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Essay Example on International Labor Rights

3 pages
702 words
Middlebury College
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Lack of fundamental freedom and respect for human rights has been prevalent in most of the manufacturing industries. Workers in factories are not allowed to form or join the existing labor unions. Any attempt to enter the unions is met by suspension or immediate termination of their job while others are pressured to resign (Key trade statistics from the WTO, organized by country, n.d.). In some countries such as Cambodia, the government has gone an extra mile in silencing the workers by closing down over 32 radio stations and independent newspapers (Key trade statistics from the WTO, organized by country, n.d.). Silencing the media and burn of labor unions has led to increasing adverse environment and more exploitation of the employees.

Workers in factories where exploitation is the order of the day, experience excessive hostility and violent retaliation being used to silence them when they want to join labor unions or try to protest. In 2014 the Azim group factories managers in Bangladesh attacked, issued death threats, kidnapped and frightening with weapons family members and broke into homes of workers who had joined the labor force (The Worker Rights Consortium, n.d.). In such a case where the factory management is willing to do anything to silence its employees, the workers are better off in an alternative job where their rights and dignity will be respected.

The United States should make a public statement expressing its concern on the increase of workers exploitation and should also have a direct engagement with the involved governments to emphasize the importance of a political and industrial relations environment consistent with international conventions and standards. If this does not work, the US citizens should threaten to boycott purchase of manufactured goods from the affected countries and factories. A threat of business termination will force the companies to review their working conditions for them to regain their market and continue with their production (Union of Needle trades, Industrial and Textile Employees, n.d.). It will translate to better working terms for the workers.

In some countries, where factory owners are viewed to have a considerable political influence, work rules should not be left for the political system of that country to set. In such a case the government will always work with the factories to exploit the workers. For example, in 2016 the Government of Cambodia embraced a trade union law imposing new limits on the right to strike, bringing government intervention internal union matters, and allowing the third party to seek dissolution of trade unions (Key trade statistics from the WTO, organized by country, n.d.). This law also reduced fines paid by employers for labor violation while increasing financial scrutiny of trade unions. Thus, in such countries, work standards should be set in other nations that embrace democracy with the aim of protecting the rights of the workers.

Work rules should be set, and all parties that are involved in the manufacturing process should be included. The parties include the management of the factories, leaders of the labor union, social activist and the government. The international labor standards should also be considered while setting work rules for a given company to ensure that the set laws do not violate the international set standards.

Factory management should ensure that the set rules are followed. The labor union should act as the watchdog and ensure that the employees' rights are not violated and in case of violation, they should follow the necessary procedure laid down in the international standards to claim justice for the workers. The government should always ensure that the workers are protected against exploitation by imposing the essential sanction to the violating factories (The Worker Rights Consortium, n.d.). The importing country, in this case, United States, should make it clear that it will only transact with companies that meet the international labor standards.



Key trade statistics from the WTO, organized by country (n.d.). Retrieved December 15, 2017, from

The Worker Rights Consortium. (n.d.). Retrieved December 15, 2017, from

Union of Needle trades, Industrial and Textile Employees (n.d.). Retrieved December 15, 2017, from


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