Fair Trade Sports
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Eight million homes and livelihoods have been destroyed by flooding in Pakistan, where Fair Trade Sports producers live and work. This natural disaster affected more people than the Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2005 Kashmir earthquake, and the Haiti earthquake put together, according to Oxfam, and continues to deteriorate Pakistan’s already-grim economic outlook.
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Our Pakistan-based producers Imran Kahn and Abdul Sattar may not have been directly affected by the flooding, but they are scrambling to help extended family and friends. Sattar, (pictured left), father of eight, specializes in quality control for our soccer balls, each made of an average of 720 stitches. Should a soccer ball have a crooked seam or a faulty panel, Sattar makes it right.
As the only income earner in his Sahowali-based household – which includes his children, wife – Rifatbibi, and his mother – Fair Trade Certified wages and Fair Trade benefits play a large role in keeping the family afloat and the children safe from child labor.
Imran Kahn (pictured right with his sister) dropped out of fifth grade at the age of ten to work in a rubber processing factory. Fifteen years later, Imran now makes Fair Trade Certified wages as a producer.
Kahn lives near the Sialkot district – the principal global source of hand-stitched sports balls – supplying more than 70 percent of the global demand. Historically, sport ball manufactures have been criticized for low wages, substandard working conditions and illegal employment of children – forced into labor because the adult wages were too low to support the family.
Kahn and his father, who works in a tire repair shop, have been empowered to provide for their family of 10, access to many other Fair Trade benefits: discount healthcare, transportation and shopping.
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