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Creating A Sweat-Shop Free World

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Rowena Tang

on 31 October 2013

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Transcript of Creating A Sweat-Shop Free World

Creating A Sweat-Shop Free World
What Is A Sweat-Shop?
Hall of Shame
Who Are Exploited?
The workers in the factory are
all exploited
. But how are they exploited?
Where In The World?
Have They Gone Too Far?
Have these Big Brands gone overboard and taken advantage of these factories for their own benefit?
What Can We Do To Help Stop Sweatshops?
By Rowena Tang 10F
"The Department of Labor indicates that 50% of garment factories in the U.S. violate two or more basic labor laws, establishing them as sweatshops. Sweatshops exist wherever there is an opportunity to
exploit workers who lack the knowledge and resources to stand up for themselves.
Typical sweatshop employees, ninety percent of whom are women, are young and uneducated. Many of them are recent or undocumented immigrants who are unaware of their legal rights. Young women throughout the world are
subject to horrible working conditions
innumerable injustices
because corporations, many of which are U.S.-owned, can get away with it."
(From Woman and Global Human Rights- http://www.webster.edu/~woolflm/sweatshops.html)

'A sweatshop is a factory that
two or more
labor laws
, such as those pertaining to wages and benefits, child labor or working hours.’
(The US Department of Labor)

‘A sweatshop is a manufacturing facility where workers endure poor working conditions,
long hours, low wages
and other
violations of labour rights

Sweatshops are workplaces where
basic worker rights are not respected.
In 2011, the International Textile Garment and Leather Workers’ Federation (ITGLWF), examined the working conditions of over 100,000 workers in 83 factories across Sri Lanka, Indonesia and The Philippines to assess the working conditions and how the workers were treated by Western retail chains. The ITGLW found and named 60 brands who exploited workers rights.
“routinely breaking every rule in the book when it comes to labour rights”
Why Do These Organisations Use Them?
The ITGLW report found that in the three countries examined, none of them paid a full living wage to all their employees. Some were even
way below the legal minimum wage
in that area. This shows that companies are using these sweatshops because the factories are
low cost
, thus they are able to pay their workers the
minimum wage
possible. Companies wouldn't need to pay for the worker's medical benefits,
they don't need to follow safety guidelines, only money.
The term has been around
since the 19th century
There is no true definition however, sweatshops refer to workplaces where employees work for
poor pay
little or no benefits
, in unsafe, harsh, and/or
hazardous environments
, are
treated inhumanely
by employers.
Workers would:
- work almost 20 hours (sometimes unfortunately 48 hours) a day, seven days a week
- be crammed into a small dorm with 10 - 20 other people
- get fired, if women were found to be pregnant. If they have no job it could lead them into prostitution.
- encounter issues with pay. They would not receive their salaries for months. The workers pay would be far less than the country's minimum wage.
- have no protection or safety gear, and even if the workers were injured, they received no medical benefits.
- if workers do not complete their jobs or do not get it done properly, they are punished
Inside A Sweatshop: The Apparel Truth
Sweatshops are located all around the world. These are just some of the few.
Let us take a closer look inside the factory and see if they have breached any human and children rights.
Human rights are rights for all human beings no matter what nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status. We are all equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination.
'No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.'

No one should be working as a slave; all forms of slavery is prohibited. But is this the case here?
'The child shall be protected against all forms of
neglect, cruelty and exploitation...
The child shall not be admitted to employment before an appropriate minimum age...
no case be caused or permitted to engage in any
occupation or employment which would prejudice
his health or education, or interfere with his
physical, mental or moral development.'

A child is to be protected against neglect, cruelty, exploitation and is not to be subjected to employment before a minimum age. A child cannot get a job which will harm his health and education and will not interfere with his development through life. But what about these children?
'Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.'
Everyone has the right to have breaks and have fair working hours and holidays with pay. This girl looks like she's working throughout the night.
Employees work long hours and their average pay per hour can be as little as $0.30.
'Everyone has the right to work... to just and favorable conditions of work... without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work...'
Everyone has every right to work in good conditions without any discrimination and receives fair pay for their contribution to work. Does this boy look safe to you? He will get paid a lot less than the older workers.
We cannot stop sweatshops entirely, however we can do something about it. But how?
Raise awareness
Look for the label
Make conscience purchasing decisions
Support fair trade
- Green America, Sweatshops, <http://www.greenamerica.org/programs/sweatshops/>, Washington DC, 2004
- John Hilary (Executive Director), Love Fashion Hate Sweatshops,<http://www.waronwant.org/campaigns/love-fashion-hate-sweatshops>, War On Want, London, 2011
- Urban Habitat. (n.d). "Global Sweatshop Wage Slavery" Retrieved on 5th October from
- Vegan Peace. (n.d). "Sweatshops" Retrieved on 15th October from
- MThoYoke. (2012). "Sweatshops" Retrieved on 18th October from
- Weebly. (n.d). "Sweatshop Conditions" Retrieved on 18th October from
- United Nations. (2013). "Documents" Retrieved on 18th October from
- Human Rights. (n.d). "Here and Now" Retrieved on 21st October from
- Unicef. (n.d). "Child Declaration" Retrieved on 22nd October from
- Dissident Voice. (2013). "Sweatshop Slavery" Retrieved on 5th October from
- Ethical Clothing Australia. (n.d). "Home" Retrieved on 31st October from

(Images from Google)
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