China labor rights watchdog says the schools are to blame
After being accused of hiring individuals too young to work in its facilities legally, Apple supplier Foxconn has been found guilty of employing several underage workers, some as young as 14.China Labor Watch recently monitored Foxconn and discovered that its Yantai facility had interns as young as 14 years of age working for months, according to Cnet.
“These underage interns were mainly sent to Foxconn by schools, but Foxconn did not check the IDs of these young interns,” said China’s labor rights watchdog in a statement.
“The schools involved in this incident should take primary responsible, but Foxconn is also culpable for not confirming the ages of their workers,” the group said.
To its credit, Foxconn responded with an apologetic statement, admitting to the wrongdoing, but not without pointing fingers. In short, Foxconn claimed it hadn’t been aware of these occurrences.
“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,” Apple’s primary iPhone assembler said in an e-mailed statement to CNET.
“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,” Foxconn added.
In its statement, Foxconn outlined that “full responsibility for these violations rests with our company and we have apologized to each of the students for our role in this action.”
It added that it would “immediately” terminate the employees who are found to be responsible for these violations.