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HindustanTimes Wed,01 Oct 2014

Indian child slaves being exploited to stitch rugby balls for use in Oz: Report

ANI  Sydney, October 01, 2013
First Published: 17:08 IST(1/10/2013) | Last Updated: 17:18 IST(1/10/2013)

Hundreds of Indian children are secretly employed to make balls for Australian children of the same age, pressed into harmful, backbreaking labour for a little more than one dollar a day, according to a report in the Australian media.

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According to the Sydney Morning Herald, an investigation revealed the balls discovered being stitched in India were identical in material, stitching, design and colour to those it bought in Australia.

The 13-digit barcode used by Summit Rugby league to identify the ball was the same in both countries, and several stitchers revealed the balls were being sent to Australia, the report said.

The balls were found to be on sale at Harvey Norman for just 9 dollars, prompting the company's executive director John Slack-Smith to launch an immediate investigation, the report added.

On Monday afternoon, Slack-Smith said all Summit products were being withdrawn from sale until further notice, the report further said.

Earlier, he had said it was 'simply not right' if child labour had been involved in the production of the balls, according to the report.

He said that it was not they believed in, not what they work towards and they would simply not tolerate it.

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