How to Stop Sweatshops...
There are many factors that lead to the creation of sweatshops but they are perpetuated by lies, myths and secrecy. Sweatshops are more that just labor abuse; when you find a sweatshop you’ll also find social injustice, poverty, discrimination, abuse of women and environmental damage Sweatshops are a well-connected problem, with roots deep in our cultures and economic systems.
As Bama Athreya of the International Labor Rights Fund put it, "There is no one solution. We have to act on different levels simultaneously."
And we are working together. Consumers, workers, churches, students, unions, nonprofit organizations, governments and businesses are coming together to build critical mass and eradicate sweatshops. Consensus is building around the key elements to end the abuse. They are:
Full Public Disclosure:
To hold companies accountable, the public must know where the goods they purchase were made and how the workers were treated. Full corporate disclosure backed with independent monitoring and punishment for violations are not only the way to prevent labor abuse, but social injustice and environmental damage as well.
The Right to Organize:
Workers must be made aware of their rights and any company code of conduct. They must be able to freely associate; to advocate for those rights and improvements in their workplace conditions, pay and benefits without fear of reprisal.
A Living Wage:
Companies must pay workers a living wage. That means enough money to meet basic monthly necessities in the community where the worker lives. As Reverend David Schilling of the US Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility observed, a factory may be clean, well organized and monitored, but unless the workers are paid a sustainable living wage, it is still a sweatshop.