number of students and temporary workers that may be employed in its Chinese factories. Its company policy now states that during peak production periods, students and temporary workers should not comprise more than 20% of the workforce. According to HP, this will eventually be reduced to 10%. However, no official timeframe for this reduction has been released. Students and temporary workers are frequently hired during periods of high productivity, when factories need to fulfil rush orders. They are often subjected to long working hours and low wages. HP’s new supplier code stipulates that all work must be voluntary, and that students and temporary workers must be given access to grievance mechanisms. An HP Spokesperson stated that training sessions for suppliers and workshops for government officials, NGOs and academics, would be held in March 2013.
Vodafone: Partnering with the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) to improve healthcare for children - Africa
In December 2012, Vodafone and GAVI initiated a partnership project to improve the supply of vaccinations to children in Africa through the use of mobile technology. Vodafone and GAVI both invested US$1.5 million to assess the situation and to prepare an action plan for improvement of the provision of healthcare, in particular the access to vaccines and immunisation for children in Africa. One of the goals of the partnership is to improve communication between health workers, vaccination providers and patients through the use of mobile phones. The first stage of the programme will be tested in Mozambique. The work in Mozambique will be based on the experiences of implementing a similar programme in Tanzania, where 5,000 hospitals used Vodafone’s mobile management system to record and track the provision of health care, such as supply of vaccines and to organise deliveries. In addition, Vodafone has secured a further US$55 million in investment to support GAVI’s goal to immunise 250 million children and prevent four million deaths in areas of poor governance by 2015.
Supply Management News
Vodafone to cover Africa
UNICEF: Provincial Child Labour Survey - Pakistan
In December 2015, UNICEF collaborated with the Punjab Labour & Human Resource Department in Pakistan by giving Rs50 million (US$ 481.9 million) in funding towards the Provincial Child Labour Survey. The previous child labour survey was conducted in 1996, since which there has been a huge increase in the number of industrial and commercial businesses operating. As a result of the outdated child labour survey and an increase in industry, the Punjab government initiated the provincial level survey in order to obtain accurate facts and figures about child labour occurring in the province. UNICEF will provide financial and technical assistance to the project which will help to curb child labour in the region.
Swedwatch: Kimberley Process no longer sufficient to guarantee diamonds are free of child labour – Democratic Republic of Congo
In December 2016, Swedwatch published the results of an investigation into child labour in diamond mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and weakness of the Kimberley Process. The report examines how children in the DRC, which is the world’s third-largest diamond producer, are affected by conditions in small-scale mine sites. The report finds that diamond supply chains are tainted with child labour, including child sexual exploitation.
The report also addresses company corporate responsibility in relation to children’s rights in the diamond supply chain. Swedwatch’s survey of Swedish diamond importers and jewellery companies indicates that implementation of voluntary human rights due diligence standards is low.
Swedwatch concludes that the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS), the only diamond certification certification scheme, is no longer effective and requires restructuring or replacement. Swedwatch argue that the definition of ‘unethical’ diamonds used by the KPCS, which focuses on the relationship between diamonds and conflict, no longer reflects the reality of human rights abuse occurring in most diamond-producing countries.
Swedwatch encourages companies associated with diamond supply chains to:
· Make public commitments to respect human rights and children’s rights, and to establish adequate systems to identify, prevent and address abuses
· Actively urge the Kimberley Process and the World Diamond Council to adopt the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
· Work not just with direct suppliers but also with other actors in the diamond supply chain (such as other companies in the same industry or other important stakeholders in the value chain)
* Taken from: UN Global Compact et al, Human Rights Translated: A Business Reference Guide
Combating child labour in football production
Establishing mechanisms for monitoring, awareness raising and remediation
Sialkot, Pakistan (North-East of Punjab Province)
ILO, UNICEF, World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry, Sialkot Chamber of Commerce, Soccer Industry Council of America, International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA)
Number of Manufactures:
66 manufacturers, representing 95% of the total production of footballs in Sialkot
Dilemma: Restructuring of football production leads to growth in child labour
During the 1970 and 80s, there was a significant restructuring of the production of footballs in Sialkot, Pakistan. Changes in raw materials from leather to synthetics and improved machinery for cutting ushered in the possibility of stitching footballs in the home. As a result, middlemen began outsource stitching to families working from home, leading to increasing rates of child labour. It was estimated that more than 7,000 children between the ages of 7-14 years old were working full time stitching footballs.1 The media began to report on this issue, which led to negative publicity for the industry around the 1994 Soccer World Cup and the 1996 European Football Championships. Life magazine ran a story in June 1996 that featured a 12 year old boy making footballs. Media focus on child labour in the football sector in Pakistan was damaging to major brands and retailers.
Suppliers were sourcing footballs from a complex production network of over 1,600 villages around Sialkot. Most of the production sites were small shops, homes and sheds. The complexity of the supply chain made it difficult for companies to monitor workplaces, and most were unaware of the conditions under which their footballs were being stitched due to the prevalence of homework and reliance on piece work.
Solution: Create independent monitoring association and remove children from the workplace
In February 1997, the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry, the ILO, UNICEF, and the Sialkot Chamber of Commerce signed the Atlanta Agreement,2 with the goal of eliminating child labour in football production in Sialkot. Funding was provided by UNICEF, the US Department of Labour, the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) and the Soccer Industry Council of America.
The Atlanta Agreement established the following programme of activities to address child labour in Sialkot:
- Registration of all contractors, stitchers and stitching facilities
- Establishment of a monitoring system
- Agreement to independent monitoring
- Increase awareness and change attitudes, including income generation
- Implementation of social protection programmes
- In-kind assistance
Independent Monitoring Facility
In 1997, the ILO and the Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) launched an independent monitoring facility. All companies were invited to participate in the venture. Within six months, all participating companies were required to disclose information on 25% of the manufacturing facilities from which they sourced, including, the number of stitchers, the location of the stitching centres, the names of intermediaries used, and figures on daily production.
Six months later companies needed to disclose an additional 25% of production information. Within 18 months, all registered companies were required to disclose all aspects of their production. Monitoring took the form of unannounced site visits to verify that children were not present and to verify the production information provided by the company. If children were found in the workplace, the manufacturer was told that they were in violation of the agreement and that corrective action was required. If monitors found that corrective action was not taken within a certain amount of time, their membership from the programme would be withdrawn and the World Federation of Sporting Goods Industry would notify the brands and retailers of this violation. Footballs made in child-free work environments receive an identification number on the inside of each ball to identify the factory in which it was made.
Social Protection Programmes
In order to address the shortfall in family income due to the elimination of child labour, savings and micro-credit programmes were introduced, allowing over 8,000 people to borrow more than 1 million pounds sterling to support small businesses.3 Save the Children introduced programmes to develop skills whilst UNICEF and Save the Children also worked to develop the local education system. ILO-IPEC and a local NGO set up 185 informal education centres for working children and their siblings. The UK Department for International Development provided £1.225 million pounds sterling over the course of four years for poverty alleviation efforts.
Results: Rehabilitation of child workers and assistance to their families
Through this initiative, more than 6,000 children were removed from the workplace and provided with access to educational facilities. Over 10,500 children received an education. Health care was provided to 5,400 children.4 The programme reached 1582 villages, two small towns and the city of Sialkot.
According to an ILO review of the results, the Sialkot case provides a strong example of an effective multi-stakeholder initiative. The Sialkot case study is an example of a breakthrough in addressing child labour, as rather than fire the child workers, efforts were made to rehabilitate children and address some of the systemic problems in Sialkot including education. According to IPEC, child workers have not been displaced into more hazardous working conditions. However, Sialkot is also a production centre for surgical instruments and for tanning, both of which constitute hazardous work and which also features a high incidence of child labour. It is important to ensure that, over time, children continue to go to school rather get involved in the production of surgical instruments or in tanning.
Part of what made the initiative so successful is that 95% of the total production of footballs for export participated in the programme.5 All the major brands also participated in the initiative. Another factor in the success of the initiative is the division of labour between key funders, with brands contributing towards monitoring, organisations such as the Department for International Development working towards poverty alleviation, and Save the Children and UNICEF working to improve the educational system. IPEC also provided technical support and monitoring.
Addressing unintended consequences
It is useful to give some examples of the impact of the Atlanta Agreement on surrounding communities. Saga Sports - then a supplier to Nike - created 12 stitching centres to consolidate production. The company provided medical care, including a hospital for employees with over 24 doctors. The creation of stitching centres had significant implications for women, ushering in some dramatic social changes. Before the development of stitching centres, women had worked only in the home. "The home-based aspect of the work had been one of only a few job opportunities open to women and girl children - the opportunity to join stitching centres was often denied them, because of their domestic commitments or for social reasons."6 According to Bahar Ali Kazmi, a lecturer at Nottingham University, it is estimated that as many as 20,000 women lost their jobs as a result of the Atlanta Agreement.7 According to Professor Alyson Warhurst and Bahar Ali Kazmi, "the Agreement failed to focus sufficient research on the gender-specific and individual impacts of the programme."8 The creation of stitching centres also caused employees to spend more time getting to work, often on dangerous roads.
Rather than centralise production at stitching centres far away from the villages, Nike supported the investment to create eight stitching centres around Sialkot, so that workers would not have to travel very far. Nike agreed to pay more for the footballs in order to support this investment. Workers receive a free lunch and access to medical care at no extra cost. Whilst the creation of the stitching centres brought extra benefits to workers, such as meals and medical care, it did require more time for workers to get to work.
Nike's decision to drop one of the suppliers in Sialkot
'In November 2006, Nike decided to end a supply contract with Saga after repeatedly trying, unsuccessfully, to implement Nike policies. Saga was outsourcing production from facilities not authorised by Nike which could lead to homework and therefore make child labour more likely. Trade union officials also complained of harassment and inaccuracies in calculating wages.9 According to the Financial Times, many of the 3,000 workers at Saga lost their jobs. Nike's decision provides an example of the complex trade-offs associated with managing labour issues. Six months later, Nike entered into a new relationship with Silver Star, a supplier also located in Sialkot. According to Nike's CEO Mark Parker, "Our decision to resume soccer ball production in Pakistan is the result of extensive work with stakeholders, based on a collective desire to help move the industry in a more competitive direction that strongly supports workers' rights."
International Labor Rights Forum report states that child labour is still continuing in the football stitching industry
On 7 June 2010, the International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF) published a report that concludes that the use of child labour is still rife in the football stitching industry. The report, entitled 'Missed the Goal for Workers: The Reality of Soccer Ball Stitchers in Pakistan, India, China and Thailand', was designed to evaluate whether any progress has been made on the 1997 Atlanta Agreement, aimed at ending child labour in the football industry.
Research for the ILRF report found that child labour continues to be used in the stitching of footballs. A survey of a sample of households in the Meerut District of Uttar Pradesh, India, found that 9% of boys and 18% of girls were engaged in full time football stitching, while around half of children worked as stitchers whilst also attending school. Producing a maximum of two balls, these children earned on average around US$0.14 per day.
Work is often outsourced, taking place in stitching centres or home-based workshops, which are not protected by labour regulations. This lack of legal protection and the prevalence of casual and temporary contracts mean that workers in the industry are routinely subject to labour rights violations. They are often paid below minimum wage and are forced to work in poor conditions with little consideration for health and safety.
- 1 Dogar, Nasir, Workplace Monitoring as a Tool for Combating Child Labour: Experience in Pakistan (International Labour Organisation Technical Paper 2, Presented at ILO/Japan Asian Regional Meeting on Monitoring Child Labour at the Workplace, Dhaka, Bangladesh, 24-26 October 2000.
- 3 Warhurst A. and Bahar A. ,The Basis of the Scenario: the football-stitching industry in Sialkot and the Atlanta Agreement, WarwickBusiness School, p. 2.
- 4 IOE, ILO, USCIB, US Chamber of Commerce, International Business Forum on Engaging Business-Addressing Child Labor Case Studies, February 25, 2009, Atlanta Georgia, http://www.ioe-emp.org/fileadmin/user_upload/documents_pdf/international_level/child_labour/atlanta_casestudies.pdf.
- 5 Sehr Huassian-Khaliq, Eliminating Child Labour from the Sialkot Soccer Ball Industry, Journal of Corporate Citizenship, 13, Spring 2004.
- 6 Warhurst A. and Bahar A. p. 2.
- 7 Maplecroft, Global Risk Forecast, "Nike resumes sourcing of footballs from Sialkot after receiving labour standards assurances", p. 2.
- 8 Warhurst A. and Bahar A. p. 2.
- 9 Nike ends orders with soccer ball manufacturer, 20 November 2006, http://www.nikebiz.com/media/pr/2006/11/20_saga.html.