Sweatshops and the Children That Work in Them

Topics: Slavery, Child Labor, Exploitation Pages: 7 (2833 words) Published: March 12, 2013
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Sweatshops and the Children that work in them
Lisa Marsh
Strayer University
Business Ethics 290
Professor Tacha Brooks

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There are so many children that are being forced and used to work in such poor conditions. I feel this is ethically wrong to basically use children in this fashion in order to mass produce a product. It exploit children in one of the worse kind of ways almost like imprisoning them for pennies and some are actually taken away from their families and imprisoned. Ethically it is wrong because these children are being used in order for big corporation to mass produce a product to be sold in the US for big dollars. There is big cooperation whose only focus is to make money and more money regardless of the harm they are doing to people who live in these Third World Countries. Their justification is that they are bringing economic value to their communities and offering programs that normally wouldn’t be offered, such as poor health care, below average schools and lastly some economic value to the community.

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Sweat Shops and the Children that work in them
The first thing we need to do is understand exactly what a Sweat Shop is. It is defined as a work place where people are forced to work under extreme conditions with little to no money and benefits. Many of the workers are either verbally, physically and sexually abused or both. My focus is with the kids that have been forced to work under these extreme conditions. These kids have been promised many things in order to get them to go and work for companies that exploit them. However when they arrive they get and are treated the opposite of what they are told. Many have been sold into these Sweat Shops by their parents or relatives for a better living situation for the family to pay off landlords or taxes or simply to pay other bills, or quite a few have been abducted from their families. Once the children get there and start working often times they are told they can’t leave the workplace for any reason regardless if it is to go and visit their families. So basically they are being held against their will. Its sad to see that these families are willing to sell away their kids for what they think is a better way of life or get out of debt for a little while. Studies have shown that quite a few industries use child labor to produce mass production of their product. Even though a lot of companies who manufacture athletic shoes and sneakers are just one of a few industries that employ children workers they definitely aren’t alone. The International Labor Organization has estimated that over 250 million children work in some type of Sweat Shop. The average age of these children range from as young as age five to age fourteen. The majority of these kids come from developing countries such as Asia (where the majority are from) Africa and Latin America. They are contributing to the mass production of items in the US and abroad. What we don’t realize is the products these kids are being forced or Sweatshops 4

working for less than minimum wage to mass produce are items that we as Americans can’t seem to get enough of. Items such as clothing, toys, rugs chocolate (yes chocolate), bananas and coffee are the items we live off for everyday life or purchase for decoration and not out of need. The kids who work to mass produce these items can work up to 60-80 hours a week without any overtime pay. In the rug industry it has been noted that approximately one million children are illegally employed. These children mostly can be found in Pakistan where it is normal to see a girl under and up to the age of 14 making hand knotted rugs. It has been found not only are these children being exploited for wages that fall way under the minimum wage bracket but bordering on poverty itself. Some are being paid as little...
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