This paper discusses about Globalization and Sweatshops, effect of products manufactured in sweatshops on the Canadian marketplace, in context to Bangladesh’s sweatshops impact on girl child labour and their education, and what effect it would make on their lives if these young girls stop working in these sweatshops?. Globalization has become an emerging trend in business today. Due to the availability of cheap and abundant labour in developing countries and also these labours are not covered under any protection laws under the governmental regulation or company, many multinationals companies have relocated their manufacturing services in such countries in order to retain competitive advantage (Rouge & Rouge, 2016).
Globalization: Globalization describes the increasing interdependency or the integration of the world’s economies, population, and culture. It has made possible and easy cross border trade in technology, goods and services, and information (Miller, 2004).
Sweatshops: Sweatshops are described as the companies or factories that have unsafe and poor working conditions and also have low pay for the employees, sometimes even lower than 20 cents for an hour. At some places or countries, government or owners of the organization use threats of violence to force workers to work in such conditions (Powell & Skarbek, 2005).
Incident of Bangladesh’s Garment Industry
As globalization has shifted the manufacturing facilities of multinational companies to the developing countries where labour is available at cheap rates, this trend is mostly seen in the ready-made garment (RMG) industries. In recent years, RMG industry has faced allegations from internationally for using sweatshop practices, low wages, poor working environment, and use of physical and mental abuses by seniors (Jalava, 2015). In 2013, the Rana Plaza RMG factory in Bangladesh was collapsed and led to the death of 1133 workers in the factory (Caleca, 2014). Due to the high competition in Bangladesh’s RMG industry, members of this industry face difficult situations and for sustaining and remaining competitive in the market, they try to cut corners. However, these corners may lead to major injuries or even death (Caleca, 2014).
Young Girls in RMG Industry in Bangladesh
About 4 million people work in the RMG industry of Bangladesh. Out of these population most of the workers are women or young girls. Since 2005, these industries led to the death of at least 2000 people due to the poor work conditions in the industries. But due to the extreme poverty and illiteracy in the nation, women and young girls have to work in these industries. They consider this as the only way for them to claw out of their poverty conditions (Trustedclothes, 2016). They have to work for 10-hour shifts and sometimes even 14-16 hours over swing machines to better their lives. According to a study 12% of Bangladeshi women who work in RMG industry are from 15-30 years. Young girls are hired for this work because company owner has to pay low wages to them and girls also agreed because they are left with no other choice to survive their poverty (Ahmed, 2004). Long working hours and poverty force them to drop their education. If these girls do not work and leave their jobs, their economic conditions are so under poverty that it might be possible that they have to beg for food.
Products of Sweatshops and Canadian Market
In recent studies it was found that sweatshops are increasing in number in the urban centres of Canada, especially where are large immigrant communities. In recent years it has found that multinational companies and major brands such as Gap, Wal-Mart and Joe Fresh of Canada outsource their clothing manufacturing facilities to the cheap markets of the Bangladesh, because the national minimum wage there is $38 in a month (Rouge & Rouge, 2016). Therefore, it is clear that even the multinational companies of Canada are using sweatshops for being manufactured their products at cheaper rate and making large profits on them.
Canadian Consumers and Sweatshops
According to a study it has found that people tend to ignore the fact where and how the product was manufactured if they really want something. Also most of the times consumers are unaware about the fact that the product they are purchasing is manufactured in a sweatshop. Consumers run towards products manufactured in sweatshops as these are available at cheaper rates or at great sale or on exclusive offer (Paharia, 2013).
It can be concluded that due to the globalisation, outsourcing of manufacturing facilities has increased to a large extent and it led to the large number of sweatshops in the developing countries. These sweatshops are exploiting the human rights and taking advantage of poverty conditions of people and making them to work in the poor conditions of sweatshops at lower wages. Such extremely poor conditions in sweatshops of Bangladesh resulted in the death of more than 2000 people till now.
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Jalava, M. (2015). Human Rights Violations in the Garment Industry of Bangladesh.
Miller, J. A. (2004). Teaching about Sweatshops and Globalization. Review of Radical Political Economics, 36(3), 321-327.
Paharia, N. (2013). CONSUMERS THINK SWEATSHOPS OK IF 'SHOES ARE CUTE,' RESEARCH REVEALS. Retrieved from https://www.georgetown.edu/news/paharia-sweathshop-products-study.html
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Trustedclothes. (2016). Girls & Women Working in the Garments Industry in Bangladseh. Retrieved from https://www.trustedclothes.com/blog/2016/08/04/girls-women-working-in-the-garments-industry-in-bangladesh/