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What are sweatshops?

Sweatshops are clothing factories where workers (mostly women):

Sweatshops are widespread in Asia, China and Latin America , where young children often work alongside their mothers in cramped, dangerous conditions. However, there are also sweatshops in Europe and the United States , where people work long hours for poor pay and are denied the right to join a union. The odds are that you regularly wear clothes made in sweatshops. It is widely known that garments from sportswear companies like Nike and high-street shops like Gap are made in sweatshops.

So should we stop buying (boycott) clothes from companies that use sweatshops? The problem is that this could actually hurt the workers we want to help. If a boycott succeeds and less people buy clothes made in sweatshops, workers will be laid off. Instead, campaigners in the UK are trying to create links between trade unions in different countries with the aim of ensuring that everyone has the right to expect reasonable working conditions.

(See http://www.sweatshops.org for more information on sweatshops)


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