5 December 2002
To: FIFA Headquarters
Mr. Joseph S. Blatter
Fax: 41-1 384 9696
Dear Mr. Joseph Blatter,
The Clean Clothes Campaign in Europe has on numerous occasions been corresponding with FIFA, usually via your general-secretary and/or head of communications, on the FIFA code of labour practice and its implementation. Also before the last World Championship Football we have contacted you on several occasions. We have yet to receive concrete answers, providing evidence that FIFA is making all necessary efforts to implement its own Code of Labour Practice for all FIFA licensed and sponsored goods.
The Clean Clothes Campaign has expressed concern on the labour rights violations in the sporting goods industry, which has been exemplified by several recent research reports that have been brought to the attention of FIFA. We have also expressed our great concern about the fact that FIFA's contractual relations with its corporate licensees and sponsors on labour standards, is not matched by a world-wide transparent, credible and independent system for the monitoring and verification of production. For your information, we attach the last statement the Clean Clothes Campaign and the Global March sent to the FIFA on 28 May 2002.
FIFA, as an international organisation promoting fairness in sports, cannot overlook the shortcomings of their own programmes and the lack of monitoring and verification of labour standards which are part of FIFA's Code. Therefore, your statement in a letter to the Clean Clothes Campaign, dated 16 April 2002, "we cannot be held responsible for the labour conditions in factories" is unacceptable coming from an organisation that - through its licensing system via FIFA Marketing AG - has large commercial interests in the production of sporting and other goods.
We would like to propose to FIFA that you convene a round-table discussion inviting all stakeholders to work towards ending labour rights violations in the sporting goods industry. We would like to propose this round-table to take place in Switzerland with FIFA, Global March, Clean Clothes Campaign, UNICEF, ILO, WFSGI and the global unions to discuss the role of FIFA and other participating organisations in moving towards the fair production of sporting goods and other FIFA-licensed goods.
FIFA's partners, ILO and WFGSGI, that have been instrumental in establishing Sialkot and Punjab child labour projects, have already shown an interest in moving towards establishing a such labour monitoring system, while UNICEF has also said in a letter to the Global March (sent on 12 December 2001) that ' they are 'committed to sustaining dialogue with FIFA which began over two years ago, and will join all partners, including trade unions, NGOs and other UN agencies, particularly the ILO, to support the ongoing development of transparent monitoring mechanisms for manufactured goods around the world, including those associated with FIFA or its subsidiaries'.
It was communicated to us by the ICFTU that the global trade union organisations, a partner which you mentioned in your letter to the Global March of 18 February 2002, also attach great importance to re-opening the dialogue with you on the aspects of FIFA licensing relating to fundamental international labour standards as well as the larger issue of implementation, monitoring and verifying implementation of your code of labour practice. NGO's can also play an important role in key aspects of this.
We look forward to a positive reaction to this letter before Christmas. We hope we will be able to productively work together on the realisation of labour rights for all workers producing sporting goods and other FIFA-licensed and sponsored products.