Describing the Ethical Issues in International Business Practices Including Examples
Ethics is: Ethics, also known as moral philosophy, is a branch of philosophy that involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong conduct. The term comes from the Greek word ethos, which means “character”. Ethics is a complement to Aesthetics in the philosophy field of Axiology. In philosophy, ethics studies the moral behaviour in humans, and how one should act. Ethics may be divided into four major areas of study: http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Ethical_issues in this blog I will be writing about the ethical issues in international business practices. Pollution
Within a production line the products that are being made will at some point be using something which is harmful to the environment. In countries like the US and most developed countries in Europe (EU) have laws set down on the disposal of harmful chemicals and pollution you are able to find more information about the pollution laws in the EU through this website http://www. environmental-innovations. biz/european-pollution-laws-and-environmental-regulations/ this website lists the law which companies and citizens of the EU have to follow to assure that they are causing minimal damage to the environment around them.
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What the main issue is less developed countries, they do not have the force to stop the amount of pollution let into their environment ether because the size of the country or the lack of law officials in their countries. Therefore the people who own companies in those countries are able to illegally dispose of their materials and this is causing great environmental problems. In third world countries especially Africa and Brazil at the moment there is a huge gold rush and for a long time they have been digging for diamonds.
Recently the population of these countries have found out that they are sitting on areas which are rich with gold. The countries where large amount of gold is located are usually in areas where there is natural plantation and untouched earth. What the miners do is demolish all the trees and anything that is in the way to clear their paths to then dig up the earth and extract the gold from the earth beneath them. This is one big problem by itself because the killing of many plants and animals occurs through this process but the second big problem is the way that they get the gold together once coming out the ground.
Country like these do not have the equipment and facilities to get the gold out the ground efficiently, so they use a metal called mercury, the mercury gathers together the gold flakes and makes it able to be collected. The biggest problem is when the mercury gets into the main water systems. It causes a large amount of the fish and wildlife surrounding the waters to die from being poisoned by the metal. Retracting the diamonds out the ground isn’t as damaging to the earth and polluting but they still have to clear the area where they dig therefore they are still killing surrounding wildlife.
Once the gold and diamonds are taken out of the ground they are then sold. They are sold to big malty million pound companies that will make goods out of them. What this means is that they are encouraging the people to continue digging and demolishing their surrounding environment. The people who excavate the grounds to extract diamonds and gold are not usually contracted to anyone else therefore they are able to whatever they want even if it is against the law and still pretty much get away with it. ‘Blood diamonds’ and the way that they ethically affect the people who work in the mines
What I found out about the way that the ‘blood diamonds’ in Africa effected the people involved in it was shocking. The blood diamonds were and are still used to fund the rebels in Africa and about 10 years ago the civil war. There was no real law then to allow the buying the ‘blood diamonds’ so other countries took advantage on how desperate Africa and their rebels were to make money and brought the diamonds from them. The money that the rebels got from the diamonds was most of the time used to fund the rebels with food, medical equipment and most importantly to them weapons.
The rebels did the worst imaginable things to the people who stood in their way even if they were their family. There are no alleged companies named that brought the ‘blood diamonds’ but they still manage to get into the main flow of diamond selling around the world and filtered into our hands and shops. This is a report from a newspaper that I found which tells us about 100 to 150 people are forced to mine still when the world is supposed to be promoting free right and will.
The BBC’s Umaru Fofana reports from the capital, Freetown, that between 100 and 150 foreign staff are trapped at their residences in the mine compound, owned by a South African-based company, Octea Diamond Group. The company Octea Diamond Group were involved with the selling of diamonds in the civil war and are now trying to minimise and rid the amount of ‘blood diamonds’ getting into the main flow of diamonds around the wold. http://www. bbc. co. uk/news/world-africa-20781940 http://money. howstuffworks. com/african-diamond-trade. htm ttp://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Blood_diamond http://awoko. org/2012/07/16/octea-diamond-group-launched/ The example I used for water pollution: https://sites. google. com/site/2011waterpollutionethics/home/ethical-issues http://www. bbc. co. uk/news/world-latin-america-18839464 Politics and business (sanctions) http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Sanctions_(law)
Definitions of sanctions * Economic sanctions, typically a ban on trade, possibly limited to certain sectors such as armaments, or with certain exceptions (such as food and medicine). Trade sanctions, a type of economic sanction applied for non-political reasons, typically as part of a trade dispute, or for purely economic reasons, and typically involving tariffs or similar measures, rather than bans * International sanctions, coercive measures adopted by a country or group of countries against another state or individual(s) in order to elicit a change in their behaviour. * Pragmatic sanction, historically, a sovereign’s solemn decree on a matter of primary importance and has the force of fundamental law. http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Sanctions Lately sanctions have been used on the oil industry in Iran.
What the EU and the US have done is accusing the country of aiming to build nuclear weapons. Iran, meanwhile, insists that it simply wishes to develop nuclear power stations. Iranian oil revenues have fallen around 45% in the last nine months because of Western sanctions, a leading Iranian politician says. The West has imposed a series of sanctions on Iran that are aimed at pressuring the Islamic republic into halting its nuclear program. This has had a damaging effect on Iran’s airline industry; this is a clear sign that Iran has the problems facing Iran’s economy, because of the airlines not being used.
They also add at the bottom that because of the drop of money in the country they have to cut back “Last month, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sacked the sole woman in his cabinet, Health Minister Marziyeh Vahid Dastjerdi, after she blamed the sanctions for causing medicine shortages”. http://www. rferl. org/content/iran-oil-exports-down-40-percent-from-sanctions/24817755. html http://www. bbc. co. uk/news/world-middle-east-20942138 UN sanction decisions British businesses are obliged to adhere to decisions made by the UN regarding trading in Syria.
If the UN decided to impose sanctions on Syria then British businesses will be affected. There are currently sanctions in Syria on the sales of luxury good, and duel use items such as fuel. The UN may choose to impose further sanctions on Syria because the government of Syria is accused of many human rights violations and the killing of their own people. The sanctions would be imposed in the intention of dissuading the Syrian government from committing violence against their own people as well preventing them from getting money to help fund their government forces that are fighting and killing the people of Syria.
The sanctions could have wider implications as there is already a lack of food and water and medical equipment as a result of the war which is a source of the suffering to the Syrian people. http://www. un. org/News/Press/docs/2012/sc10714. doc. htm In the website above which is from the UN states that currently there are no sanctions used against Syria and that the UN can implement sanctions if this is deemed necessary in the future. Child Labour Throughout the world, around 215 million children work, many full-time.
They do not go to school and have little or no time to play. Many do not receive proper nutrition or care. They are denied the chance to be children. More than half of them are exposed to the worst forms of child labour such as work in hazardous environments. http://www. ilo. org/global/topics/child-labour/lang–de/index. htm In the UK children are allowed to start working at the age of 13. But this is only for television, theatre and modelling. Children can only start full-time work after the last Friday in June of the academic year when they turn 16.
This is the minimum school leaving age. Children aged 17 and under are not entitled to the National Minimum Wage. Young workers aged 16 to 17 are entitled to at least ?3. 68/hr. Once they hit 18 they have to be paid ?6. 19 per hour. http://www. ilo. org/ipec/facts/lang–en/index. htm From the summer of 2013, a young person must do some part-time education or training until they’re 17. These laws are pretty much the same in the US. https://www. gov. uk/child-employment/minimum-ages-children-can-work In lesser developed countries these laws do still apply factories are upposed to pay them minimum wage and they are only supposed to higher people over a certain age. Although there are laws against this they still have children working for them from a very young age as young as 10; they pay them a low rate usually below minimum wage and having them work very long shifts and in very dangerous conditions. There are many companies that are involved in child labour and these companies are not only the cheap manufacturing ones, child labour also happens in high end productions lines all over the world. For example: Nike
Nike has had issues with the governments and protesters for a very long time. In Indonesia a Nike factory would pay their employee $1. 23 per day. This is barely enough to be able to live off after having to pay their rent, electricity and gas. The employees would be working around 15 hours a day, 6/7 times a week to just be able to get by. From a 20 minute YouTube clip they state that outside one of the factories in Indonesia they dump the entire Nike rubber shoe soles top then be burnt down where there are houses surrounding it.
The children who live near where the soles are being burnt suffer from chest infections and cancer from the toxic smoke which is an outcome of the burning. In countries like Indonesia they are not allowed and do not have the rights to make a union. If they do the people involved in these suffer a huge amount and sometimes even death from trying to stand up and make a point about their rights and how they should be treated. The owners of the company know what is happening but they still do not do anything about it. Nike pay Tiger Woods $100,000,000 to wear their clothes with that he is worth more than 700,000 Indonesian workers. ttp://www. youtube. com/watch? v=M5uYCWVfuPQ https://www. commondreams. org/headline/2013/01/15-7 Another example is Tesco Britain’s largest retailer Tesco pay their employees in Bangladesh a mere 7p an hour says garment workers in Bangladesh as shareholders prepare to hail the company’s record ?3 billion profits at its annual meeting. The charity War on Want cited research which reveals employees working up to 80 hours a week making Tesco clothes in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka for as little as 1663 taka which is equivalent to (?14) a month.
A comparison made here is that the employees calculate a worker needs ?44. 82 (5333 taka) a month to give their family nutritious food, clean water, shelter, clothes, education, health care and transport. When they are only getting ?14 a month. In the three Tesco factories researched, average workers’ pay is ?20 (2280 taka) a month, which is less than half a living wage. Most of the employees live in small, crowded shacks, many of which lack plumbing and adequate washing facilities. The same as the workers in Indonesia
Runa, who produces Tesco clothes, is one of many young women forced by poverty to leave her rural home to earn money to send back to her family. She said: “My pay is so meagre that I cannot afford to keep my child with me. I have sent my five-month old baby to the village to be cared for by my mother. ” Ifat, who also toils in a Tesco factory, said: “I can’t feed my children three meals a day. ” Though compulsory overtime is illegal in Bangladesh, despite this employees said they were made to toil extra hours, often unpaid.
This is illegal, but the employees cannot do anything about it, they are not allowed to make unions and they cannot gang up against the company because if they do they will be fired and replaced and it’s as simple as that. http://uk. oneworld. net/article/view/163179/1/ The last example that I am using is Primark, which is another malty million pound profit company which are renowned on their child labour and low pay employment. Primark was exposed by the BBC in 2008 Primark were exposed employing people in sweatshop conditions in Bangladesh, long hours, hazardous and unhealthy conditions for very low wages.
In 2009 Primark were exposed by the BBC for employing people in similar conditions in the UK. This is a news article that I have found on the BBC website when they ‘exposed’ one of Primark’s suppliers. Primark is best known for its cheap fashion clothing and bucked the trend on Britain’s high street last year to make a ?233m profit. On its website, it claims to deliver fast fashion without breaking its ethical code or exploiting its workers, but the BBC has uncovered evidence that shows some of its manufacturers are doing so.
The factory workers making clothes destined for fashion chain Primark work up to 12 hours a day 7 times a week for ?3. 50 an hour (the minimum wage is ?6. 19) the employees at TNS are not expected to have ‘days off’ they are expected to work 7 times a week! By law, workers should be paid ?6. 19 an hour and Primark’s own code of conduct promises workers a living wage. And as you can see from above they are only getting ?3. 50 a week. When the reporter started she was taken on by the boss, Zahid Sarwar, without even being asked her name, and given a job packing Primark knitwear.
They also didn’t ask for any legal statements showing that she is illegibly allowed to work in the UK. While working, she discovered an intense work culture where employees admitted to being under pressure to meet orders, two-thirds of them for Primark At the end of the week the undercover employee got paid cash in hand. And after taking the weekend off and coming back in on Monday they have fired her and replaced her with another person because she was expected to work both days of the weekend too. http://news. bbc. co. uk/1/hi/uk/7824291. stm By Yotam Levy