The complaint states Adidas and Kubbinga’s Indian suppliers have violated labour rights in the production of footballs. The complaint is based on the report, “The dark side of football – child and adult labour in India’s football industry and the role of FIFA” (June 2000) and subsequent fieldwork.
ICN reported that during a visit to the Indian supplier of Adidas and another Dutch company, it confirmed there were no unions active. Except for some “stitching centres”, there was no indication that home producers receive minimum wages. There are also occupational health and safety concerns.
According to ICN’s data, the supplier outsourced production to Batala, which FIFA does not inspect. In November 1999, there was strong evidence that this supplier was using child labourers.
Even though Sports Goods Foundation of India stated no licensed production took place in Batala, Adidas has not provided any evidence to the contrary. ICN raised these issues with the NCP after its efforts to raise these issues with Adidas failed.
Relevant OECD Guidelines
- Version 2000 Chapter IV
- Version 2000 Chapter IV Paragraph IV.1 Subparagraph IV.1.A
- Version 2000 Chapter IV Paragraph IV.1 Subparagraph IV.1.B
- Version 2000 Chapter IV Paragraph IV.2 Subparagraph IV.2.A
- Version 2000 Chapter IV Paragraph IV.2 Subparagraph IV.2.C
- Version 2000 Chapter IV Paragraph IV.4 Subparagraph IV.4.B
After accepting the case in November 2001, the NCP organized a meeting with the parties in March 2002. The meeting concluded with an agreement between Adidas and ICN and a joint NCP statement being released. In summary, the parties agreed there is a need for:
1) a survey of relevant standards
2) continuous transparency in implementing these standards
3) a continuous process of external monitoring, diffusion and verification
4) strengthening communications between stakeholders
5) ICN to continue taking into consideration independent and reliable information provided by the sporting industry and other stakeholders.
Based on information provided by Adidas, the NCP concluded that the company sufficiently encouraged its suppliers to operate in a socially responsible manner through its code of conduct. The NCP also stated that it had not found any evidence of the use of child labour. In December 2002, the NCP, ICN and Adidas issued a joint statement with some agreement on the need for monitoring of codes of conduct.