Children in China can be found working 10- to 14-hour days in factories, making fireworks, garments, and toys.

National Consumers League Expresses Concern over New Apple Inc. Child Labor Revelations

Apple Inc. announced today that its internal audits had found more than 106 underage employees at 11 different locations in its supply chain; it found another 70 “historical” cases of child labor. The company also said that it had terminated contracts with a Chinese supplier, Guangdong Real Faith Pingzhuou Electronics, which employed 74 workers under age 16. Auditors found eight facilities with “bonded labor” –cases in which workers were compelled to labor to pay off excessive recruiting fees.

The National Consumers League (NCL), the nation’s oldest consumer advocacy organization with a long history of working to reduce child labor in the U.S. and abroad, applauds the termination of supplier contracts that rely on the work of child labor. “After much criticism, it appears that Apple has finally stepped up auditing of its supply chain. We urge the company to continue on that path as aggressively as possible. With 1.5 million workers in 14 countries, the 106 children found working may be the tip of the iceberg,” noted NCL Executive Director Sally Greenberg who is a co-chair of the Child Labor Coalition, which represents 28 organizations, trying to eliminate the worst forms of child labor.

“Children should not be working in electronics manufacturing–with its accompanying dangers. They should be in school and allowed to realize their full potential,” added Greenberg. “Given  Apple’s enormous profitability, it’s essential the company does everything in its power to stamp out child labor. Other electronics companies should take warning, and conduct rigorous audits of their supply chains.”

Apple suppliers in China, including the manufacturing behemoth FoxConn, have been criticized for poor working conditions and safety standards.… Read the rest

Samsung to review 250 Chinese suppliers for labor violations

SEOUL | Tue Sep 4, 2012 4:28am IST

(Reuters) – Samsung Electronics Co said on Monday it would inspect 250 Chinese companies which make products for the South Korean firm to ensure no labor laws are broken after a U.S.-based group accused one of its suppliers of using child labor.

Samsung also said its audit into working conditions at an HEG Electronics facility in Huizhou in southern China found no under-aged workers. New York-based China Labor Watch said last month seven children younger than 16 were working in the factory that makes phones and DVD players for Samsung.

But Samsung said the audit identified several instances of inadequate management and potentially unsafe practices such as overtime beyond local regulations, improper safety measures and a system of fines for tardiness or absences.

“Samsung has demanded that HEG immediately improve its working conditions… If HEG fails to meet Samsung’s zero tolerance policy on child labor, the contract will be immediately severed,” Samsung said in a statement.

It said it would conduct inspections for all 105 supplier companies in China which produce goods solely for Samsung by the end of September, and review, via documentation, by the end of the year another 144 suppliers that makes products for it and other firms.

“If supplier companies are found to be in violation of our policies and corrective actions not taken, Samsung will terminate its contract with those supplier companies,” Samsung said.

The move follows allegations earlier this year that Apple Inc’s products were assembled in China amid multiple violations of labor law, including extreme hours.

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Conflict and Economic Downturn Cause Global Increase in Reported Child Labor Violations- 40% of Countries now rated ‘extreme risk’ by Maplecroft

Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and Philippines expose companies to high levels of supply chain risk

An annual study by risk analysis firm Maplecroft has revealed that 76 countries now pose ‘extreme’ child labour complicity risks for companies operating worldwide, due to worsening global security and the economic downturn. This constitutes an increase of more than 10% from last year’s total of 68 ‘extreme risk’ countries.

The Child Labour Index 2012 evaluates the frequency and severity of reported child labour incidents in 197 countries. Worryingly, nearly 40% of all countries have been classified as ‘extreme risk’ in the index, with conflict torn and authoritarian states topping the ranking. Myanmar, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan are ranked joint first, while DR Congo (5), Zimbabwe (6), Afghanistan (7), Burundi (8), Pakistan (9) and Ethiopia (10) round off the worst performers.

The Child Labour Index has been developed by Maplecroft to evaluate the extent of country-level child labour practices and the performance of governments in preventing child labour and ensuring the accountability of perpetrators. By doing so, the index enables companies to identify risks of children being employed within their supply chains in violation of the standards on minimum age of employment. The index also analyses the risk of the involvement of children in work, the conditions of which could have a negative impact on the health, safety and wellbeing of child labourers.

Maplecroft suggests that the global increase in the use of child labour is mainly caused by a deteriorating human security situation worldwide. This has resulted in increased numbers of internally displaced children and refugees who, together with children from minority communities, continue to be the groups at most risk of economic exploitation. Sub-Saharan Africa is identified as the region posing the most risk in this respect but most of the growth economies have their own unique conditions in respect of child labour and its remediation. Read more

Disney Factory Faces Probe into Sweatshop Suicide Claims

guardian.co.uk

Human rights campaigners say Chinese factories using children as young as 14 and that workers forced to do overtime

A Sturdy Products’ employee works to fulfill orders, for ranges that include Disney ­merchandise. But a monitoring group claims that workers’ rights are often abused

Disney’s best-selling Cars toys are being made in a factory in China that uses child labor and forces staff to do three times the amount of overtime allowed by law, according to an investigation.

One worker reportedly killed herself after being repeatedly shouted at by bosses. Others cited worries over poisonous chemicals. Disney has now launched its own investigation.

It is claimed some of the 6,000 employees have to work an extra 120 hours every month to meet demand from western shops for the latest toys.

The factory, called Sturdy Products, makes toys for the giant Mattel Company, which last month announced quarterly profits of £48m on the back of strong sales of Barbie dolls and Cars 2 toys. Sturdy Products, in the city of Shenzhen, also makes toys for US superstore chain Wal-Mart. Among the brands produced are the Thomas the Tank Engine range, Matchbox cars, Cars, Toy Story, Barbie and Fisher Price products, Scrabble and the Hot Wheels sets.

The undercover investigation was carried out with the help of human rights group Sacom (Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior), which helped to expose abuses in Apple’s Foxconn plant in China this year.

Workers were interviewed away from the factory, and an investigator then spent a month working inside it to gather more information.… Read the rest