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Samsung Accused of Using Child Labor in China

by Jacob Kleinman | July 10, 2014July 10, 2014 11:00 am PST


A new report from China Labor Watch claims Samsung employed child workers as part of its supply chain at a Chinese factory. This isn’t the first time the organization has accused Samsung of using child labor, and the company was quick to respond with a statement of its own promising to investigate the issue.

According to China Labor Watch the use of child labor is seasonal, and depends on Samsung’s production demands. The Chinese factory in question routinely employs children and underage students who work 11-hour days with no overtime pay for anywhere from three to six months. The report also calls into question a recent “Global Harmony” internal study from Samsung claiming to find no instances of child labor at 200 supplier factories in 2013.

In an official response on Thursday, Samsung promised to investigate these claims and reiterated its zero tolerance policy when it comes to child labor. The company says it conducted a full audit of the factory in question back in March 2013, followed by two more in August 2013 and June 2014. Samsung claims it found no cases of child labor.

China Labor Watch executive director Li Qiang claims these audits are really just meant to appease investors, and don’t actually do anything to improve working conditions. “What Samsung says is not important,” he says. “What’s important is their actions.”

Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...