During Fairtrade Fortnight 2013 Humza Yousaf, Minister for External Affairs and International Development, launched the Fairtrade Footballs project in Scotland.
Football is something that we are especially passionate about in Scotland but many people in this country are unaware of the terrible conditions that the workers making the footballs in Pakistan have to endure. The stitching process of making a football is still typified by high levels of human labour; all good quality footballs are hand as opposed to machine stitched and it takes a day for a good football stitcher to make just 4 -5 footballs. A UNICEF report from 1998 pointed out that football stitchers in Pakistan where receiving as little as 20 pence per ball and child labour was endemic in the industry.
This project is a brilliant initiative that uses lottery funding to work with young people in Scotland to raise awareness of fairness and equality issues as well as promoting the use of footballs that have been made by a Fair Trade producer in Pakistan. With funding secured from the Big Lottery, the project will work with young people in Scotland to use the theme of football to raise awareness of fairness and equality issues as well as promoting the use of fairtrade footballs in Scotland which will help improve the lives of people in Pakistan.