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Sweatshops in South East Asia


Sweatshop slavery has been around since the 19th Century. Even today, many people are either tricked or trafficked into sweatshop labor. One such case that made headline news was sweatshop labor in major sports company Nike. Nike has received many allegations of using sweatshop labor, but none of them were ever proven true. An under cover investigation
by an Australian News Channel revealed the flip side of Nike's manufacturing factories. The factory in Malaysia that was subject to this investigation was one of Nike's largest contractors. In the investigation, it was reveled that the workers working there were not Malaysian, but from Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. All of these workers had been lied to by recruiters promising a higher wage than what they were receiving, a good life, and the chance to LEAVE whenever they wanted to. After leaving their family and life behind, the were shipped to a new country where upon arrival had their passports, rights, and liberties taken away. They were forced to sign contracts they could not understand. They were given the option to leave after they pay back the travel fee and other "debt" they owed to the company. However, since their wages were next to nothing and the amount they owed kept rising everyday they lived in the factory, leaving wasn't an option. These workers were subjected to horrible working conditions such as unsanitary showers, hole-in-the-wall bathrooms, rat-infested dorms, and abuse. Up to 26 people were squished into a room 3/4 the size of a classroom. Workers were pressured and at times forced to work overtime in order to meet the orders that Nike had made. Even though they had worked over time and put every last bit of energy into the job, the factory would at times withhold their pay for some times months. It wasn't until the undercover exposé that the workers were freed. Nike, of course, denied any knowledge whatsoever to knowing what was taking place in their factories
and released statements saying they were investigating. Ultimately the factory was shut down, the workers were paid compensation, given a new life and house in Malaysia,  and given their passports and freedoms back.
This is just one of the many cases of sweatshop slavery and labor. Other places, people aren't so lucky. Children are sometimes sold into labor by their parents and the factory thinks they own them. In some cases, after the factory has been shut down, the workers will be sold into the sex slavery industry. Nike isn't the only company involved in sweatshop labor, many other fashion chains such as Abercrombie & Fitch, United Colors of Benetton, and the Gap has also been under speculation for using sweatshop workers to mass produce their clothing. Many organizations and NGO's such as the International Labor Organization, Humans Rights Watch, and the CNN Freedom Project work round-the-clock to find and expose this type of slavery as well as raise public awareness.

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