Nike has been accused of using child labor in the production of its soccer balls and shoes for Nike in Pakistan. While Pakistan has laws against child labor, the government has taken very little action to terminate it. It is said that only a boycott by the United States and other nations will have any impact on child-based industries. In addition, the U.S constitution states that child labor is an illegal and inhumane practice and any U.S. company found guilty practicing and encouraging it will be prosecuted. The World Trade Organization (WTO) prohibits member nations, like the United States, from discriminating against the importation of goods made by children.
Pakistan has a per-capita income of $1,900 per year, so in essence, a typical person survives barely on $5 per day, and with the high rate of inflation it becomes difficult for a low-income population to survive. Nike’s child labor is spread all over Pakistan but has the greatest impact in the northwest of punjab province, that is Sialkot. Pakistan has a population of approximately 1 million and is an important center for the production of Nike’s goods for export to international markets, particularly sporting goods and shoes. Sialkot is one of the world’s most important centers for production of Nike’s sporting goods.
In June of 1996, Life magazine published a article about Nike’s child labor that was occurring in Pakistan. The article showed a little boy who was surrounded by pieces of Nike sports gear. The articles were shoes and soccer balls. Nike then knew then that they had to make some major changes in the way they were producing their items.