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Child exploitation essays - Project 150
It is worth noting, however, that prohibiting exploitativetransactions is not the only way in which the state or other moralagents might attempt to respond to its wrongful nature. Prohibition isan example of what Allen Wood describes as “interference”.But in addition to interference, Wood suggests that we can think ofredistribution as a way in which third parties such as thestate might attempt to prevent exploitation (Wood 1995: 154). Afterall, exploitation is only possible because is in a positionof vulnerability relative to . One way to preventexploitation, then, is to address this vulnerability directly—tochannel resources to so as to remove the hardship that makeshim vulnerable to exploitation in the first place. If workers in thedeveloping world had an adequate social safety net to fall back on,for instance, they would be less inclined to accept a job with theharsh conditions of a sweatshop, and therefore less vulnerable toexploitation by their employers.
Exploitation can be transactional or structural. Inthe former case, the unfairness is a property of a discretetransaction between two or more individuals. A sweatshop that pays lowwages, for example, or a pharmaceutical research firm that tests drugson poor subjects in the developing world, might be said to exploitothers in this sense. But exploitation can also bestructural—a property of institutions or systems inwhich the “rules of the game” unfairly benefit one groupof people to the detriment of another. As we will see below, Karl Marxbelieved that the economic and political institutions of capitalismwere exploitative in this sense. And some contemporary feminists haveargued that the institution of traditional marriage is exploitativeinsofar as it preys upon and reinforces pernicious forms of inequalitybetween men and women (Sample 2003: Ch. 4).
Media Impacts on Children’s Rights Essay Example for …
In its broadest sense, transactional/micro-level exploitation involvesan agent, , taking unfair advantage of another agent,. Taking unfair advantage, in turn, can be understood in twoways. First, it can refer to some dimension of the outcome of theexploitative act or transaction. In this case, we say that thetransaction is substantively unfair. Second, to say that takes unfair advantage of may imply that there issome sort of defect in the process by which the unfair outcome hascome about, for example, that has coerced ordefrauded or has manipulated . In this case, we saythat the transaction is procedurally unfair.
Moreover, there is a real danger that preventing mutually beneficialbut exploitative transactions will wind up “consigning thevulnerable person to an even worse fate than being exploited”(Wood 1995: 156). After all, persons who are exploited are takenadvantage of because of some antecedent vulnerability—a lack ofaccess to clean drinking water, in the example above. Preventingexploitative transactions by itself does nothing to alleviatethis vulnerability. Indeed, by depriving vulnerable parties of onepossibility for improving their situation by engaging in amutually beneficial transaction, such interference might actuallyexacerbate it.
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Concerns about exploitation often take the form of unfair economicexchange. Attempts to specify the principles that render an exchangefair or unfair can be traced back at least as far as Aristotle, whoargued that a just exchange will embody a kind of reciprocity suchthat the values of the goods exchanged are proportional(Nicomachean Ethics, Book V, Part V). But while the notion ofproportionality is intuitively appealing, it is somewhat unclearprecisely what Aristotle had in mind by it, or what the mostdefensible explication of the idea would be. To borrowAristotle’s own example, if a shoemaker and a builder trade, howmany pairs of shoes is proportional to a single house?
Perhaps this view is correct. Bracketing arguments based onexternalities, it seems perfectly plausible to maintain that the stateis justified in interfering with transactions only if one party isviolating the other’s rights. That said, those who invoke theconcept of exploitation frequently maintain that such exploitationprovides a reason for state intervention. For example, when it isclaimed that commercial surrogacy exploits the birth mothers, thecritics typically argue that surrogacy contracts should beunenforceable or entirely prohibited. Similar things are said aboutthe sale of bodily organs. Those who make such arguments do frequentlyclaim that the transactions are nonconsensual or harmful, but theyseem prepared to make such arguments even if the transactions areconsensual and mutually advantageous.
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