Critical Thinking

Blinded voiceless part of the society. Nowadays ,

Blinded by power , markets tend to ignore human
rights and take advantage of the voiceless part of the society. Nowadays ,
there are plenty of situations where human rights are exploited or handled
unfairly. Even though people’s incentives are not always bad , cheap labor
means cheap prices and therefore bigger profits. Everyday new problems about
employees’ rights can be seen on the news but the majority tend to ignore it.
Employees living in third world countries are taken advantage by powerful
companies all around the world. Quite often , it doesn’t have to be legally
working employees ; prisoners, immigrants , and even children are obligated to
work really hard and get nothing in return compared to the energy and time they
spend. We usually call this kind of workers captive employees , these are
workers who accept working in bad conditions because they have no other option.
These captive employees are usually not even aware of their human or working
rights mainly because of the lack of education. Human rights are a set of moral
guidelines that promote and protect a recognition of our values and ability to
ensure an adequate standard of living. Without the recognition of human rights
, people will be treated as objects or animals and we will go back years
earlier when the world was run by totalitarian regime built on slavery . In
order to analyze this subject more deeply ; we can ask ourselves the following
question : To which extent human/labor rights make a market based on captives
employees rightful ?  To which
extent  markets using captives employees
are a violation to human rights ?                                                               
                                                                                                       A literature review and then a
questionnaire will be used to answer this questions . In the first section ,
captive employees poor working conditions will be described with several
examples and the main reasons why they have these poor conditions will be
explained , in the second section we will see how the miserable conditions of
these captive employees neglect the human rights and are morally but relatively
not acceptable. In the third section , the term relative will be interpreted  because the economic situation is different
each country , therefore what is right and wrong might be different.

1.       Descriptive
analysis

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Captive employee is a large term , but the best way to
define it, is to say that captive employees have very limited choice of work ,
they generally do not have an educational background , they accept to work in
poor conditions because they cannot do anything else , they are in some way
figuratively “captive” because they have no freedom to choose alternatives or
to avoid working like that. One of the first thing that comes to mind when
captive employee is said are prisoners .For example in the article of the Economist (2017), it is said that US
prison labor is legally required but the inmates earn less than 1 dollar to
produce everything from mattresses to road signs. The amount of money they earn
is scarcely any that it can even be compared to slavery , The opinions on this
subject are contrary , some think that prisoners should not profit from their
punishment even if it’s a ridiculously small amount of money, other thinks that
it defeats idleness and may help to give the prisoners some skill.   Like prisoners , sex workers can be seen as
captive employees ;  in their research Benoit , Cecilia ( 2001) analyzed sex
workers conditions in Canada , and it is shown 
that  factors like workplace
violence with poor work conditions , not having a place to seek refuge from
danger , drug use , being terrified of police interventions or  having a STD affect the stress level and
health of many Canadian sex workers , the stress was a big influence of their
working condition and  these conditions
need to be improved to a healthier labor environment. Another subject that consist
of captive employees are low-wage workers , for example in the article of Rachel Abrams ( 2017) , it says that
Bangladesh exports billions of dollars of clothes each year , but it factories
are deadly overcrowded buildings,
limited oversight and a government that has historically repressed workers’
efforts to organize and fight for better conditions. Customers generally know
about these conditions since they see it quite often on the news , but usually
they do nothing since it suit their interest , workers in Bangladesh work in
terrible conditions and got paid poorly , but without it the clothes would be
double price based on the fact that if the factories  pay them more , they will be obligated to
charge more for the clothes . In Bangladesh , many workers tried to protest
because of their low wage and work conditions but they were easily arrested by
the police and got accused of vandalism and other sort of crimes. The situation
has improved since the collapse of a big factory which lead to thousands of
deaths but still the minimum wage in Bangladesh remains 32 cent an hour and the
government manages to silence the protesting workers.                                                                                                                                                       A similar
case happened in Indonesia , with children , in the article of Cochrane 
(2016 ), it is explained that hundreds of children are exposed to dangerous
level of nicotine while working in tobacco farms , they even suffered from side
effects such as vomiting or nausea , these is a violation of one of the five core
labor standards which is elimination of the worst forms of child labor. Human
rights literature generally do not mention labor rights , but labor rights
should be a form of human rights and it has to be more intensify . In all the
article seen if there is one thing common it is the lake of application of  human rights in the world and these are its
consequences. In this article Chan(
1998) talks about Chinese workers who are victims of labor rights violation
, they work in terrible conditions without any liberty , for example sometimes the
factory management collects the workers’ residential permits and identity
papers for “safekeeping” , so without the permit, workers cannot go onto the
streets without becoming vulnerable in case of a police identity check , this
is a violation of the freedom to move . They even sometime used private
security guard to check on the workers , which is can be an accurate comparison
to the prison, and these security guards are not just for show ; even the Beijing Review admits to an excessive use of police force. This is a
violation to the no torture nor physical abuse right of the human rights and to
the prohibition of all forms of  forced
labor stated in the five core labor standards. The terrible condition are so
serious that a lot of workers had their arm or fingers chopped off . These Chinese
workers are seeking their rights by yelling sentences like “We migrant workers
are human too!”.

A morally responsible
behavior is to treat people regarding to their personal human and labor  rights and not regarding your self-interest. It’s
to think about others as much as you think about yourself . it is generally
hard to agree on the morally acceptable since everybody’s perspective of moral
is different , but there are some certain points which are not arguable like
the child labor or safety and no psychical abuse. But those rights are not
always followed since powerful people’s self-interest corrupt with the workers’
rights. When you ask people what is morally acceptable , in every research it
is seen clearly that the responses vary regarding the countries , which means
regarding to different cultures. The basic rights of an employee such as having
a break or having vacations may seem nothing for developed countries , but it
is not the same case for developing countries. Morals are not the only thing
that differs among countries to influence the working conditions , economic situation
also affects worker’s conditions ; for example , a worker in the Netherlands and
a worker in China does not work with the same conditions even though they might
do the same job. As it said before , customers are not comfortable with product
made in poor conditions , they in most cases just accept the situation , for
several reasons , but the main one is that they don’t want to pay more for the
same product , they think their own budget and their own interest which is
wrong but understandable , and also it is a difficult situation to change since
we are talking about millions of workers and big international companies who
operates on them .Based on these findings in China and similar situations in
other Asian countries like Indonesia and Vietnam,  the legal minimum wages are the lowest
possible prices these governments have set to sell their workers’ labor in the
international labor market while maintaining their workers’ physical survival .
But  this often becomes the maximum price
international investors are willing to pay, or not pay if they can get away
with it. Even though they can try to maintain workers physical survival , the Foxconn
suicides are the prove that it is not enough ;  The absence of fundamental labor rights within
the global production regime driven by Apple and its principal supplier Foxconn
have become a central concern for Chinese rural migrant workers .In the
article Chan(2013) , the life of a Chinese worker who survived the suicides is
explained , Yu’s lived experience illustrates how the company’s obsession with
production goals, business growth and profits frequently results in the
sacrifice of the basic human needs of its workers , Chinese sociologists
have warned that the Foxconn tragedies should be seen as ‘loud cries for help
from the new generation of migrant workers’ 

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