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June 13, 2002

Child labour in the production of sports equipment

European Parliament resolution on child labour in the production of sports equipment

The European Parliament,

  • having regard to the 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child,

  • having regard to the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Children, held in New York on 9-10 May 2002,

  • having regard to the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights1 and notably Article 24 on the rights of the child,

  • having regard to the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights,

  • having regard to the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, adopted by the International Labour Conference at its 86th session on 18 June 1998,

  • having regard to ILO Conventions No. 138 of 1973 and No.182 of 1999 on the effective abolition of child labour,

  • having regard to the Commission communication to the Council, the European Parliament and the Economic and Social Committee entitled 'Promoting core labour standards and improving social governance in the context of globalisation' (COM(2001) 416),

  • having regard to the Commission communication (COM(2001) 366) and to its own resolution of 30 May 2002 on the Green Paper on promoting corporate social responsibility2,

  • having regard to the 'Charter of Intents' adopted by the Organising Committee for the XXth Winter Olympic Games (Torino 2006),

  • whereas the ILO has chosen 12 June as World Day against Child Labour,

  • having regard to its former resolutions on child labour,
  1. whereas the use of child labour in the football industry is still common practice world-wide, despite the fact that FIFA and the sporting goods companies are bound by a contract which they signed in 1998, with a FIFA Code of Labour Practice included, prohibiting the use of child labour in its licensed products,

  2. whereas FIFA admitted in 2000 that there was a problem in making sure that the 'premium balls' featuring the company's brand name and the name of the event (in this case the 2002 World Cup) were only sourced from official FIFA-licensees,

  3. whereas despite the fact that FIFA, the ILO, UNICEF, trade unions and civil society organisations have established social protection projects and monitoring systems to prevent and eliminate child labour in India and Pakistan, newly published reports show clear evidence of many children, sometimes as young as 10, still producing footballs outside the main stitching areas in both countries, some of which were even labelled 'no child labour used',

  4. whereas child labour perpetuates poverty and hampers development by driving wages down, putting adults out of work and denying education, and is a violation of human dignity,

  5. whereas the World Cup Campaign was initiated in 2001 by the Global March, following an international foot-march four years ago, when thousands of people took a journey over 80 000 kilometres in four continents to mobilise world-wide action against child labour,

  6. whereas the EU should clarify its positions on social governance in the framework of the new multilateral negotiations in the WTO and whereas, on that occasion, the positions of the European Parliament must be incorporated into the Community's strategy,

  7. whereas there is growing consumer resistance in some Western countries against buying goods manufactured by children,
  1. Condemns all forms of child exploitation and calls for the eradication of child labour, particularly in the football industry;

  2. Stresses in particular the close relationship between policies to support education and those to combat child labour, and therefore calls on the Commission and the Member States to take action in this field, in order to make sure that all children removed from labour are rehabilitated and given the opportunity to receive an education, health care and food;

  3. Calls on the European Union and its Member States to ensure that provision is made in agreements with these countries for the protection of children against violence, exploitation - in particular through child labour - and abuse;

  4. Calls on FIFA and the sporting goods companies concerned to a) make sure that no child is employed in the production of FIFA-licensed sportswear and footballs b) implement the FIFA Code of Labour Practice that was agreed upon by FIFA, ICFTU, ITGLF and FIET (now UNI) in 1996 and c) agree on a transparent, credible and independent system for the monitoring and verification of production in the football industry;

  5. Calls on all sporting goods companies to a) fully implement their contractual agreement with FIFA on child labour, b) disclose all the production sites of sporting goods and enable independently verified reports to be made that their goods are produced in compliance with the FIFA Contract with the provision of living wages;

  6. Calls for a universal certification method for sporting goods produced without the use of child labour, similar to the Utz Kapeh Foundation certification currently used in the coffee industry;

  7. Urges the ILO to develop a credible and independent inspection system in order to monitor the ILO labour standards in the sporting goods industry world-wide and based on the above inspection system, and to develop ILO models of cooperation between public and private sectors to build effective methods of labour inspection;

  8. Considers that more funds should be made available to the International Labour Organisation's International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour;

  9. Calls on FIFA and the national football associations to make the World Cup 2006 championship in Germany the first international event free of child labour and compliant with fair labour standards;

  10. Urges UNICEF to use its cooperation with FIFA to promote the rights of children, and to urge FIFA to fully implement its obligations with regard to the elimination of child labour and the implementation of other labour rights;

  11. Urges footballers and their representative associations to seek to ensure that in future sponsoring companies do not directly or indirectly use child labour in the production of their products;

  12. Welcomes the initiative for a 'Charter of Intent' adopted by the Organising Committee for the XXth Winter Olympic Games (Torino 2006);

  13. Calls on the Commission to report to the European Parliament before the end of 2002 on the steps and measures taken on this resolution;

  14. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, FIFA, the ILO and UNICEF.

1 OJ C 364, 18.12.2000, p. 1
2 P5_TA(2002)0278

Nederlandse versie van deze pagina
India Committee of the Netherlands / Landelijke India Werkgroep - June 25, 2002