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Into Pakistan’s Textile Factories

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Posted on Aug 22, 2011
YouTube / AmmarAziz1

The “haves” have been subjecting the “have-nots” to lives of miserable, crushing toil since polarized hierarchies appeared behind the walls of the world’s first city some 10,000 years ago. The names, faces and technologies change, but so far, the legacy of exploitation remains.

This brief, haunting video takes us to Faisalabad, Pakistan’s largest industrial city, where the ceaseless, clanking thrum of machinery can be heard through the padlocked doors that line many of the city’s filthy, narrow streets, into typical, deafening and dust-filled textile factories, and puts us face to face with child laborers and one of the men who owns them. One boy says he earns 500 rupees a month. That’s less than $6. —ARK

Ammar Aziz:

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AnAlienEarthling's avatar

By AnAlienEarthling, August 22, 2011 at 7:59 pm Link to this comment

The video witnesses an inhumanity exacted against children that is pandemic around the world - largely in developing countries, but existent in developed and BRIC countries as well. Children are its most vulnerable “local” victims, but the world’s impoverished are its global victims, and we who live in the developed world and BRIC countries are perpetrators of and accomplices to the crime.

To satisfy our everyday consumption of enormous quantities of goods, we rarely pay the impoverished a living wage. Our voracious appetites have engendered and continue to sustain global economic mechanisms - the IMF, the World Bank, USAID, the world’s water conglomerates - that permit supply chains to pay child and other laborers a “slave-wage,” a wage that forces them into debts in order to pay for their very survival, so the more they work, the more indebted they become.

We in the developed and BRIC countries consume the goods that the world’s impoverished children and laborers supply: their textiles, their natural resources, their cacao, their coffee beans, and tea leaves. We consume their woods and forests for the production of our meats and vegetables, and, despite their critical shortage of it, we even consume their fresh water for our flowers and apple juice, despite the food shortages they experience as a result of their lack of fresh water!

Needless to say, what applies to the world’s children applies to Earth as well: we subject Earth to the same cruel exploitation to which we exact the impoverished children of the world. We extract however much we “can” of “whatever what” we need to produce “whatever what” we desire, and we abandon Earth to whatever shape survival can assume from the remnant ash and scum we leave behind and ever decreasing amounts of nourishment or replenishment.

The slave-like conditions in the textile industry is appalling, indeed. However, they are but one more of the similar heinous crimes of which we consumers in the developed and BRIC countries are perpetrators. What Bobby Kennedy uttered nearly FIFTY YEARS AGO, is as true today as it was then: These crimes:

“... reflect the imperfections of human justice, the inadequacy of human compassion, the defectiveness of our sensibility toward the sufferings of our fellows; they mark the limit of our ability to use knowledge for the well-being of our fellow human beings throughout the world. And therefore they call upon common qualities of conscience and indignation, a shared determination to wipe away the unnecessary sufferings of our fellow human beings at home and around the world.”

But where is the indignation? Where are the qualities of conscience?

Until we consumers in the developed and BRIC countries genuinely commit ourselves to building a world that we can all be proud to have built, the needless suffering of Earth and of the world’s children will continue unabated.

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By jr., August 22, 2011 at 11:10 am Link to this comment

That first paragraph really says it all.  It’s sad to realize the nature of mankind hasn’t changed for the better one iota in well over 10,000 years in despite of organized religions, politics, business, science, et cetera:  the rot only has grown.  What’s one to do?

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By MR, August 22, 2011 at 10:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thank you for posting this. I have been in India and have seen many children working jobs most people would never do.
People there turn a blind eye to this or dismiss it as unfixable.
Us Americans are also fueling this in a way by buying clothing from manufactures who have no scruples about where they buy from as long as it is cheap.
The drive for lower cost will ruin societies across the globe, ours included.
Just see what lower-cost China has done to our industries.

There is a good article about the failure of management and lust for lower cost on Forbes.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2011/08/17/why-amazon-cant-make-a-kindle-in-the-usa/

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