Child Labor (Follow-up Post)


Continuing from my last week post...

I realize that my thoughts on my last post is illegal in all countries. But most of the time some of the children still have to work anyway, and they ended up working in a very unpleasant working environment out in the street or dumpster.

In response to my post I received this link from a mentor.    Asia Inspection White Paper on Slavery 

I quote one of the highlights from the above link :

“Today, the number of people enslaved worldwide is estimated to be anywhere between 21 and 36 million, 26% of which are children under the age of 18 “

And there are also a post from our own AMC blog (for AMC Blog post click here)  that states: 

The link in this post states:

“Children should be in school. Not working. They should be learning skills in school that give them opportunities for choice throughout their later life. Working in garment factory at age 13, 14, 15 effectively enslaves an economic class to poverty and low wages their entire life.”

From the 2 two quoted links above you might see there are plenty underage worker that have to works in early age without even having the chances to get proper education for their future.

Different from my own personal case, which occurred back when I was only helping out my family business, and I still had good opportunities to go to school.  I  have been able to enjoy my childhood.  This is unfortunately not the case for all children.  

Obviously its not a simple case. I wonder if it would be possible for all those companies that employ underage workers, if they could also undertake to fund the young workers' social contributions such as taking on responsibility for their education, such as scholarships. Additionally needed would be exemptions on their working hours. 

There are some companies that give scholarship to students who just complete high-school, followed by some provisions that the person is required to work several years in that company after they finish their studies. 

Most companies probably hire underage workers without any considerations of the underage workers' future.

However,  there also are some companies that have high sense of social responsibility. And are attracted by becoming vendor for fashion  brands in a socially correct way. This might increase customer awareness to different level. They will not thought “oh this brands is sweat shop brands”. They will start to think of the social responsibilities that comes with being associated with that brand.

Hi there!!


This is the first time I am writing a blog so pardon me if some words might sound awkward, I’m trying to be as natural as I can.

So I originally come from Indonesia, this is the place where I got my first experiences as merchandiser. Back then when I just start this job around 15 years ago, orders flooding like tsunami and they are a massive order, big quantity good price. There is even a single style with more than 1 million quantity, I must say merchandising job back then is heaven, every single things we do it seems worth with the profit that comes with it.

I can’t really remember the exact year when the changes coming. Buyer price getting steep and our minimum wages is not helping either. Well, back then they calculate minimum wages based on the price of basic needs which is clothing, food, transport, housing and certain other items. Recently they inquired movie tickets and perfume are included in basic needs but I am not talking about basic necessities here. Continuing about orders….

Nowadays if you wish to get massive quantity then be prepared to haggle with “cut throat” price, well officially if the price in the price ticket only 5 to 7 dollars, how much you think their budget of making it? And that’s not including shipping, handling and advertising. Especially “ADVERTISING”, sometimes I think those models got paid a lot more than a factory earns in a month.

There are times when company need to take break even point order just to avoid idle capacity.

But of course not all orders like that there are also the good price, but be prepared to see order quantity that makes you think “is this bulk order or sample?”, plus unreasonable lead time. Yes, I am talking about the high fashion line. 

Some garment company already open facilities outside of Indonesia years ago where the minimum wages lower than Indonesia. And the rest mostly shifted to lower wages area but still within Indonesia. 

But that’s also have its own problem, last time before I left Indonesia they are still struggling to find workers in low wages area. WHY? Because it seems most of factories choose the same area. But I’m sure everything will turns out fine eventually.

As for the situation in Malaysia, I will get back with you on my next blog. Have a nice day fellow MD’s  :)