Sweatshops: A Theoretical Analysis

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The Clothing Industry and the use of sweatshops is commonly associated with Institutional Evil. Institutional evil is an act taken by an organisation in which the people involved are separated into two groups. Those involved identify with their own group as ‘us’ and identify all others as ‘them’ (Peter Vardy, 2003). These acts are done with little sympathy and often show a lack of humanity towards ‘them’. Institutional Evil has occurred when an action taken in the interest of ‘us’ is accepted in society, no matter the impact it causes upon ‘them’ (Peter Vardy, 2003). A sweatshop is a facility where workers face extreme working conditions whilst manufacturing items for companies which are often globally known. Workers endure violations of labour …show more content…

Although many major supply factories assure that they adhere to the codes of conduct, which prevent the suffering of the workers, this is often not true. In developing countries where these factories are located, these codes of conduct are difficult to monitor. Due to the high demand to quickly produce large quantities of cheap clothing from sourcing companies, the codes of conduct are usually not followed (Oxfam Australia, 2015). The actions of these companies impact significantly upon the societies in which they are located and the lives of the workers; violate the guidelines provided through Catholic Social Teachings, degrading the dignity of the workers; and allow desire to control their actions, going against Buddhist teachings on the …show more content…

A Catholic Social Teaching is an ‘authoritative Church teaching on social, political and economic issues’ (Catholic Social Teaching, 2015). The Catholic Church teaches that all people have both the right to and the responsibility to work, all people have the right to a fair wage and all people have the right to a safe work environment, including permission to join unions, and to be treated equally (Caritas.org.au, 2015). In following these teachings, one must respect the dignity of all human beings as seen in Matt 7:12: “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” In 2011, Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, California, wrote, “these are not just political conflicts or economic choices; they are moral choices with enormous human dimensions. The debates over worker representation and collective bargaining are not simply matters of ideology or power, but involve principles of justice, participation and how workers can have a voice in the workplace and economy.” The dignity of all sweatshop workers is diminished through the inability for employers to provide them with fair wages and a safe working environment, stripping them of their basic rights (Usccb.org, 2015). Pope John Paul II said “If through necessity or fear of a worse evil, the workman accepts

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