Impact of world trade patterns on people and the environment


  • People in developing countries work very long hours for very low wages - many in India, people live on less than £1 per day.
  • Low standards of living – there is a lack of money to invest in and improve education, healthcare and infrastructure.

Indian garment factory

  • Working conditions are very poor.
  • Lack of employment law means that people are treated badly, eg no rest or food breaks.
  • Cash crops such as coffee and cotton are grown for export removing vital land available for local people to grow food to survive.
  • Children are forced to work to support their families – 30 million children work in factories in India.

Use of child labour on cocoa plantations in Ghana (pt 3/3)


  • Lack of strict laws and policies in developing countries mean that factories can pollute the environment without any consequences such as large fines or prosecution.
  • Cash crop plantations are unnatural and rows upon rows of the same tree spoil the look of the landscape.
  • Soil erosion and land degradation are common where cash crops exhaust the land of vital nutrients.
  • The use of fertilisers and pesticides to grow more crops pollutes rivers and water sources.