The Catholic Church holds clear views about what is wrong with the use of sweatshops. The way that laborers are treated in sweatshop goes against the principles of human dignity and the common good, which are in essence interrelated. The dignity of the human person is a fundamental theme in this situation because of the importance of work in the history of mankind. Work is a fundamental part of man and also a large part of what constitutes the dignity of the person, and it has been this way since creation. It is because of this close relation between man and work that the Church is able to advocate so strongly for the rights of workers. The right to healthy working conditions, rest, and a living wage are among some of the most critical rights violated by sweatshop practices. In terms of worker’s rights both Catholics and non-Catholics can agree that the state can and must take action. Despite the fact that Nike and most other brands employing sweatshops are indirect employers, they cannot escape responsibility for the way their products are made, and they must be held responsible. The common good implies that it is the responsibility of all people to make sure that every member of humanity has what they need and that the dignity of the human person is protected. In that people are not simply responsible for themselves, it is necessary for people in industrialized countries to recognize the kind of mistreatment that goes into many of the products they buy. They cannot afford to look the other way. As part of the common good, the common destination of goods is a reminder that the earth was intended to be shared among all men, and that everyman is entitled to its ownership. The insignificant wages provided to workers in sweatshops in any industry are holding back workers from being able to secure themselves even basic necessities let alone their own share of the earth’s resources. In this regard it is the responsibility first of consumers to indicate that these kinds of products will no longer be purchased, and secondly to let corporations know that these kinds of practices will no longer be tolerated.

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