Samsung accused of using child labor in China

Summary:Samsung’s Chinese supplier has been found to be exploiting child labor, according to a U.S. non-governmental organization’s report.

QQ截图20120811115501
Screenshot by Liu Jiayi

The New York-based BGO, China Labor Watch, said in its latest report HEG Electronics (Huizhou), an important partner of South Korea's Samsung, could be hiring well over 100 student workers under the age of 16. 

The child workers lived and worked under the same "appalling" conditions as adult workers, but were paid 70 percent of the normal wages, the organization said. They often carried out dangerous tasks that resulted in injuries. In a production department of HEG, undercover investigators identified seven child workers aged under 16. Most of them were students of vocational schools and who were trying to gain some working experience during summer break.

According to the report, child labor proportion could skyrocket to over 80 percent of the whole workforce during the summer and winter breaks. Arrangements were made between school teachers and HEG to get students to work as interns, and the report suspected teachers were forging IDs to get underaged students into the factory.

"It is getting harder for factories to find enough workforce when there are a lot of production orders, but the students in vocational schools happened to be very eager to put more working experience into their resume," said Zhangyi, CEO of iiMedia Research, an Chinese research institute. "As for the schools, sending students out to work during vocations not only fulfilled their promises of providing students with intern opportunities, but also earned the schools a considerable amount of commission fees."

Both HEG and the vocational schools denied the accusation of exploiting child labor in their talks with a local newspaper. Samsung responded it was carrying out a further investigation starting Aug. 9 and would solve any potential problems.

Topics: China, Samsung

About

Liu Jiayi is a Hong Kong-based writer and editor.He produces video stories for Al Jazeera English and Severn News Australia, and also worked as the video editor for the Hong Kong-San Francisco Ocean Film Festival 2012. He is studying under a Master of Journalism Programme at the University of Hong Kong.

zdnet_core.socialButton.googleLabel Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.