Child labor is illegal in most developed countries, but in third world countries it’s a different story. In certain parts of the world, children do factory work, help their parents with the family business, work on farms, work as prostitutes and so forth. Contrary to popular belief, most child labor is informal: not the stuff that people see on T.V. of children hidden in factories. So, most likely, a child did not make those Nike shoes after all. On the other hand, a few cases have suggested that children are still at work for first world countries.
For example, the Firestone Tire Company had a metal plantation in Liberia, and their workers were required to meet a certain quota or they would not receive their wages. As a result, many of the employees brought their children to work. In the 2005 case, The International Labor Fund vs. The Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, the International Labor fund fought on behalf of the child laborers and Indiana did not allow Firestone to dismiss the case.
Gap Inc., the clothing company, has also been accused of child labor. However, unlike Firestone, Gap was openly upset and concerned about the accusation. They shut down 23 factories due to problems with child labor and other violations. H & M and Zara were accused by the Environmental Justice Foundation for selling clothing made with cotton from Bangladesh, because that cotton may have been picked by children. H & M and Zara both responded that they did not support child labor, and H &M claimed that they sought to avoid cotton from Uzbekistan (where the Bangladesh cotton originally came from). However, H & M also admitted that they had no way of tracing their material.
Sadly, child labor still does occur, formally and informally. Excluding child labor in the household (children helping their parents, or perhaps doing all the domestic chores), UNICEF estimates that there are 158 million children (under the age of 14), who are employed informally or formally.