Efforts to eradicate child labour in the production of balls are receiving a helping hand in Switzerland. The 10,000th "fairplay" ball was sold on Friday and handed over to its purchaser by St Gallen's striker, Charles Amoah from Ghana.This content was published on August 18, 2000 - 21:13
Footballs, handballs and volleyballs made in child labour-free workshops in Pakistan are sold in fair trade shops and the outlets of the charity, Helvetas. Pakistan became the focus of efforts to stamp out child labour after estimates publicised in 1996 put the number of children in the ball-making business in the country at about 7,000.
The fairplay balls on sale in Switzerland are made and traded according to rules laid down in 1997 by the International Labour Organization (ILO), Unicef Pakistan, and the chamber of commerce in Sialkot (Pakistan), to try to do away with the employment of children under the age of 15.
Helvetas said 200,000 fairplay balls from Pakistan had been sold in Europe by the end of 1998.
The charity said it pays a bonus for each fairplay ball, which flows back into providing credits for projects to support the families of the employees, as well as better wages and social benefits. It said it made a particular effort to support sewing workshops for women.
swissinfo with agencies
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