Sweatshops

Sweatshops

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When you think about children, chances are you think of them getting up in the morning, going to school then coming home and going outside to play. Sadly this isn't always the case. In other countries, children are locked up inside being forced to work. Is it fair that a child is forced to work a twelve-hour shift, seven days a week earning only seven cents an hour? This means if a child were to work eighty-four hours a week (when the maximum is 60 hours a week), then they will have only earned $5.55. Sometimes they have to work overtime which they aren’t paid for. If a worker cannot stay for the overtime, they are suspended without pay or they are fired. The workers want Unions, but the companies forbid them!
Living on these salaries is almost impossible. A round trip bus to work costs 0.37cents, and just enough food to get by for a day is about $1.33. That means each person could spend $ 2.59 per day. The majority of the people are spending more than they make, so a lot of them go hungry. That total doesn’t include rent, which is usually 0.86 a day for a one room apartment. If the worker pays the rent, there is nothing left over, in fact, they are in debt. What about food for the family, utilities, clothes, doctor's bills, medicines, or even to think about going to school? Because of the great cost of living for these people the whole family is forced to work.
An estimated two hundred and fifty million children ages six to fourteen work for pennies a day so that their families have food to eat and a place to live. One half of these children work full-time. 85% of these children come from Asia and Africa. These children don’t want to be working, but their parents normally force them to. Because of this, the children miss out on the opportunity to be educated. Remember, children are the future> And with millions of them locked up, never learning how to read or write, or even simple math skills, what kind of future do we have? Most of these children work because of poverty. If your income is high you will probably be picked to attend school, in other words if you have money than you can go to school. Some children work because the schools are too overcrowded for them to attend.

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Others are forced to drop out of school, not because their parents force them to, but because the family’s income is not great enough. So they are forced to join the workforce.
Most people don't even realize that the products that we all love and enjoy partially made by children. Some well-known companies, which have sweatshops, are Campbell’s soup, H.J. Heinz, Pillsbury, Kmart, J.C. Penny, Sears, Walmart, Gap, Nike, Disney, and Costco.
The thing that I don’t understand is that if the majority of the public knows which companies are making the merchandise in sweatshops, why do we buy from those companies? We are just encouraging them to keep making more items.
     There are some organizations that support human rights and are trying to stop companies both big and small from using sweatshops and other unfair ways of employment. These organizations have rallies to protest against the companies, they get people to sign petitions, etc.
The company that I was most surprised with was Disney, who has sweatshops. They portray them selves as a happy company that loves children. But obviously, they don't as much as they tell us.
More than half of all toys sold in the U.S. and Canada are produced in China, Thailand, and other Asian countries, are made in sweatshops.
Will sweatshops and child labor ever end? Personally, I don’t think so, they are so easy to hid from the government and the public. A lot of people are bothered by this problem but the majority of the people cannot do anything about it. We would have to form huge protests. All young people would have to stop buying these brand name clothes…but this will never happen. Companies will always be greedy, and would only find new ways to cut corners so they will make more money.
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