A quote from the article: “The scene was as spectacular as it was anachronistic: flames, sweat and liquid iron mixing in the smoke like something from the Middle Ages. That’s what attracted the interest of a photographer who often works for The New York Times — images that practically radiate heat and illustrate where
My opinion: It is not the place of the developed world to set the standards of labor for the developing nations.
Here is the picture from the article:
Here is a picture (from Bettman/Corbis) from the 1890’s of 5 chimney sweepers:
The picture from the article is not anachronistic for
Long-term economic growth models explain this disparity in working conditions and production specialization between the developing (e.g.,
The workers in India make the choice to go to the mines and factories. According to the Penn World Tables, in 2003, average production per worker in India was: $6,724.55, and $67,865.44 in the United States. That means the average worker in the U.S. was roughly 10 times better off than his/her counterpart in India. The Indian workforce is choosing between growing opportunities to work in conditions that are deemed unacceptable to the developed world and not feeding their families. They choose to feed their families by working. It is their choice. As average production per worker rises to meet that in the U.S., higher standards for labor will be valued. At that time, the laws and conditions will change, but not before.
Admittadly, the quality of exports from the developing economies to the developed world (e.g., toys) have been under scrutiny, and affect the developed world. The developed world has much strategic power in the international markets. If world demand falls, then international toy makers will increase their standards in order to make the sale.
In conclusion, history dictates that labor laws are likely to come, but the nations such as
Galbi, Douglas A. (1997). Child labor and the division of labor in early English cotton mills. Journal of Population Economics 10, 1432-1475.
Photo downloaded at: http://www.scienceclarified.com/everyday/Real-Life-Biology-Vol-2/Noninfectious-Diseases.html
Penn World Tables at: http://pwt.econ.upenn.edu/php_site/pwt62/pwt62_form.php