Sweatshops and respect for persons

Denis G. Arnold, Norman E. Bowie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

178 Scopus citations


This article applies the Kantian doctrine of respect for persons to the problem of sweatshops. We argue that multinational enterprises are properly regarded as responsible for the practices of their subcontractors and suppliers. We then argue that multinational enterprises have the following duties in their off-shore manufacturing facilities: to ensure that local labor laws are followed; to refrain from coercion; to meet minimum safety standards; and to provide a living wage for employees. Finally, we consider and reply to the objection that improving health and safety conditions and providing a living wage will cause greater harm than good.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-242+261
JournalBusiness Ethics Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2003
Externally publishedYes


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