The Horrible Conditions of Sweatshops in China, Cambodia, and Thailand

Topics: Sweatshops

I went into my closet and grabbed a pair of pants, a sweater, and running shorts. Combined, they were made in China, Cambodia, and Thailand. I found that mostly everything I pick up is made in China, not just my clothing. But when it comes down to the textiles and the working conditions they’re made in, it really makes me not want to buy any more clothes that aren’t made in America. 36% of China’s population lives on less than two dollars a day.

85% of China’s poor live in rural areas and when extreme poverty hits, the people are forced to search for employment in urban areas. There are no limits to who can or cannot work, which is where the sweatshops and child labor come into play- for to make enough money to live, the family has to make as much money as they can get.

China’s industry-oriented economy relies on these migrant workers who make up the majority of the workforce.

There are approximately 150 million internal migrant workers in China who, because of their status, do not receive any state benefits or protection. They have to endure poor working conditions such as excessive and forced overtime, denial of social security rights and failure to provide employment contracts, as well as severe health risks. In Cambodia and Thailand, the situations on textile working conditions are similar. Yet, in Cambodia, the conditions are apparently the best due to the International Labour Organization (ILO), which independently monitors and reports on working conditions in garment factories vis-a-vis compliance with national and international standards.

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This endeavor is carried out through the Better Factories Cambodia (BFC) program, which was established in 2001.

The program stemmed from a trade agreement between Cambodia and the United States under which the United States would give Cambodia better access to its market if Cambodia improved working conditions in its garment sector. In Thailand, they (like the other countries) mostly have women and children deal with the clothing. When times get tough and an industry shuts down, leaving people put of work, they lack the knowledge and experience to get another type of job to receive a different source of income to support themselves. After reading up on all of this apparent foreign country textile corruption, l’m kind of sickened and want to find and personally slap all of whoever these big head honcho people are letting this all happen.

It’s not right, these people are working for next to nothing, in terrible conditions, and in some areas, the different chemicals to make the clothes are ruining the environment around the areas of the factories in which the clothes are being produced. And if the surroundings are wasting away from this, just imagine what the workers are experiencing- especially with their lack of health benefits, so there’s no choice but to get sick. Get sick with the possibility of death, or make no money, starve, and inevitably die. What?? I hate knowing this and I want things to change! A positive difference needs to be made.

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The Horrible Conditions of Sweatshops in China, Cambodia, and Thailand. (2023, May 16). Retrieved from

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