Please forward this error screen to 64. What the world’what does poverty mean to you essay most impoverished people need isn’t fewer sweatshops, but more of them. Human rights, women’s rights, health, global affairs.
Internet Explorer 9 or earlier. Go to the home page to see the latest top stories. Go to the Phnom Penh Travel Guide. More news and information about Cambodia.
Go to the Cambodia Travel Guide. I’d like to offer them a tour of the vast garbage dump here in Phnom Penh. This is a Dante-like vision of hell. The miasma of toxic stink leaves you gasping, breezes batter you with filth, and even the rats look forlorn. Then the smoke parts and you come across a child ambling barefoot, searching for old plastic cups that recyclers will buy for five cents a pound.
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In-depth reference and news articles about Smoking. Obama and the Democrats who favor labor standards in trade agreements mean well, for they intend to fight back at oppressive sweatshops abroad. But while it shocks Americans to hear it, the central challenge in the poorest countries is not that sweatshops exploit too many people, but that they don’t exploit enough. Talk to these families in the dump, and a job in a sweatshop is a cherished dream, an escalator out of poverty, the kind of gauzy if probably unrealistic ambition that parents everywhere often have for their children. Pim Srey Rath, a 19-year-old woman scavenging for plastic. At least that work is in the shade. Here is where it’s hot.
Another woman, Vath Sam Oeun, hopes her 10-year-old boy, scavenging beside her, grows up to get a factory job, partly because she has seen other children run over by garbage trucks. I’m glad that many Americans are repulsed by the idea of importing products made by barely paid, barely legal workers in dangerous factories. Yet sweatshops are only a symptom of poverty, not a cause, and banning them closes off one route out of poverty. When I defend sweatshops, people always ask me: But would you want to work in a sweatshop? But I would want even less to pull a rickshaw. In the hierarchy of jobs in poor countries, sweltering at a sewing machine isn’t the bottom.