Another basic differentiation is the nature of work, as different standards put some nature of work as heavy, whereas, some put the same sort of work in the light nature. Thus, need of universal standards related to the international business, as well as, business ethics have been felt by most of the countries around the world. However, ethics is not a scientific term that can be distributed equally, and thus, it is quite impossible to define and describe the standards of business ethics in a universal way, as every country has its ethical principles based on its cultures, religion, traditions, etc. (Hill, pp. 104-105)
Moreover, economical condition of a country plays a crucial role in the establishment of standards, policies, and regulations related to the business activities in that country, as well as, imposition of ethical standards for the importing country. A country may not be well equipped to implement the ethical principles in every part of its region, whereas, a country may not be affording the regulation of child labor ban in its companies, as it may be very risky for its economy. Thus, economical condition of a country affects significantly to the creation of business ethics and related principles and policies.
In addition, it has been observed that many countries and governments do not have the required resources to educate their youth and children for the development and advancement of their society. Children in these countries, especially, in the remote areas of these countries are not capable of acquiring education due to its unaffordable expenses and unavailability of required resources. In the result, employment of these children in different factories, auto workshops, clinics, and sometimes, even schools is the only alternative available to the parents of these children.
It has been observed that some organizations and companies take advantage of the abovementioned incapability and unfortunate circumstances of the poor people, and little children are hired by these companies for the sake of little amount of money. In extreme conditions, only food and shelter is provided to the whole family in return of the whole day work by father, mother, adults, and even little children. Thus, society remains at the same path, development and advancement of these people may not be expected due to non-provision of education, and other facilitation required for the development of a nation. (Mitchell, pp. 88-92)
Another important aspect of child labor regulations in the international business is the monitoring of the companies that accepts the child labor related bans and policies during their business activities. It is not possible for every government to monitor every single small, medium, and large company that whether they have employed any child in their company. In this regard, frequent and sudden visits to the companies has been a possible alternative to monitor the companies, but, still, this approach may also not be workable in corrupted circumstances, where information of the sudden visits might have been sent earlier.
(Hindman, pp. 53-56) In some of the poor and developing countries in Asian and African continents, ban on child labor has not been accepted by families themselves. Similar response has been received by even governments and related organizations in some of the countries. One of the causes of this behavior is the risks of beggars that are being increased day by day in various parts of the world. It has been observed that ban on child labor results in sending of children to the signals, shops, homes, etc.
to beg for money, as they are not allowed to work for their living. Thus, in order to eliminate any risks of beggars in the country, ban on child labor has not been imposed and accepted in various parts of the world. On the other hand, some countries have accepted this ban on child labor, but have not imposed the regulations on the companies. At some places, imposition of the child labor related regulations has been observed officially, but no official monitoring and support has resulted in the employment of children at a higher extent.
In this regard, it is very difficult, and at some places, quite impossible to implement and practice the child labor regulations during the business processes in the international market. However, some of the major organizations and companies have imposed and practicing the ethical principles of child labor in their foreign, as well as, local factories around the world. For instance, code of conduct has related to the child labor regulations has been evaluated and reviewed many times by a major and multinational footwear company in the United States.
(Hindman, pp. 69-72) For the factory workers, eighteen years have been considered as the standard age in its factories around the world. However, equipment and apparel section has been allowed to hire children of sixteen years by the same company. It has been observed that some other multinational companies practice lower age group as their standards. Thus, two companies of the same country practice different standards related to the child labor, and therefore, it is very difficult to monitor accordingly.
In this paper, we have tried to relate the definitions and understanding related to the international business that has been given by different and various NGOs, media, and thousands of investors around the world. We have also tried to examine their every day activities and communications and their utilization of the term of international development in their decision-making processes and other operations of the company. Moreover, business ethics of different countries have been compared, and child labor regulations and its significance in the international business market have been analyzed during the paper.
It is hoped that this paper will help students, professionals, and experts in the better understanding of international business, as well as, significance of child labor in the international market.
Charles Mitchell. A Short Course in International Business Ethics. World Trade Press, 2003. Charles W. L. Hill. International Business. McGraw-Hill, 2000. F. Neil Brady. Ethical Universals in International Business. Springer, 1996. Hugh D. Hindman. Child Labor. M. E. Sharpe, 2002.
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