Exploitation - in Developing Nations

In Developing Nations

This article may contain original research. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding references. Statements consisting only of original research may be removed.

Developing nations (commonly called "third world countries" or "poor countries") are the focus of much debate over the issue of exploitation, particularly in the context of the global economy.

Critics of foreign companies allege, for instance, that firms such as Nike and Gap Inc. resort to child labor and sweatshops in developing nations, paying their workers wages far lower than those that prevail in developed nations (where the products are sold). This, it is argued, is insufficient to allow workers to attain the local subsistence standard of living if working hours common in the first world are observed, so that working hours much longer than in the first world are necessary. It is also argued that work conditions in these developing-world factories are more unsafe and much more unhealthy than in the first world. For example, observers point to cases where employees were unable to escape factories burning down—and thus dying—because of locked doors, a common signal that sweatshop conditions exist. The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of 1911 was another example, but it occurred in the US, so the first world of then is the equivalent of the third world of today.

Others argue that, in the absence of compulsion, the only way that corporations are able to secure adequate supplies of labor is to offer wages and benefits superior to preexisting options, and that the presence of workers in corporate factories indicates that the factories present options which are seen as better—by the workers themselves—than the other options available to them (see principle of revealed preference).

A common response is that this is disingenuous, as the companies are in fact exploiting people by the terms of unequal human standards (applying lower standards to their third world workers than to their first world ones). Furthermore, the argument goes, if people choose to work for low wages and in unsafe conditions because it is their only alternative to starvation or scavenging from garbage dumps (the "preexisting options"), this cannot be seen as any kind of "free choice" on their part. It also argued that if a company intends to sell its products in the first world, it should pay its workers by first world standards.

Following such a view, some in the United States propose that the U.S. government should mandate that businesses in foreign countries adhere to the same labor, environmental, health, and safety standards as the U.S. before they are allowed to trade with businesses in the U.S. (this has been advocated by Howard Dean, for example). They believe that such standards would improve the quality of life in less developed nations.

According to others, however, this would harm the economies of less developed nations by discouraging the U.S. from investing in them. Milton Friedman was an economist who thought that such a policy would have that effect. According to this argument, the result of ending perceived 'exploitation' would therefore be the corporation pulling back to its developed nation, leaving their former workers out of a job.

Groups who see themselves as fighting against global exploitation also point to secondary effects such as the dumping of government-subsidized corn on developing world markets which forces subsistence farmers off of their lands, sending them into the cities or across borders in order to survive. More generally, some sort of international regulation of transnational corporations is called for, such as the enforcement of the International Labour Organization's labor standards.

The Fair Trade Movement seeks to ensure a more equitable treatment of producers and workers, thus minimizing exploitation of labor forces in developing countries. The exploitation of labor is not limited to the aforementioned large scale corporate outsourcing, but it can also be found within the inherent structure of local markets in developing countries like Kenya.

Read more about this topic:  Exploitation

Other articles related to "developing, in developing nations, developing nations, in developing":

Australian School Of Pacific Administration - Later Years
... management training for professionals from developing countries in the Pacific, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean ... middle life, the School offered courses to people from developing countries ... at the end, it provided a base for Australians consulting to the developing world ...
Amirmachmud - Works
... Developing Politics at Home (1981) Developing A Religious Life In A Pancasila World (1981) Developing A Pancasila Social Culture (1983) ...
Elderly Care - Cultural and Geographic Differences - In Developing Nations - India
... India is facing the same problem as many developing nations in that its elderly population is increasing tremendously, with a current estimate of 90 million over the age of 60 ...
Markle Foundation - History
... It shifted at that point to developing and using communication and information to enhance lifelong learning and to promote an informed citizenry ... Markle has initiated collaborations to expand access to the Internet in developing countries and worked to ensure public representation in global Internet governance processes ... Markle is developing a new Initiative to find opportunities for renewal of the American Dream in a networked world by leveraging technology and advancing public ...
... Developing is a 1994 short film directed by Marya Cohn, about the relationship between a girl and her single mother, who has breast cancer ...

Famous quotes containing the words nations and/or developing:

    ...I still have faith occasionally in the brotherhood of man, and in spite of all the tragedies that have intervened since [1945], believe that sometime, somehow, all the nations of the world can work together for the common good.
    Virginia Crocheron Gildersleeve (1877–1965)

    Our children evaluate themselves based on the opinions we have of them. When we use harsh words, biting comments, and a sarcastic tone of voice, we plant the seeds of self-doubt in their developing minds.... Children who receive a steady diet of these types of messages end up feeling powerless, inadequate, and unimportant. They start to believe that they are bad, and that they can never do enough.
    Stephanie Martson (20th century)