Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sweatshops: Child Labor

After Watching the documentary "The Corporation" I felt very uncomfortable watching some parts through out the documentary involving sweatshops and child labour. It is devistating for me to see the conditions that these workers have to work in. They are trapped in a visious cycle of ongoing explotation. After watching the documentary I began to do further research on this issue as it upset me greatly. Corproations that are defending sweatshops feel that they are doing good by bringing in jobs to these underdeveloped countries that they wouldn't of had otherwise however the conditions that these people are working in are awful and they are never able to save enough money to improve their own home lives. Many corporations say that they are monitoring their companies in other countries however it's a lie. They are calling in advance to warn the factories that there will be a visit, this gives the managemnt team of that factory to clean up and get rid of all the children that work in that factory so when the inspector comes it meets company standards.
This website gave lot's of information on sweatshops that I found quite interesting.
Information that I found from this website:
- The International Labour Organization has estimated that 250 million children between the ages of 5 and 14 work in developing countries.
61%: Asia
7% Latin America

Many of the children don't have an option, they are forced to work, also most of them don't have an education or a normal child hood they need to work in order to survive. The worst part of all this is that some of the children are beaten if they don't work fast enough or meet the companies demands.

Major Products that are mostly made in Sweatshops and cause the biggest problems to this industry are as followed:
1. Shoes: mostly athletic shoes (Nike)
2. Clothing: major use of child labour
3. Toys: China, Malaysia, Thialand, Vietnam. North American Toy makers make about 11 dollars an hour where the listed countries make around 30cents and hour.
4. Rugs: 1 million children are illegally employed making hand rugs worldwide. 75% of Pakistans carpet weavers are girls under 14.
5. Chocolate: Coco workers who are paid recieve wages that leave them in poverty
6. Bananas: most exploited, long hours, little pay, and also exposed to dangerous pesticides
7. Coffee: 2nd largest US importer, all coffee workers are living in poverty and dept.

What I feel that needs to change:
- Workers need to make enough money to pay for their living expenses, to atleast be able to afford basic foods
- be more educated about their rights and freedoms
- be able to have an education if thats what they choose to do.

Implementation: How do we end this?
I feel that the public doesn't know enough about this issue. It needs to be adressed globally. There needs to be violations put into place to to protect workers and their jobs. There needs to be unexpected visits to monitor these factories. We all need to become globalized thinkers to end this.

In Lecture Les mentioned that these children are as youg as five years old. Most children are exposed to hazardous work, farming, mining, exposed to noxious fumes and chemicals. This is happeneing because of Globalizaions, we are all driven by demand of products, cost savings. However it has been improving there are 28 million fewer children working than four years ago, they are being childen playing activities and going to school. There are two sides to this if we use the right side of our brain we can look at it as, is this explotation or oppurtunity, and who benefits the most? These underdeveloped countries don't know any better, they think of it as an oppurtunity for work and support for their families. The one thing that really upset me is that some parents are selling there children (80%) to work in cocoa plantations.


Laura Davis

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