When you go shopping and the label in the t-shirt you want to buy says “Made in Bangladesh”, chances are high that the people who made this t-shirt are working under harsh conditions: 12-hour work-days, below-minimum wages, hot workplaces with little or no drinking water, harassment by line managers, forced overtime, bad safety situation etc.
When you buy chocolate, chances are high that the raw material for your treat came from Ivory Coast. Cocoa plantations in this country are notorious for using child and slave labor.
When you throw away your computer, chances are high that it will not be recycles properly, but shipped to Africa where poor people, who have no choice, burn the plastic parts to pick out the precious metals inside, but also inhaling toxic fumes.
All of these inhumane and environmentally destructive practices take place within the supply chains of the companies whose products we buy. However, are companies responsible for this? Or is it rather the consumer who only cares about low prices? What can companies do to avoid this harm-doing? What can consumers do? What role play the government, NGO’s, unions, the media?
These are the burning questions we will tackle in this part of the course.
- Enseignant: Bettina Palazzo