It’s okay to use child labor if the kids are just interns right? That was the attitude Apple iPhone maker Foxconn took before admitting this week that they have been in violation of China’s child labor laws.
The company from its Yantai facility in the Shandong Province issued the following statement to CNET regarding the use of kids:
“This is not only a violation of China’s labor law, it is also a violation of Foxconn policy and immediate steps have been taken to return the interns in question to their educational institutions. We are also carrying out a full investigation, in cooperation with the respective educational institutions, to determine how this happened and the actions that must be taken by our company to ensure that it can never happen again.”
Over the summer, the organization China Labor Watch confirmed that 14-year-old children were working as interns at the company.
While 14-years-old for a summer internship might not sound like the worst idea in the world, Foxconn has been attacked repeatedly for horrendous working conditions, the very same conditions those children were made to work in.
The labor watch group does admit that the children were sent to Foxconn from their respective schools; however, ultimately it was the manufacturers responsibility to verify the age of its workers. Foxconn openly admits that it erred in not checking IDs.
Interns at the company earned a reported $244 per month and were forced to work overtime in order to earn academic credits.
Interns make up 2.7 percent of Foxconn’s massive staff of 1.2 million employees.