Many professionals will travel abroad during their career and will have to work in areas with very different laws and cultural customs that they are not familiar with.  How does one ethically conduct their skills in an unknown territory?  Universalism and relativism are two methods to ethical behaviour while working abroad. 

A universalism approach is working to achieve equivalent standards everywhere.  This perspective sees treating places differently as morally offensive and that everywhere should have the same standards especially in health and safety.  The problem with this outlook is it may be seen as paternalism, with a traveling professional deciding what is best for a community that they are not a part of and know nothing about.

A relativism approach has the visiting professional following the laws and standards of the host country.  This perspective aims to maintain the culture of the community and steers away from forcing foreign policies on an area for which they were not intended for.  The problem that can arise from this method is many developing countries have lower health and safety standards than that of developing countries.  This can cause issues with the visiting professional as something that corresponds with the laws of the host country but would be deemed as unsafe in the country the professional is from. 

There is no single answer on how to deal with ethical situations while abroad as each situation is different.  In the end the health and safety of everyone involved must always take priority.

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