Archive for the ‘Slavery’ Category

Girls for Sale

Saturday, January 17th, 2004

If there is even needed another case for globalization and development, Nicholas Christof writes a very moving article about slavery and prostitution in the east (click on continue reading link below for full article). For a while I have been making the argument that the American boycott of goods and hence closing of Asian sweatshops was not the smartest thing. Nike doesn’t use forced labor in its overseas factories, workers are willing to work there because its a better option than others they currently have. According to the Institute for International Economics foreign companies pay about double the local manufacturing wage in low-income countries. Another NYT columnist, Paul Krugman, made essentially the same point more elegantly than I could put it:

“In 1993, child workers in Bangledesh were found to be producing clothing for Wal-Mart and Sentor Tom Harkin proposed legislation banning imports from countries employing underage workers. The direct result was that Bangldeshi textile factories stopped employing children. But did the children go back to school? Did they return to happy homes? Not according to OXFAM, which found that the displaced child workers ended up in even worse job, or on the streets – and that a significant number were forced into prostitution.”(Hearts and Heads, NYT, 4/22/01)


Slavery vs. the Cell Phone: Epilogue to the previous piece.