Essay Sample Paper on The Sweatshops Dilemma

The Sweatshops Dilemma

The exchange of goods between countries and regions has benefited many countries especially the exporters. Since the 19th century, countries once referred to as developing nations have shifted to the developed nation category due to international. China for instance was a struggling nation until it started producing commodities through mass production for exports. Through international trade, China’s and other former developing nation’s gross domestic product have increased over the years. In most cases, nations, governments and business people focus on the benefits of trade yet behind the scenes are unscrupulous methods of production being employed to produce these goods and to generate revenue. This leads us to the sweatshops in the developing nations.

In the developing nations, thousands of young people work tirelessly to earn a living in sweatshops. These workers have no choice since they are not educated and hence cannot secure a decent job and working in a sweatshop is all they know. The little they earn is used to feed their elderly parents and young siblings. However, as they continue to encounter hard working conditions and very low wages, some American Business moguls continue to make millions in the clothing industry (Hebert, par 1). Herbets article is against importing products made from low wages since the buyers who are mainly the western clothing companies are not concerned with the poor workers. Instead, the senior management of one of the big clothing companies stated that paying the workers a minimum wage is important but the determination of the whether the wages are sufficient cannot be blamed on them.

As much as we would support the prohibition of products made from very low wages, it is important to consider that this action would have a negative impact on the workers which would be far much worse than the low wages paid to them. This is because, the little money earned from this jobs is their only source of income and their families also depend on them. Interestingly, these workers value their jobs and are even willing to work longer hours for extra cents since these wages are not only their livelihoods but also their families’ livelihoods.  The work related injuries and injustices they undergo daily is not even a reason to make them leave. According to Kristof and WuDunn (2000), the solution to helping these workers is not to refuse to trade with nations whose industries offer low wages. Rather, the solution is to work closely with their governments and media stations to campaign for improvement of sweatshops working conditions since the other option would be harming the workers instead of finding solutions to assist and improve their workplace conditions.

The issue of very low wages in sweatshops is in itself argumentative since when viewed in different perspectives, one is left torn in between. Personally, I feel that using child labour to generate revenues for a minority few who do not care at all about these issues is rather unethical and morally wrong. Therefore, the importation of goods produced through child labour and low wage schemes should be prohibited. However, the process should be given a grace period for the sweatshops and their governments to review their laws. This will also help the families depending on the wages to find an alternative source of income since immediate prohibition would lead to more suffering greater than the one experienced in the sweatshops.

Works Cited

Herbet, Bob. In America; Sweatshop Beneficiaries. July 25, 1995. Web. 18 May 2015.


Kristof, Nicholas and Sherly WuDunn. Two Cheers for Sweatshops. Sep. 24, 2000. Web. 18 May 2015