Social Harm Can Help Us to Explore the Complexities of Essay

2029 Words Jun 5th, 2012 9 Pages
Critically consider the way in which a focus on social harm can help us to explore the complexities of ‘crime’.
Introduction:
The concept of crime differs widely between nations and within different social groups, locally and globally. The influence of governments, corporations and individuals who are able to wield power enables differing concepts of crime to flourish, and the interpretation of crime to vary according to laws implemented by those in power. Criminal justice also varies within different nation states. In exploring the complexities of crime it is important to emphasise that power can offer protection and immunisation for those who have caused harm to members of society. Making people accountable for their actions
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When pressure groups mount campaigns to fight against miscarriages of justice, crime can be seen to have different meanings to different people. One such campaign is an attempt to stop people trafficking, in particular the trafficking of vulnerable children. Save the Children stated in 2007 that 218 million children worldwide are being forced to work long hours for little or no pay (Crime: Local and Global, p. 24 para3, OU). The people committing these crimes are treating these children as commodities to be traded. In the West it is a criminal offence to force children into work; strict laws prevent children from being used for monetary gain. However, in some countries families may rely on the whole family working to earn enough in order to survive. In India where education is expensive and out of reach for many poorer families, children are forced to work to contribute to the families’ income. The social harm caused by children working in poor conditions and long hours can also be seen to be connected to the Wests demand for cheaper and more plentiful goods. Although it is a crime for children to work in the West, some western companies are willing to turn a blind-eye to such transgressions in other parts of the world. Western societies have become places where instant gratification is demanded, this includes clothes, computers, cars. The demand for luxury goods drives companies providing components for these items to take more and more risks.
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