Child Labor in the Soccer Ball Industry

Publication Date: 

February 1, 1999


International Labor Rights Fund

In 1996, the International Labor Rights Fund launched a campaign to end the exploitation of child labor in the soccer ball industry. This campaign secured the endorsement of important soccer leagues, city government, youth and children's associations. The campaign also helped encourage the establishment of an international program to move children from soccer ball stitching to schools in Sialkot, Pakistan, where 70% of the world's soccer balls were made.

This effort to help child soccer ball stitchers was organized by the ILO (International Labor Organization), UNICEF, and Save the Children - UK in the fall of 1997, with a two year phase-in period. ILRF investigated the program in late 1998 and our findings are reported in this document.