Sweatshop Regulation and Global Equality


KHAS Core Program

March 15, Tuesday, 18:00

Sweatshops are workplaces where usually many people work under adverse working conditions. Activists and progressive governments sometimes interfere in the working conditions of these sweatshops. Their methods may include boycotts of the products produced in these facilities, bans on the import of these products or tariffs imposed by the home country, and enforcing the host country’s laws that aim at regulating sweatshops. Some argue that such interference in sweatshop conditions is morally wrong since it may either harm or disrespect workers it is supposed to help. The reason why an interference may harm or disrespect the workers is because the enterprise that runs the sweatshop may choose to lay-off some workers as a result to maintain their profit at the desired level. This argument, therefore, prohibits any interference in sweatshop conditions on moral grounds. In this presentation, I argue in dissent and build a contractualist argument in favor of moral permissibility of an interference in sweatshops.