‘Foxconn’ employs underage children to launch Apple’s iPhone 5

Foxconn,  Apple's main supplier in China, has admitted that children as young as 14 worked in its Yantai factory. The legal working age in China is 16.

The company launched an investigation after media reports claimed that young interns were being forced to work in its factories due to a labour shortage ahead of the iPhone 5 launch. The company has previously denied the claims and it’s not clear which products are manufactured at this particular factory.

Foxconn said that it is still investigating the matter, and any staff found to be responsible for the fact that under aged interns worked illegally in its factory would be dismissed. China Labour Watch says that Foxconn did not check the identities of students who were sent to the factory by their schools.

If this is true, then this could make waves with the Chinese government as well as clients, even if their devices were not made in this particular factory. Sony’s supplier code of conduct prohibits underage labour, and Apple has previously said that it requires all its suppliers to check the ages of workers, even when they are supplied by third-party recruiters like schools.

According to Foxconn, the interns received an apology and were returned to their educational institutions. The company said that it would work with the schools and local government in future to ensure no underage children were permitted to participate in its internship programme.

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