Apple discover 91 children employed at their supplier factories

During a number of audits carried out last year, Apple has discovered that 91 children were working for some of their supplier factories in China, while 60% had employees working over the 60-hour a week limit.

According to PC Pro, around 127 factory audits took place during 2010, with one employing 42 children under the age of 16, which is the minimum working age in China.

The good news is that Apple has not only stopped working with the companies involved, but they also had them return the children to their families and to schools as well. Although the company had to report one school which was actually helping companies hire the child workers.

The report went on to state that out of the 127 factories, a large percentage not only worked over the 60-hour maximum week, but also didn’t have clearly signed emergency exits or proper storage for chemicals.

Apple also discussed the large number of suicides that were happening in the Foxconn factories that became headline news last year, due to what many believed to be a stressful working environment.

Apple sent in “Suicide prevention specialists” to the company along with COO Tim Cook where they met with the Foxconn CEO and came up with a number of improvements to employee care. One recommendation was more councilors, while a new 24-hour care center has also been established.

The audit also mentioned that Foxconn has begun to expand the company, thus allowing employees to be closer to their homes than they previously were.

You can read the full audit on the Apple Supplier Responsibility site.

Image Source: CNET

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As usual people are praising Apple without reading the article all the way through.

The report went on to state that out of the 127 factories, a large percentage not only worked over the 60-hour maximum week, but also didn't have clearly signed emergency exits or proper storage for chemicals.

And we're praising Apple why?

Let's hold Apple to some sort of standard here. Releasing underage employees is a nice start but Apple can easily afford to ensure appropriate labour standards at all their factories. There are zero excuses.

Is anybody really surprised that this type of behavior is found in China? One of the worst human rights abusers in history.

Good on Apple for spotting this... child labour needs to be stamped out across the globe, like that's ever going to happen. Cheap labour = child working in factory for a $1.50 per hour.

American corporations never think how these factories can get away with paying their employees slave wages? Of course they're using children.

Solid Knight said,
I don't want my laptop to be put together by kids. They should fire all those children.

Yeah, they can all go back to the sex trade again where they belong.... [rolls eyes]

Solid Knight said,
I don't want my laptop to be put together by kids. They should fire all those children.

If they are capable of building your laptop, why not give them the chance? I know it's illegal to use child labor, but these factories are never completely legal and human rights respecter in the first place, that's why it's bloody cheap for these companies to outsource to China.

tonyunreal said,

If they are capable of building your laptop, why not give them the chance? I know it's illegal to use child labor, but these factories are never completely legal and human rights respecter in the first place, that's why it's bloody cheap for these companies to outsource to China.

Because kids are inferior.

Question: what would these children be doing if they were not working at a factory for a wage? We like to think that they would be going to school and living the life like we do in the West, but this is China (among other relatively poor countries). Once you understand the alternatives (slavery, sex trade), you might want to step out of your affluent altruistic world and recognize the real one.

DClark said,
Question: what would these children be doing if they were not working at a factory for a wage? We like to think that they would be going to school and living the life like we do in the West, but this is China (among other relatively poor countries). Once you understand the alternatives (slavery, sex trade), you might want to step out of your affluent altruistic world and recognize the real one.

Oh right, they should be thankful they have a job at 15. Guess what - ignorance breeds ignorance - better poor and at school than with a miserable allowance at the bar getting drunk into a stupor after a 60 hours workweek. THIS is slavery. For life. I'm sure the slave traders had a similar mentality back in the day - you know showing them primates how the white man lives, giving them a chance to work for a white man, getting food and shelter too... Sure, poverty is bad for kids. And guess what - child labor exploitation leads to poverty.

Breach said,

Oh right, they should be thankful they have a job at 15. Guess what - ignorance breeds ignorance - better poor and at school than with a miserable allowance at the bar getting drunk into a stupor after a 60 hours workweek. THIS is slavery. For life. I'm sure the slave traders had a similar mentality back in the day - you know showing them primates how the white man lives, giving them a chance to work for a white man, getting food and shelter too... Sure, poverty is bad for kids. And guess what - child labor exploitation leads to poverty.

It's not like they were forced to do that. Do you think they won't look for other slave labor jobs? It's their choice.

Breach said,
Oh right, they should be thankful they have a job at 15. Guess what - ignorance breeds ignorance - better poor and at school than with a miserable allowance at the bar getting drunk into a stupor after a 60 hours workweek. THIS is slavery. For life. I'm sure the slave traders had a similar mentality back in the day - you know showing them primates how the white man lives, giving them a chance to work for a white man, getting food and shelter too... Sure, poverty is bad for kids. And guess what - child labor exploitation leads to poverty.

Every job is slavery. We're all wage slaves, unless you're an entrepreneur. Then you're a slave owner. Just because someone makes a 'living wage', doesn't mean their not in servitude to someone else.

Why don't you do something smart and use your living wage dollars wisely and buy local instead of what you can afford. Then we'll talk.

DClark said,
Question: what would these children be doing if they were not working at a factory for a wage? We like to think that they would be going to school and living the life like we do in the West, but this is China (among other relatively poor countries). Once you understand the alternatives (slavery, sex trade), you might want to step out of your affluent altruistic world and recognize the real one.

I saw this on a special on the Wal-Mart factories in China. They say, 'better here than in the sex trade', and they have a lot of young chinese working in their factories.

Glendi said,

It's not like they were forced to do that. Do you think they won't look for other slave labor jobs? It's their choice.

not really their choice.. When you are at that age their parents are probably forcing them out to get work.. If they are not allowed to work then the parents can force the to try harder in school..

I disagree with the notion of choice for children, especially considering the conditions of these third-world countries. But the reality is that the alternative options are a lot less appealing than youth labour (starvation, slavery, sex trade, death etc.) What can we in the West do about it? The current lot of actions proposed include boycotting companies that purchase from suppliers that utilize youth labour, but this doesn't seem too appealing when you recognize that these same youth ended up in the alternative fields. Another option is encouraging governments to criminalize youth labour through incentives. Problem: If governments have no problem with youth labour, then it is highly plausible that the government is corrupt and therefore will not utilize the newfound resources to help the people in need (i.e. the youth), in addition to the fact that these non-democratic regimes are not accountable to their people. So the youth are now unemployed AND uneducated. To the crime world and sex trades the youth go.

So what is another possible option for the West? Topple governments that don't fit our worldview...but the left says that is ignorant! And so everything is full circle. The self-righteous win once again.

Breach said,

Oh right, they should be thankful they have a job at 15. Guess what - ignorance breeds ignorance - better poor and at school than with a miserable allowance at the bar getting drunk into a stupor after a 60 hours workweek. THIS is slavery. For life. I'm sure the slave traders had a similar mentality back in the day - you know showing them primates how the white man lives, giving them a chance to work for a white man, getting food and shelter too... Sure, poverty is bad for kids. And guess what - child labor exploitation leads to poverty.


There is no empirical evidence that child labour leads to poverty, as pre-existing conditions add noise to such a connection. Correlation is not always causation. Having no job at all = no money at all (which is called ABSOLUTE poverty). Better to be impoverished than absolutely impoverished, from a utilitarian perspective. In addition, you make the assumption that these children can be educated when in many third world countries such education is not offered.

Glendi said,

It's not like they were forced to do that. Do you think they won't look for other slave labor jobs? It's their choice.


I disagree with the notion of choice for children, especially considering the conditions of these third-world countries. But the reality is that the alternative options are a lot less appealing than youth labour (starvation, slavery, sex trade, death etc.) What can we in the West do about it? The current lot of actions proposed include boycotting companies that purchase from suppliers that utilize child labour, but this doesn't seem too appealing when you recognize that these same children ended up in the alternative fields. Another option is encouraging governments to criminalize child labour through incentives. Problem: If governments have no problem with child labour, then it is highly plausible that the government is corrupt and therefore will not utilize the newfound resources to help the people in need (i.e. the children), in addition to the fact that these non-democratic regimes are not accountable to their people. So the children are now unemployed AND uneducated. To the crime world and sex trades they go.

So what is another possible option for the West? Topple governments that don't fit our worldview...but the left says that is ignorant! And so everything is full circle. The self-righteous win once again.

There's typo in the title. It should be "Apple discovers 91 children employed at their supplier factories"

There should be a 's' after discover

s3n4te said,
There's typo in the title. It should be "Apple discovers 91 children employed at their supplier factories"

There should be a 's' after discover

Report it.

s3n4te said,
There's typo in the title. It should be "Apple discovers 91 children employed at their supplier factories"

There should be a 's' after discover

I disagree. You can't have "...discovers..." and then use "...their..." later in the sentence.

vanx said,
I disagree. You can't have "...discovers..." and then use "...their..." later in the sentence.

Yep, you can say either: "Apply [they]... discover... their factories" or "Apple [it, the company]... discovers... its factories]".

vanx said,
I disagree. You can't have "...discovers..." and then use "...their..." later in the sentence.

It should be "Apple discovers 91 children employed at its supplier factories" then.
The current heading really does sound weird.

PyX said,

It should be "Apple discovers 91 children employed at its supplier factories" then.
The current heading really does sound weird.

It sounds weird to you because (i'm assuming) you're American. In American English collective nouns such as company names are often treated as singular entities. In British English (and basically any other form of English that isn't American) collective nouns such as company names are often treated as plurals. I believe the author of this story is from the UK, so it makes sense he would be using British English. Unless you believe all English used on the Internet should be American, there's no typo.

How about make it where it's designed, giving Americans jobs, improving the American economy, cutting down emissions and allowing for better control over employee welfare.

Oh, because it will cost more dollars in the short term. Don't think that Apple's primary concern is fundamentally different to any other profit seeking company.

snappyfool said,
How about make it where it's designed, giving Americans jobs, improving the American economy, cutting down emissions and allowing for better control over employee welfare.

Oh, because it will cost more dollars in the short term. Don't think that Apple's primary concern is fundamentally different to any other profit seeking company.


And also they'll have to fire many, many people from foreign countries to do so? Didn't think of that did you?

snappyfool said,
How about make it where it's designed, giving Americans jobs, improving the American economy, cutting down emissions and allowing for better control over employee welfare.

Oh, because it will cost more dollars in the short term. Don't think that Apple's primary concern is fundamentally different to any other profit seeking company.


Well, yes, and what Jan said. But with the computer industry it's virtually impossible to compete in the market with the wage requirements for American labor. Not only assembly...but think about parts. Don't get me wrong--if they could find a way to do it, I'd love to see them try.

Jan said,

And also they'll have to fire many, many people from foreign countries to do so? Didn't think of that did you?
Employees that are abused and overworked, at best, for pennies on the dollar, while the manufacturers churn out toxic filled goods, at their employees and our own expense.

Their low cost, slave-style labor workforce took our jobs first. Reinvigorating our own economy would only serve to save us from the downward fall that western nations are headed too without it.

It's truly awesome that Apple is making them fix this stuff, but it's obnoxious that Apple is charging $1800+ for a laptop and sitting on over $50 billion, while refusing to create at least one manufacturing plant over here. Heck, it would even justify the cost. Apple has the best build quality in the business. Imagine if it wasn't being made by children or people worked to death?

Intel builds a lot of their chips in America. Apple, Dell, Microsoft, HP, and the whole lot of them can do it too.

pickypg said,
Employees that are abused and overworked, at best, for pennies on the dollar, while the manufacturers churn out toxic filled goods, at their employees and our own expense.

Their low cost, slave-style labor workforce took our jobs first. Reinvigorating our own economy would only serve to save us from the downward fall that western nations are headed too without it.

It's truly awesome that Apple is making them fix this stuff, but it's obnoxious that Apple is charging $1800+ for a laptop and sitting on over $50 billion, while refusing to create at least one manufacturing plant over here. Heck, it would even justify the cost. Apple has the best build quality in the business. Imagine if it wasn't being made by children or people worked to death?

Intel builds a lot of their chips in America. Apple, Dell, Microsoft, HP, and the whole lot of them can do it too.

The employees that are 'abused and overworked' have a job and provide an income for their family - that's all that matters to them.

Yes, that's the truly sad fact of this story. 91 Chinese children have lost their jobs!

Jan said,

The employees that are 'abused and overworked' have a job and provide an income for their family - that's all that matters to them.

snappyfool said,
How about make it where it's designed, giving Americans jobs, improving the American economy, cutting down emissions and allowing for better control over employee welfare.

Oh, because it will cost more dollars in the short term. Don't think that Apple's primary concern is fundamentally different to any other profit seeking company.

Long term as well...

snappyfool said,
Yes, that's the truly sad fact of this story. 91 Chinese children have lost their jobs!

I don't know if that was sarcasm but it's possible that it isn't since that is a legitimate point.

Most folks who complain about this don't know the background of those children. They would say that these children would be better off if they stayed in school but if they are able to go to school, they wouldn't be working at Foxconn. Maybe they are so poor that their familiy needed and extra hand to provide for the familiy and they happen to be that extra hand.

Westerners refuse to see this reality and think they are getting exploited, based on their western view.

Apple and other need to stop being so cheap and MAKE foxconn pay a good amount to employees as well as what they're currently doing. Tbh its horrible that people in the western world are unemployeed and apple is using foreign workers. This is a generic thing but there needs to be some international law that makes cheap labour illegal. Disgraceful.

You make out like this is only going on Apple. It happens with EVERY other large manufacturer. How many toys can you pick up without seeing a "Made in China" sign on it? It's a sad state of affairs but in places like China it's expected.
Lets say all manufactures bring work back to their own countries. Your now putting a lot of people out of work. It may be crap money but its still a job in their own eyes.

Welcome to the world you've lived in for many many years...

SK[ said,]You make out like this is only going on Apple. It happens with EVERY other large manufacturer. How many toys can you pick up without seeing a "Made in China" sign on it? It's a sad state of affairs but in places like China it's expected.
Lets say all manufactures bring work back to their own countries. Your now putting a lot of people out of work. It may be crap money but its still a job in their own eyes.

Welcome to the world you've lived in for many many years...

no I said that it wasn't just apple. And on the fact that a lot of people would be put out of a job what about the unemployed in western world. It sounds cruel but the fact is we should put our needs first.

zikalify said,
no I said that it wasn't just apple. And on the fact that a lot of people would be put out of a job what about the unemployed in western world. It sounds cruel but the fact is we should put our needs first.

A businesses main objective is to make money, it's much cheaper to get parts from china, so that's what you do to remain competitive, unless you want Apple's products to be £100 more expensive.

Apple is not the only company Foxconn makes stuff for, Foxconn also makes motherboard components for Asus, Microsoft, HP, Dell, and just about every other device you purchase. its is almost a garentee that you have at least 10 devices in your house that has some Foxconn parts in it.

zikalify said,
Apple and other need to stop being so cheap and MAKE foxconn pay a good amount to employees as well as what they're currently doing. Tbh its horrible that people in the western world are unemployeed and apple is using foreign workers. This is a generic thing but there needs to be some international law that makes cheap labour illegal. Disgraceful.

superbeam said,

No it isnt funny. Id like to see you work at that age 60+ hours.

we aint stupid, we in the west DEMAND proper wages and prices.
not our problem if they decide not to give a crap and work like our 19th century factories \o/
the more they do it, the cheaper they make crap for us

speedstr3789 said,
Yea, they didn't have ANY pressure to do anything about this.................

No not really, not any more than any other company using the same supplier, and they never care at all. It's just the way apple does things.

Not the biggest Apple fan, but props to Apple for taking a stand against this crap, instead of just overlooking it and taking in the profits.

CGar said,
Not the biggest Apple fan, but props to Apple for taking a stand against this crap, instead of just overlooking it and taking in the profits.

Indeed. They found a serious breach of ethics and they took a great step towards rectifying it.

CGar said,
Not the biggest Apple fan, but props to Apple for taking a stand against this crap, instead of just overlooking it and taking in the profits.

those companies wouldnt do all that if Apple would give a fair price for its products.
Which Apple obviously doesnt do, hence why they import it from sweat shops like that
Makes sense how Apple makes so much profit compared to income...

But its Apple, how on earth can any news be negative about Apple.

McG said,
They might not always make me happy, but good for Apple. This is better business.

this is just for publicity, time passes, people forget about this being a issue, and same thing will happen. until someone starts riding stories about new cases again.

nekrosoft13 said,

this is just for publicity, time passes, people forget about this being a issue, and same thing will happen. until someone starts riding stories about new cases again.

Maybe, just maybe.. Everything isn't "publicity".

nekrosoft13 said,

this is just for publicity, time passes, people forget about this being a issue, and same thing will happen. until someone starts riding stories about new cases again.

Nope. Apple does this regularly - it's been in the news here before. It's good business on their part and it's consistent.

EDIT: and after reading more responses the discussion degrades as usual with some folks saying that the children are now jobless, et, etc, and that Apple is to blame. Yeah, it's the same thing again and again.

error404ts said,
EDIT: and after reading more responses the discussion degrades as usual with some folks saying that the children are now jobless, et, etc, and that Apple is to blame. Yeah, it's the same thing again and again.

I'm not sure how well that argument will hold up. If you read the report it indicates that Apple required one factory with several children working there to send those children back to school. litterally: to pay tuition and living costs for 6 months or until the child hit the legal working age (16 i think): whichever was the longer.