The U.S. military is now trying to answer that question, after a video surfaced online showing workers being forced to perform dangerous tasks on American warships.
The video, which was posted to YouTube on Sunday by an activist group called “Unsafe Harbor,” shows a US Navy destroyer with a crew of at least 25 workers being put through “vitrification” during a three-day deployment.
“I would be happy to take the risk to do that,” one of the men says in the video.
“I’m not sure if it would be legal, but I’m willing to risk it.”
The video has sparked outrage among human rights advocates, with one person claiming that the “vacuum” of work was akin to slavery, and that those working in the shipyard “have to work in a very dangerous environment, under hazardous conditions.”
The Navy denied the allegations, but said that its safety is always “top of mind.”
“The safety and security of our sailors and marines is always our top priority,” the statement read.
“Safety and security measures and procedures are continually evaluated, and we regularly seek to improve our safety and protection of our personnel and the environment.”
The US government’s official website has also been deluged with criticism, with many commenters calling for the government to investigate the video’s creators.
“It’s shameful to see that the U.N. doesn’t have any more of an agenda,” wrote one commenter on the government’s website.
“A military operation is a job,” said another.
“Do you know that many U.n. personnel have worked for a U.s. government contract or other contract that the government is doing for its own interests?”
“I have not seen a UN. video of a job being done by U.workers,” said one commenter.
The U.ns military has been criticized for some of its practices in the past.
It was also criticized for using people in sweatshops in Bangladesh and India to work on U. n. ships, and in 2016, an investigation by the Government Accountability Office found that the United Nations “has failed to ensure that U.v.labor was properly monitored and enforced.”