Essay About Sweatshops in Third World Countries
A sweatshop is defined as a factory or workshop, especially in the clothing industry, where manual workers are employed at very low wages for long hours and under poor conditions. Most of these places can be found in third world countries, such as parts of China, Asia, Africa, Latin America, Russia, and Poland. Many of the workers there are underage children that are helping their families that may be in poverty. Third world countries are considered ‘undeveloped’ countries or certain parts of countries so their poverty rates are high, many of them don't have basic things such as clean water and have a poor economy. According to the US Department of Labor every sweatshop floats at least two or more labor laws.
Sweatshops in the United States first started in the nineteenth century. The term was originally used to define conditions in some parts of the food and clothing industry. Eventually it expanded to mass production of toys, appliances, and other big industries that worked for people for low pay and long hours in poor conditions. There were very few government regulations for these sweatshops. By the twentieth century many sweatshops were gone from the U.S due to the government changing laws to protect workers. However there are still very few sweatshops run illegally in the United States. Many sweatshops are now run in undeveloped countries.
Sweatshops have poor working conditions, minimum wages, child labor, and little to no benefits for workers. On average 168 million children ages 5 to 14 work in sweatshops along with their parents. Many children in these undeveloped countries are denied an education so they are able to work. 61% of children in Asia work in sweatshops, 32% in Africa, and 7% in Latin America. Their childhoods are taken away from them so they can work for very little money. Many of these children are denied food and water while workings, and experience abuse in these sweatshops.
Many of the products made in sweatshops are sold here in the United States. One of the products commonly made in sweatshops are shoes, they are mainly made in Asian countries and child labor is most common in this industry. Rugs are another thing that is commonly made in sweatshops, approximately 75% of Pakistan's carpet weavers are girls under 14. Toys made in China, Malaysia, Thailand or Vietnam are usually made in sweatshops. On average a North American toy maker would make 9 to 11 dollars per toy, a toy maker in China would make 30 cents per toy on average. Also banana workers overseas are extremely underpaid and overworked, they are exposed to very dangerous pesticides and are usually forced to work overtime for no extra pay.
The United States sales of clothes, food and appliances would fail completely without sweatshops. While there are a very select few brads who are against sweatshops, a lot of brads get all of their merchandise from sweatshops. An example of how sweatshops work is if an item is sold for one hundred dollars, the sweatshop worker may get paid five for making multiple of that product. In a way this is supply and demand but to the extreme. If the workers were paid the same amount or more then the product was sold for then there would be no profit.
For people working in sweatshops the minimum pay for the long hours is better than nothing to them. The pay barely gets them by and allows them to have the bare minimum necessities. Majority of sweatshop workers live in undeveloped places and in poverty. Many of them don't have access to clean water and live in inhumane living conditions.