Foxconn said that it investigated claims of underage interns at one of its facilities, and found that some of its workers were as young as 14.
The kids were found working at the Yantai facility in the Shandong Province. Most were aged between 14 and 16 years old. China’s legal working age is 16.
Foxconn executives say they are furious to discover that they are breaking China’s labour law. In a statement to CNET, the company said that the use of the interns was a violation of Foxconn’s policy and immediate steps have been taken to return the interns in question to their schools.
It is also said it’s 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 the company to ensure that it can never happen again.
China Labour Watch said that the underage ‘interns’ were mainly sent to Foxconn by schools, but Foxconn did not check their identification.
Although the schools are guilty of packing children off to work at the plant, Foxconn was culpable for not confirming the ages of the workers.
Foxconn agreed that the buck stops withthe company and it had apologised to each of the students for its role.
This case follows a similar allegation in the Jiangsu province, where kids were allegedly drafted from schools to work on the production line to make iPhone accessories, including USB cables. Foxconn quickly denied that claim, saying that the Fair Labor Association’s audit “found no evidence that any interns were pressured to participate”.