Essay Example on Child Labor and Consumer Influence

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645 words
Sewanee University of the South
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The supply chain is one of the most important structures of any organization. Businesses and specifically those in manufacturing have an obligation to their consumers to not only create quality products but also present a moral and ethical manner in which these products are manufactured. It is critical that as companies look into the ergonomics of their production line and ensure that their business is both ethical and sensitive to issues like child labor. Child labor is a significant vice, especially in the clothing industry (Bendapudi and Leone 14-28). A lot of companies procure underage children to sew and produce clothing in their factories. The consumers can make a significant impact on the practices of a company given the pre-disposed intention to serve the consumers. Consumers are at the end of the supply chain and can, therefore, choose to boycott the use of certain products (Bendapudi and Leone 14-28). The question of the responsibility consumers have in impacting firm operations continues to evoke a lot of normative and empirical discussion.


The normative principle that can warrant the commitment of consumers to improving the moral compass of any firm has been argued against for a long time. What seems to be a determinant is the culture in which such companies thrive. The very fact that child labor is an internationally outlawed crime tells of the gravity of its consequence to both society and the victims. Three key roles that consumers possess in any economy are; consuming, co-creating and co-performance (Martinez-Canas et al.). It is, therefore, critical that issues like child labor are shunned in the production line of any company. Consumers are therefore obligated and in some situations have a direct responsibility to participate in the creation, performance, and consumption of products that are legally and ethically produced. It is critical that consumers are sensitive to the brand types and actual process a company takes in producing, clothes, and other products.


Taking an empirical perspective on this issues, consumers have a direct influence on the value and approach of a company towards production. A survey indicates that consumers are more likely to purchase non-counterfeit goods for a higher price. Quality is a rare thing, and in the 21st century, it often is unheard off. Consumers, therefore, influence the production methods of a company knowingly or subconsciously. Having the vision to create a culture in which counterfeit products do not penetrate the market. Companies that employ underage children often seek to mitigate on costs of their production (Martinez-Canas et al.). This has an impact on the quality of their product and thus on the consumers. Consumers, therefore, have a chance at gaining some passive benefit from the advocacy for quality and ethical production in their preferred products.


The conceptual principle that consumers should focus on in their advocacy against child labor is the eventual quality of their favorite products Secondly the psychological, social and physical health of victims of child labor should be primal for every consumer. Child labor is a social and criminal vice (Osment). It is, therefore, important to ensure that the rights of children are protected at all costs regardless of their socio-economic status, race, and gender. As stated, consumers appreciate the time and investment that companies take to produce their products (Osment). It should, therefore, be a priority for a lot of individuals to improve the value of the production line of companies by consistent activism for moral, ethical and legal operational practices.

Work Cited

Bendapudi, Neeli, and Robert P. Leone. "Psychological Implications Of Customer Participation In Co-Production." Journal of Marketing 67.1 (2003): 14-28. Web. 29 Apr. 2017.

Martinez-Canas, Ricardo et al. "Consumer Participation In Co-Creation: An Enlightening Model Of Causes And Effects Based On Ethical Values And Transcendent Motives." Frontiers in Psychology 7 (2016): n. pag. Web. 29 Apr. 2017.

Osment, Lana. "Child Labour; The Effect On Child, Causes, And Remedies To The Revolving Menace De." Masters Degree. Lunds University, 2014. Print.

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