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What are three solutions the Rep could possibly use to avoid violating child labor laws while still getting the potential contractors to produce the lines developed by his company?
A global sourcing representative for a major retail chain travels a good portion of the time, going from country to country to find good potential contractors to produce the lines developed in his company's product development department. The rep has found many of his prospects for contractors in less-developed countries. Many of these countries offer good quality and will produce apparel at costs that are attractive. One of the countries visited is Bangladesh, where, he noticed that some of the workers looked more like children than adults. There has seen no evidence that these young people were held against their will or abused.
The rep learned that members of the U.S. Congress are sensitized to the issue, and several bills have been introduced to regulate the importation of products made by children. The rep agrees that abusive child labor conditions should be eliminated. The rep knows that children generally have no advocates in those situations and are therefore easily exploited. The rep also knows the dire poverty in Bangladesh and the alternative activities for children. The rep agrees that the safe confines of a factory, as unacceptable as that may be too many westerners, might also be safer than dodging in and out of traffic. The rep also knows that far too few schools exist in Bangladesh to believe that all the children denied factory work would be sent off cheerily by their mothers to school each day.
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Regardless of the Rep's wishes for production agreements, Western countries and the U.N. are joined together to put an end to worldwide child labor. The steps to accomplish this are through:
- Organization of labor unions.
- Community organization to withstand child misuse.
- Strident campaigns to alter public opinion.
- Implementation of universal Minimum labor Standards.
The Western world and world wide objective is for all children to be given free education by 2015. The Rep could design ways in which production agreements could assist in implementing these goals including minimum child labor standards.
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