CHILD LABOUR: Apple finds child labour in supply chain

Apple has found cases of suppliers using child labour and forging audits, the company has admitted.

In its 2010 Supplier Responsibility report, the Mac maker looked into the practices of manufacturers and suppliers that work with and for Apple.

Human and labour rights, management practices and health and safety procedures were all looked into in the study, which found discrepancies among suppliers.

In three cases Apple discovered that 15-year-old workers had been hired and that records existed of 11 other workers who had been hired before reaching legal working ages, although they were all now adults.

The iPod-manufacturer also found three “core violations” where facilities had “deliberately provided falsified records during our audit”.

“One facility attempted to conceal evidence of historical cases of underage labour. Two other facilities presented falsified records that concealed evidence of violations of Apple’s Code regarding working hours and days of rest. In all three cases, Apple auditors uncovered the falsified records by cross-referencing audit data,” the report said.

Apple, which has historically been secretive and guarded about its supplier and manufacturing chains, conducted the report in order “to take a leadership stance in the ethical recruitment and management of foreign contract workers” and to implement a “social responsibility” in the hiring and training of staff.

“Apple is committed to ensuring the highest standards of social responsibility throughout our supply base. The companies we do business with must provide safe working conditions, treat workers with dignity and respect, and use environmentally responsible manufacturing processes wherever Apple products are made," the company said in a statement.

“Apple continues to drive improvements that make a difference. Our biggest impact comes when we empower workers, proactively address underlying issues, and hold suppliers accountable for their practices."

Further information

pdf: PC Pro

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