Graduate studies at Western
Business Ethics Quarterly 15 (4):615-640 (2005)
|Abstract||Disputes regarding the ethics of work by children have intensified in recent years, with little resolution. The impasses stem from failure to recognize the diverse forms of child work and a lack of empirical research regarding its causes and consequences. We report on data gathered in Brazil’s export-oriented shoe industry, which is notorious for the employment of children. Central findings are: 1) the causes of child work have less to do with backwardness and more to do with how shoe workers are integrated into the global order; 2) local employers and children regard this work as benign, but the U.S. government sees it as hazardous to children and unfair to U.S. producers; 3) efforts to remove children from the shoe industry have been frustrated by local resistance and raise ethical questions; and 4) in certain circumstances, efforts to eliminate hazards from the workplace are morally superior to campaigns to remove childworkers from employment|
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