Ukoha, Chukwuma
April 2013
Business & Management Review;Apr2013, Vol. 3 Issue 2, p10
Academic Journal
The paper analysed, using corporate social responsibility theories, the ethical implications of outsourcing garment production to suppliers in developing countries, some of which employ underage workers. It argued that the perception of what is ethical or unethical depends on the theoretical view point against which the action is analysed. The stakeholder and ethical universalism theories suggest that the use of child labour is unethical, while the consequentialism and ethical relativism theories suggest that the use of child labour in developing countries might not be unethical, given the peculiar circumstances and the context of the situation. The paper concluded that even though the rightness or wrongness of the use of child labour is debateable, garment retailers and suppliers have an obligation to protect the rights of children, in line with the UN Convention on the rights of the child. It is recommended that garment retailers together with their suppliers develop an ethical child labour policy, which will ensure that the children in their employment are adequately compensated for the work they do, and are provided with quality healthcare, basic education, and on-the-job training and apprenticeship schemes. Garment retailers and suppliers, whose activities expose children to economic exploitation or interfere with their education, should be prosecuted.


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