Child Labor and Sweatshops are a Current Problem in the Fashion Industry

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Child Labor and Sweatshops are a Current Problem in the Fashion Industry

Many societies face the much overlooked problem of child labor and sweatshops in the fashion industry. Recently, Americans were stunned to learn that their apple pie sweetheart, Kathie Lee Gifford was associated with the exploitation of underage workers in Honduras. Gifford's story began the resurgence of knowledge of the growing problem of sweatshops in today's society. Contrary to popular belief, sweatshops still exist across the world in both third world countries and super powers such as America. Sweatshops incorporate the inhumane exploitation of workers, many of whom are underage, by providing extremely low wages as well as expecting unrealistic
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The sweatshop problem has been acknowledged by the government as a definite problem in today's society. President Clinton created a Task Force and signed a conduct code to help assuage the situation of those entrapped in the sweatshops. The Congressional Mandate encourages a sense of 'social responsibility" in order to eliminate "hazardous conditions to the physical and mental health of the child" (The Apparel Industry and Codes of Conduct 2). However, according to David B. Wilson, a critic for Labor Alerts1, the Task Force fell short of the intended goals. Due to the stubbornness of the fashion industry, many of the terms agreed to are filled with loopholes. For example, the Congressional Mandate dictates that "Companies shall pay the local minimum wage or prevailing industry wage" (Wilson 1). However, third world countries often lack a minimum wage and those which do have a minimum wage are set well below the basic needs in order to attract investment by foreign companies. Realistically, the fashion industry merely complies with the substandard laws that have already been created. (Wilson 1) The Task Force Agreement and Congressional Mandate ultimately result in the legalization of the practices considered to be most inhumane, and they serve as a seal of approval for such practices. Although Congress demonstrated the need for legislation, the result proves the need for increased regulation and strict measures to ensure the fair and equal treatment of

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