© david-coleman-dreamstime.com Electronics Production | January 28, 2013
Apple discontinues supplier relationship over child labour issues
Electronics giant Apple has been under the magnifying glass, ever since the suicides at Foxconn started making headlines. Digging deeper into the supply chain and auditing factories, new cases of child labour were discovered last year.
Apple has been working hard in the recent years, trying to increase the transparency of its supply chain. Last year, according to the ”Apple Supplier Responsibility - 2013 Progress Report”, no cases of underage work was found within the final assembly suppliers (Foxconn of course being the most famous of the group). However, Apple started digging further into the supply chain and found several companies that took child labour and their responsibility not serious. Most notably, Apple decided to discontinue the corporation with Guangdong Real Faith Pingzhou Electronics Co., Ltd. (PZ). The company produces a standard circuit board component used by many companies and in many industries. When audited, Apple found 74 cases of workers under the age of 16. The problem, according to Apple, is in many cases the labour agencies: ”We also learned that one of the region’s largest labor agencies, Shenzhen Quanshun Human Resources Co., Ltd. (Quanshun) , which is registered in both the Shenzhen and Henan provinces, was responsible for knowingly providing the children to PZ. In fact, to obtain the workers, this agency conspired with families to forge age verification documents and make the workers seem older than they were”, Apple writes in the report.