Slavory in the Chocolate Industry Essay
From the perspective of Utilitarianism, child slavery contributes the economics position of thecountry – Slavory in the Chocolate Industry Essay introduction. As I know, the economic situation of the country is bad, they are one of the thirdworld countries. What is more, cocoa beans prices decreased in the year 1996 – 2000. So,farmers want to reduce the cost of production with cutting the wages and using slavery. According to Utilitarianism, the “right” action or policy is the one that will produce thegreatest net benefits or the lowest net costs.
From that point, they reduce costs, and maximizetheir net benefits from child slavery. The major difficulty with Utilitarianism is that it isunable to deal with rights and justice. For instance, from the point of social justice, it is clear that child slavery is the result of unequal distribution of burdens. Utilitarianism only looks atthe utility, not the distribution of it among the members of society. The important ignorance on ethics in Utilitarianism, bring the consideration of justice andrights. Justice looks at how the benefits and burdens distributed among the society.
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On theother hand, rights look at the individual entitlements to freedom of choice and well being. From the rights point of view, there are no clues about the legal rights of the children. I do notthink that government has labor or child labor rights. Also, poor children deprived of themoral rights. They tortured, they are beaten and sometimes they even die or killed on thecocoa farms of the Ivory Coast and Ghana. Regardless of the legal system under which theylive, every human being of every nationality have a right to not tortured, have a right to life.
In terms of contractual rights, U. S. Senator Tom Harkin, U. S. Representative Eliot Engel, themembers of the Chocolate Manufacturers Association and the World Cocoa Foundation,together with several human rights groups and the Ivory Coast government signed a“Memorandum of Cooperation” With this cooperation, in a way they work toward ending theuse of child slaves in Ivory Cost. But I think this is not enough. This only provides childslaves not to work, but also they should have more rights to live in a better life.
If we think the Kant’s categorical imperative, how would we feel if our children work as aslave in farms? (reversibility) Or what will we do if everybody does not care the child slaveryin the world? (universalizability)From the point of justice and fairness, is it fair to use children in farms instead of adultemployers? Is it fair to torture and kill young boys for to eat a piece of chocolate? If we think that slavery is unjust, then we condemn a society that uses slavery even if slavery makes thatsociety more productive.
Unfortunately, as in our case, some countries which are withextreme deprivation and poverty, seem to hold “injustice” as “justice” for economical gains. Ithink 3 types of justice should apply in the case. Firstly, society’s benefits and burdens shouldnot be distributed on the children. They are in growing age; they should not do heavy work. Instead they should have education. According to retributive justice the farmers and familiesshould be punished because of they use child as a slave.
There should be compensation for thehealth expenses of slave children in terms of compensatory justice. Because they work in veryheavy conditions and most of them lose their health. According to United Nations Children’s Fund findings in 1998, there is child slavery in IvoryCoast. After 2000, True Vision Tv company show the videos of child slavery in Ivory CoastFarms and then the society’s attention is focused on the issue. I think after the societiesattention, they started to “care” child slavery.
Because of the customers are aware of the nameof the companies and the work conditions in the area. Knowing the situation, every human being is morally responsible for their position. Ethic of care is an ethic that emphasizes caringfor the concrete well being of those near to us. I think, chocolate manufacture companiesshould have a close relationship with their workers who are “child slaves” and must end childslavery and provide better working conditions for other labors. I do not think that virtue theory have any relevance to the case.
Because using child as a labor,government officials accept bribery so from my point of view, there is no moral virtues in thecase. In my opinion, there is no justice, rights and caring in the case. Unfortunately, obviously, themain issue is Utilitarianism. It a very critical point that in developed countries, every human being has a lot of rights, and in undeveloped countries people tradeoff their rights for theeconomical stability of the country. It is not fair. Of course, nations’ benefits should be takeninto consideration but we should not ignore that we are “human” in the same country which is“World”.