The issue of sweatshops and human rights

Share via Email Nike, long the subject of sweatshop allegations, yesterday produced the most comprehensive picture yet of the factories that produce its footwear and clothing, detailing admissions of abuses, including forced overtime and restricted access to water. For years activists have been pressing Nike and other companies to reveal where their factories are in order to allow independent monitoring. Nike lists plants in China contracted to make its products, 73 in Thailand, 35 in South Korea, 34 in Vietnam and others in Asia. It employscontract workers worldwide.

The issue of sweatshops and human rights

This broad subject would include issues such as sweatshops, labor standards, right to free association, forced labor, workplace safety and health, and the provision of health care. And it would examine the work and employment institutions created domestically and internationally government agencies, employers, unions, transnational organizations, etc.

Over the centuries, the way work has been structured has taken many forms.

Debate Issue: Sweatshops are ethical |

Today, most people work as employees for employers that range from small business, to non-profit organizations, to government bodies, to multinational corporations. The employment relationship varies greatly, both in the United States and abroad.

Some employers view employees as a valuable human resource, treat their workers with respect and dignity, and provide reasonable compensation and benefits. At the other end of the spectrum are employers who aggressively exploit their workers, violating basic human rights, and even keeping them in virtual bondage.

For society, the way in which employers treat their employees is a fundamental question of ethics. Do workers have certain rights that all employers are obliged to recognize or should this relationship be governed by the most exploitive kind of capitalism in which workers are viewed as a variable in the production equation whose costs must be continually lowered?

The Declaration covered four specific areas: This declaration equates workers rights and human rights, creating an ethical framework within which employers around the world are expected to operate. Unfortunately, the profit motive often motivates employers to disregard these standards and violate the human rights of their employees.

Globalization has made the experiences of workers in developing countries more relevant to developed countries than it has ever been. Affluent countries import a significant percentage of their goods from overseas. This presents a tremendous opportunity for these countries to influence the work and employment practices of countries that do not respect the human rights of their workers.

Through their governments, their corporations, and their buying practices, developed countries can address issues like child labor, forced labor, and workplace discrimination in the nations from which they buy goods.


Deciding whether to use this influence to address these problems is very much an ethical decision that developed countries face. Leading corporations like Wal-Mart continually violate the employment and labor laws in this country and receive little in the way of punishment.

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The Sweatshops, Labor Rights, and Labor Standards Interest Group will focus on the ethics of work, employment, and employment relations, both in the U.

Group Plans The Interest Group would endeavor to bring together faculty and students who share an interest in this area but who come from different disciplines. It would provide opportunities through periodic meetings for these individuals to read about and discuss new developments and new research on the issue of workers rights in the U.

It would also bring speakers to campus to address related issues.

Sweatshops violate human rights; American companies at fault | The Collegian

In addition, it would support the on-going activities of faculty and students currently involved in initiatives related to workers rights, including a planned Teach-In on the employment practices of Wal-Mart and the debut of a new documentary film on that multinational retailer to be held in early November.

And it would encourage student groups like United Students Against Sweatshops and the Student Labor Action Project that are just forming on campus to further explore the subject of worker rights and the ethical issues related that that subject.These are direct human rights need to recognize the lies we are telling ourselves to make it OK for us to purchase clothing made in sweatshops, and we need to take a stand for ethical business practices, recognizing the safety and health.

This issue appears to be solved by some anti-sweatshops organisation. However, the ongoing development of the issue is showing a different situation.

Sweatshops entail long hours with no breaks, terrible working conditions, a disgracefully low pay, abuse from employers and sometimes, worst of all, an abuse of child labour laws. Sweatshops are responsible for violating these workers’ human rights and. And then, according to Human Rights Watch, some factories will simply refuse to pay them. These quotas can also be extremely high: 2, shirts stitched in a hour day. Nike, long the subject of sweatshop allegations, yesterday produced the most comprehensive picture yet of the factories that produce its footwear and clothing, detailing admissions of abuses.

World-known fashion brands such as H&M, Nike, Adidas and Uniqlo are all involved in such issues of sweatshops. In , anti-sweatshops protesters marched against the Japanese fast-fashion brand Uniqlo in Hong Kong.

A "sweatshop" is defined by the US Department of Labor as a factory that violates 2 or more labor laws. Sweatshops often have poor working conditions, unfair wages, unreasonable hours, child labor, and a lack of benefits for workers.

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These sweatshops commit major human rights violations as well as disobey written laws of the nations they operate in and the written contracts between the workers and the factory owners.

Many people in the U.S. think that human rights violations in sweatshops are just something that happened in the past and no longer affect the U.S. population. The issue of Nike sweatshop has been highlighted by a number of magazines and human right activists.

The issue of human right violation gained international attention when the Life Magazine of the United States published the story of a child labor stitching Nike footballs.

Although actual fraud, crimes, and bona fide human rights violations may occur in that context, harsh working conditions are not, however, per-se violations of human rights.

The issue of sweatshops and human rights

Long hours, low wages, lack of benefits and lack of job security are undesirable, but undesirable doesn't rise to .

Nike lists abuses at Asian factories | Business | The Guardian