Since time in memorial women and children have always been the subjects of exploitation. The trend however has not changed in any great deal as this type of slavery is still pertinent in some countries in the world. Most of the indices of women and children exploitations will normally be found in sweatshops. Though the women and children may work in the sweatshops and get paid, this may be regarded as slavery when the situations they work in and the pay they get are closely scrutinized.
Exploitation may be viewed in one way as the effectiveness which is displayed in the utilization of available resources so as to get the best out of them. This may be the case when one utilizes rain to generate useful energy. This term when viewed in another perspective may mean to unfairly utilize an object or subject in an illegitimate way to reap the maximum of profits. The latter description is the most common description used in the world of labor (Arnold, 2003)
Not so long ago many would have viewed these so called sweatshops as old nightmares that had seen the end of their days. The name sweatshops would only appeared in the old dusty books of history. However in these modern days and times of what can be considered human maturity the so called sweatshops are nowadays a common occurrence that will not escape unmentioned in the dailies and newspapers.
The definition of a sweatshop has been one of the contentious issues mainly between the labor unions and respective employers. The department of labor in the US has defined a sweatshop as a factory that violates more than one labor law set by the department concerned. The laws in perspective may include those that may pertain to wages and salary, child labor, working hours among others. The strength of the definition is further enhanced by the inclusion of the right to a living wage. This is the wage that is able to sustain basic needs of a relatively small family.
In a sweatshop various kinds of products may be made. The shoes industry is one of the greatest forms of a sweatshop especially when sneakers and athletics shoes are involved. The clothing industry is also on of the main beneficiaries of this sweatshop phenomenon. Children and women make a large number of the work force. Other industries may include coffee, tea, and chocolate among other industries (Embar, 2006).
One may not help but wonder where the problem truly lies considering the fact that the workers in these sweatshops are being paid. The conditions in which they work in may also be standard and this only complicates the problem further. However a close analysis of the situation may reveal shocking details of what the women and children go through in these sweatshops. The women and children are greatly exploited in this sweat shops.
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They work long hours with payments that can hardly sustain they survival let alone living. This exploitation may in way or another be viewed as modern day slavery. It may be no different from the cruelty and animosity that was displayed in the centuries that have passed by. The only difference is that people tend to turn a blind eye on this form of human modern day slavery. Sweatshops are the perfect example of this type of slavery.
Exploitation of women and children in these shops is of the highest extremity and in some cases the conditions they work in may be intolerable. In some areas this practice is so severe that the women and children will go without wages while working in deplorable conditions that pose a risk to their very existence.
The world as it is today has been witnessing unpredictable economic situations that make it almost necessary for companies to cut costs. This situation will strike the lower end of the job groups the hardest. The company’s will try to find ways in which to cut the labor costs and hence improve on their profits. One way to cut the costs would be to exploit the workers so as to get the most out of them in an unfair way. The sweatshops mainly employ a type of “pay by piece rate” where the worker is paid by the number of pieces that they have completed.
The theory of distributive justice tends to emphasize the main reasons behind exploitation. The theory suggests the fact that when an individual is dominated he will try to combat the dominance. This will happen by taking advantage of a resource with the sole intention of profiting in it by gaining other unrelated resources. This theory explains exploitation as taking advantage of women and children in the sweatshops to fight of the dominance that may threaten the survival of their companies (Mayer, 2002)
Companies may argue from the fact that these sweatshops offer a reprieve to the otherwise desperate and poor women and children who may not find a source of livelihood elsewhere. This statement may hold some weight but with close scrutiny the reverse is true. The sweatshop will employ desperate women and children seeking for a means of living. The employers however will not offer them an income that can sustain them and they end up in going round vicious cycles of poverty.
The theories by which these sweatshops operate on have led them to find fresh hunting grounds where they can effectively carry on their trade. The sweatshops are finding their niche in the global economy at exorbitant rates. Since the world has now become like a global village these sweatshops find it easier to locate to areas that have cheap labor. The companies may argue that they may be trying to cut costs but an in depth analysis would reveal their roles in spreading the devices of slavery.
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Getting rid of these sweatshops should be the duty of each and everyone if the problem is to be solved once and for all. The first step would obviously be to identify them then take the necessary measures. Watchdog groups are perhaps the best way in establishing these human rights violators. The notion that sweatshops are a solution for cutting costs should be done away with. Tracking of goods by the involved companies is one of the ways that can be devised to curb this plague of sweatshops.
The tracking of the goods is a good way to keep off sweatshops from their supply chains. The consumers, since they are the ones who enjoy the end products should be weary of what they purchase. It would be a good idea to take measures to ensure that the products they purchase have been kept track of with no evidence of sweatshop involvement in their production.
The developed nations are mostly implicated in this trade since most of the goods that find their way into the hands of first world citizens will probably have gone through the sweatshop chain. Since women and children are the ones who bare the blunt of these exploitations the first world can in a large way be found guilty in these violations of humans. Many multi nationals which have their origins in the first world countries are relocating to the poor nations so as to take ad vantage of cheap labor.
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