Social standards form one of the core components of every society. Every society has its social standards. These social standards are evidenced by different aspects such as the code of conduct that should be observed. According to the Third World Network (p.1), it is possible to establish universal social principles. However, it is relatively difficult to establish universal social standards based on the social principles adopted. Currently, there are more than 190 countries worldwide.
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Every country has unique characteristics which are evidenced by differences in geographic location, natural resources, history, religious and cultural differences, and their social structures. Even though some countries may have social groups that overlap, these countries may have different value systems (Third World Network, n.d, p.1). Therefore, the social standards of one country should not be imposed on another country.
For example, the social standards of Australia should not be imposed on Papua New Guinea. This arises from the fact that the social standards imposed on another country may not be operational. One of the factors which might limit the applicability of the social standards of one country on another such as those of Australia on Papua New Guinea relating to the existence of inequalities between the two countries. Some of these inequalities relate to income distribution. The rich countries may have formulated social standards that are difficult for poor countries to implement.
Even though not all social standards of one country can be applied to another, some social standards are universally acceptable across countries. As a result, countries must ensure that these social standards which mainly constitute human rights are taken into consideration. This means that some minimal social standards can be imposed on other countries.
These standards relate to the core labor standards which are internationally accepted. Some of these standards relate to the abolition of child labor, right to collective bargaining, elimination of any form of discrimination for example discrimination based on ethnicity, sexual orientation, race, religion, nationality, and political belief.
Additionally, other social standards that are universally applicable across different countries relate to standards that ensure that employees are accorded a living wage and ensuring reasonable working hours, elimination of forced labor, and ensuring that all individuals have the freedom to associate with others. The inability of the poor countries to meet the social standards that are implemented by the developed countries has been universally accepted. However, it has become a requirement for all countries to incorporate the core labor standards.
According to the Third World Network (n.d, p.1), there are numerous occasions when countries fail to implement the universally accepted social standards. One of the factors that contribute to the failure relates to the existence of differences in national poverty and social structures. From the case of Ok Tedi Mining Limited, it is evident that it is difficult for practices and ideals of the developed countries such as Australia to be imposed on poor countries such as Papua New Guinea (Davis, 2003, p. 211).
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