Westpac was involved in giant scandals in November 2019, and its CEO Brian Hartzer stepped down in December under the pressure. Children exploitation and money laundering were exposed in this event through a large amount of odd international fund transfers. Westpac eventually realized the gravity of the problem and was struggling to take remedial measures. This paper aims to identify the key ethical issues in this case, and then give an analysis and some recommendations by using ethical theories and concepts.
A small number of dubious records paid to the Philippines and South Asia through Westpac that were suspected of being used for live broadcasts of children exploitation crimes such as sexual assault (Hall& Carey 2019), and allegedly, the Banks probably either ignored or turned a blind eye to these aberrant records. This issue points not only to the existence of criminal gangs that exploit children and a group of people who consume it in some parts of the world, but also to the ignorance of Westpac that could indirectly lead to the continuation of these crimes. This issue is both legally wrong and ethically wrong. First of all, with regard to the criminal gangs, their behaviour is accordance with the theory of immoral management, which depicts a view that managerial decisions and actions clearly stand opposite against what people think is moral (Carroll 2001).
Children exploitation is clearly identified as incorrect and immoral in the society, but the criminal gangs still conduct such behaviour, and this behaviour, a positive negation of ethics, is completely immoral. Secondly, this issue involves also the theory of ethical egoism, which indicates that people make any decision and conduct any action based on their sake and self-interest (Gustafson 2018) to gain their pleasure and happiness (Rand 1964). The criminal gangs intend to satisfy their desire for money and the consumers intend to satisfy their twisted psychological desire, as a result, they constitute a kind of cooperation that forcibly exploit the well-being and dignity of children. In this case, children do not have natural rights, which is a concept based on a political theory in Locke’s idea that everyone has fundamental rights that the government cannot deny, no matter where they live (Marshell 1999).
According to Bryan (2017), the natural rights mentioned are “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”. When children are exploited, they do not have their natural rights as they are not free and are harmed. Thirdly, according to the Aristotelian philosophy, the consumers of children exploitation violate alsoone of the moral virtues that designate reason’s regulation of desire – self-restraint, which means theself control for attraction to pleasure (Bragues 2006). There may be many people who have the same attraction to children exploitation in the society, but as long as they are rational and restrained, they will
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