Onderstaand artikel is gepubliceerd op/published on: Sportbusiness.com, 27-9-2001
Report reveals soccer ball scandal
About 10,000 children below the age of 14 are working in India's sports goods industry at a fraction of the minimum wage, a report on adult and child labour in the country's football (soccer) industry has said.
"It is estimated that 10,000 children are working in the production of sports goods in and around Jalandhar, 1,350 of them are 'only working', while the rest are both working and going to school," said the report titled "The Dark Side of Football".
"Stitching of footballs is being done by children five years and older," added the report by a Dutch non-governmental organisation (NGO), The India Committee of the Netherlands.
Officials said the actual number of children employed in the football industry was much larger but it was tough to put a finger on the exact figure because the children were scattered across the northern states of Uttar Pradesh and Punjab.
The report said six-year-olds spent an average of 7.5 hours a day stitching footballs while 13-year-old children could often work upto 11 hours at a stretch.
The Indian Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act of 1986 bans child labour in certain hazardous industries such as carpet weaving and matchmaking, but football stitching by children is not illegal in the country.
The government says it is progressively moving forward in eliminating child labour by first focusing on hazardous industries.
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Landelijke India Werkgroep - 5 februari 2007