The use of Sweatshops

Letter to Editor Subject: Sweatshops involving children Date sent: April 3, 2014
Thursday, June 5th, 2014

To Editor:

            In the United States we have many laws and corporations such as, the U.S Department of Labor, which were put in place to protect children as well as adults in the work place. There are laws that restrict business and corporations from employing children of certain ages and also their wages and working conditions. These different laws help keep children safe in the United States so they won’t be forced to work in sweatshops. But, should these laws apply to United States corporations that outsource labor to third world countries to have their product made?

            According to the Mission of Terres des Hommes, as of June 2013, there were believed to be as many as 215 million children forced into the work place. Of those 215 million children, 158 million of them were believed to be between the ages of 5 and 14 years of age. By the calculations that would mean one in every six children would be forced into labor. Not only were they made to work, but they had to do so in very unhealthy and abusive work places.

            In 2006 the National Labor Committee reported that they found roughly 200 children, 11 years old and younger, working in a sweatshop manufacturing and sewing clothes for Corporations like Hanes, Wal-Mart, J.C Penney, and Puma in a factory in Bangladesh. These children were reported to have worked 19-20 hours a day suffering abuse and exhaustion. They were forced to sleep on the grounds of the factory and made 6 and a half cents an hour. If the children fell behind their intended quota, they were beaten for it.

            Many people in America are blind to the fact that the clothes on their backs or those new Jordan shoes their wearing was possibly made by children in sweatshops. We as Americans would like to think that the world is just like us and had child labor laws, but the fact is they don’t. Big Corporations know this and they don’t care to treat other people in third world countries fairly, they just want their products made at the cheapest price they can. As long as Corporations are making money they don’t care to know who they are hurting.

            Finally, there should be laws and strict guidelines in place that prohibit Corporations such as Wal-Mart from taking advantage of those people and children in the work place. Not only should there be laws in place, but they should be repercussions for those Corporations who do not follow them. I also believe that if a Corporation is found using sweatshops then they should have to pay their works a reasonable amount of money for the rest of their lives. This is something that should be taken very seriously by us and the United States Government. In conclusion, I leave you with this thought, if you have children or plan to have children, would you want them to be forced into these conditions? I’m sure many of you would say no, then why do we allow it to happen to other parent’s children? Get it together, fight back!