Situated in the north-east of Punjab province in Pakistan, Sialkot is a dynamic economic hub, home to more than half a million people in the city and around 3.5 million in the wider Sialkot district. Sialkot is renowned for its sports and surgical goods industries and is the world’s largest manufacturer of hand-stitched soccer balls. Changes in the 1970s and ’80s within the industry and in the business environment generally in Pakistan led to a growth of informal systems of production, through which companies began to outsource soccer ball manufacturing to contractors. These contractors redistributed football production to outside workers, mainly women operating from home. This led to a breakdown in the monitoring and control of working conditions, and more and more children became involved in stitching and related activities as a way to augment family income. Parallel to this, consumer and businesses attention to labour conditions in global supply chains increased steadily. When media investigations of soccer ball manufacturing in Sialkot around the time of the 1994 Soccer World Cup and the 1996 European Football Championships found children working in the industry, the entire sporting goods sector in Sialkot was under threat.
|Topic:||Children, Decent Work|
|Region:||Asia and Pacific|
|Resource Type:||Case Study|