Exploitation in the modern age is a hidden crime. Victims are powerless, voiceless, and trapped in their situations because of poverty.
The low cost of labor is highly in demand due to the growth of technology in the world. The lack of awareness of cheap labor and the exploitation of people keeps modern day exploitation concealed in the dark.
The semiconductor industry is an example of a market that exploits people from all around the globe. Cheap labor and exploitation occur from harvesting the raw materials to manufacturing the products.
Semiconductors have an immense impact on our society because it is used in a wide array of electronic devices that are used worldwide. Semiconductors are the heart of transistors and microprocessor chips meaning everything that uses radio waves and all things that are computerized depend on semiconductors.
Semiconductors are materials that are both conductors and insulators. Copper is the element that is commonly used by manufacturers due to its reliability.
Copper-based chips are semiconductors that are better than aluminum-based chips due to its lower resistivity which decreases interconnect delays. Copper semiconductor chips are mostly used in computers and cell phones.
Devices that have copper-based chips use less energy but perform better than other semiconductors due to smaller metal components and less electricity passing through them.
Despite the high revenue of global semiconductors and all tech sales in general, workers are overworked and underpaid. This 2018, the global semiconductor revenue is $451 billion, the global revenue of smartphone sales over $470 billion in 2017, and the global PC industry has also generated billions due to the high demand.
Workers from all around the world, especially developing countries, are being exploited to put together the essentials for consumer technology. Since copper semiconductors are highly in demand, suppliers of copper are milking their workers dry to find the precious mineral.
A devastating example of this phenomenon is the struggle of children in Africa who are forced to dig copper from dusk till dawn for less than $10 per day.
Manufacturers in tech factories are also exploited. Chinese factory workers of big tech companies are an example. Workers are mandated to work 12 hours on weekdays and 10 hours on weekends with a mandated extra minimum of 20 hours overtime every week.
Workers are paid less than $2 per hour. This injustice has caused suicides within the factories, yet no one has taken action to change the system.
Cheap labor happens all around the world and must urge governments to act on it. The lives of people, especially young children are at stake.
Cruel and greedy companies take advantage of poorer and younger people because they do not have a voice and the power to stand up for themselves. Global citizens must be that voice, and work together to allow the mistreated to be heard.