Despite the occasional factory fire or sweatshop media exposé, American consumers have largely inured themselves to the status quo of exploiting the Global South as our overseas workshop for cheap clothes, toys and gadgets.
While there was a furor in Washington over Chinese-made Team USA uniforms, the debate over the use of offshored manufacturing labor to make Olympic apparel is just the tip of larger trend of abuse in multinational supply chains.
All of these children are in need of rescue -- all are children whose potential contributions to their society are being lost. All are a challenge to our consciences and to our capacity to do what we all instinctively want to do when we see a child in danger -- to save that child.
Good governance that includes a system of checks and balances in corporations can assure that the rights and responsibilities of all are respected. Faith-based investors can hardly ignore these priorities and opportunities.
While multinationals have prowled the planet to exploit the cheapest workforces they can find, advocates call for a common living wage standard to ensure workers from Shenzhen to Sri Lanka aren't working themselves deeper into poverty.
Anti-sweatshop activists have blasted Apple for ignoring exploitative, perhaps severely poisonous, working conditions at United Win Technology, a facility in Jiangsu Province apparently connected to Apple Computers.