Foreign Policy Dealing With Clothing Manufacturing in Over Seas Third Countries Bangladesh
The objective of this study is to answer as to what the problem is in dealing with U.S. clothing manufacturers who have their clothing created in third world countries such as Bangladesh in the view a leader and specifically a president in the free world. Specifically this work will answer as to what can be legally done and what sanctions might be put in place. This work will identify stakeholders and makers of the program and who would be involved in providing input during the programs development stage and what problems with the cultural environment might exist in addressing this problem. Further, this work will answer as to what might assist or present as a barrier to the program and examine historical implications and treaties or amendments that might be enforced. This work will additionally address how the message might be best spread and how success would be measured. Finally, this work will address the implications of violation of the program and sanctions that might be imposed if the laws in place are violated.
According to the Cultural Survival website, there is presently a debate "among feminists as to whether industrialization is good for women." (2010, p.1) Industrialization has presented the chance for women to "get out of the house, to break away from the stifling constrictions of domestic patriarchy." (Cultural Survival, 2010, p.1) The manufacturing countries in foreign countries such as Bangladesh hired women workers in those countries in an effort to reduce labor costs and it is reported that these labor practices were specifically adopted by manufacturers or textiles, garments, and footwear. Simultaneously, international lending and aid agencies including the International Monetary Fund is reported to have pushed the Third World country elites to focus on increases of foreign financed industrial goods for export which would serve to bring about an increase in the imbalance of payments that resulted from imported oil price increases, foreign luxury goods purchase by the private sector for local government and elites in weapons that were costly and used to support their regimes. (Cultural Survival, 2010, paraphrased)
I. Export Processing Zones
There were initiatives reported including the formula for development which is referred to as "Export Processing Zones" (EPZs) which involved the government of a country investing funds in infrastructure creation for an industrial zone "…typically located near a deep water port or international airport. In addition, a government competed to offer attractive lax incentives to lure foreign companies to invest in its country. Finally, the host government usually guaranteed the companies' security, a process allegedly made easier by the physical confines of the EPZ itself. For their part, incoming garment, toy or electronics company executives were committed to producing for overseas markets, thus helping the government reduce its imbalance of payments and mollify foreign agencies on which it relied for grants or loans." (Cultural Survival, 2010, p.1) This entire formula was constructed on assumptions that were sexist in nature and that being "that labor intensive firms needed female workforces that women were docile and passive and thus less of a security risk, and that women were available." (Cultural Survival, 2010, p.1) The report states specifically as follows:
It is what goes on outside the factory gate which often determines when or if industrial waged work does anything to augment a woman's sense of worth, health or control. Recruitment processes are a good place to begin. Foreign managers who work closely with government agencies in recruiting women workers for local, male elites are often wary of "their" women being enlisted as factory workers. They fear that they might be accused of being the instigators of moral degeneracy and family disloyalty. Consequently, women workers - many of them in their teens and thus especially vulnerable to social stigmatizing - are recruited under implicit pacts made between company personnel officials, village elders or clergy and fathers. Guarantees must be given - though not always fulfilled - that the girls and women will stay "pure" and thus marriageable. The fathers - and mothers - of girls who work in Third World factories are ambivalent about their daughters going off to work for Levis or Mitsubishi. While they fear the loss of control over their daughter, they are usually in desperate financial straits. Often they have no land to cultivate, or they cannot cope with the indebtedness that now comes with peasant cultivation in many countries. They need cash. Women in the multiplying Export Processing Zones must be thought of in this context of family and agricultural politics." (Cultural Survival, 2010, p.1)
II. The Apparel Industry Codes of Conduct
According to the U.S. Department of Labor the form that company policies on apparel industry codes of conduct are widely varied between companies since some companies have developed their own codes of conduct that sets out values, principles and guidelines relating to such as child labor or their intentions on how they will conduct business. However, some companies who were surveyed have no such formal code of conduct. It is reported that another method used by companies to state their code of conduct is the use of compliance certificates, which are reported to:
Generally require suppliers, buying agents, or contractors to certify in writing that they abide by the company's stated standards prohibiting the employment of children.
Still others state their child labor policies in formal documents such as purchase orders or letters of credit, making compliance with the policy a contractual obligation for suppliers.
Some companies have both formal codes of conduct and contractual clauses or a certification form. Others' policies on child labor are exclusively contained in contracts or certification forms rather than in a formal code of conduct. (U.S. Department of Labor, nd, p.1)
There are also differences among companies in how they have created their codes of conduct. Some of the pioneer companies in establishing codes of conduct designed their own codes independently, based on their needs and experiences and sometimes drawing on existing models such as multilateral codes of conduct (e.g., ILO and OECD), private sector initiatives (e.g., the maquiladora standards), and internationally-recognized labor standards set by the ILO. United States corporations that have adopted codes of conduct more recently have benefitted from the experiences of corporations that took this path earlier." (U.S. Department of Labor, nd, p.1) The responses to the survey reported by the U.S. Department of Labor include those stated as follow:
(1) Thirty-three out of 42 companies that provided reportable responses have corporate codes of conduct, statements of principles, or compliance certificates specifically addressing child labor in overseas production;
(2) Twelve respondents do the same through contract requirements contained in purchase orders, letters of credit, or buying agent agreements;
(3) Nine respondents use a combination of both type of policy; and (4) Six respondents have no policy on overseas child labor. (U.S. Department of Labor, nd, p.1)
Survey results indicate that the development of codes of conduct is not a static field but instead is quite dynamic and characterized by experimentation. Included in the results are the following findings:
(1) Some companies have policies that are applied to both domestic and international production, while others have policies that only refer to domestic production and have not yet developed a comparable policy for overseas manufacturing.
(2) Many of the companies have recently revised their codes of conduct or policies, usually expanding them to include new features, such as implementation strategies. These revisions reflect the fact that many companies are learning how to promote and implement a code as they go along.
(3) Several companies indicated that they are in the process of reviewing their existing code or considering the introduction of a code. U.S. Department of Labor, nd, p.1)
Reported as basic elements and standards of codes of conduct are those with the following elements:
( 1) prohibitions on child labor;
( 2) prohibitions on forced labor;
( 3) prohibitions on discrimination based on race, religion, or ethnic origin;
( 4) requirements to ensure the health and safety of the workplace environment;
( 5) provisions on wages, usually based on local laws regarding minimum wage or prevailing level in the local industry;
( 6) provisions regarding limits on working hours, including forced overtime, in accordance with local laws; and ( 7) Support for freedom of association and the right to organize and bargain collectively. (U.S. Department of Labor, nd, p.1)
It is reported that while many of the corporate codes of conduct serve to address the same set of labor standards that there are differences of a significant nature on the definitions of these standards with corporate codes often following international definitions of labor standards. In other cases, the corporate conduct codes define the standard. The majority of companies responding to the survey have a policy that in general requires that their business partners are in compliance with the applicable laws and standards of the host country and industry. Many respondents in the U.S. Department of Labor…
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