iPods: Made for kids, by kids

Apple's annual report has revealed that some of its suppliers have been breaching the company's "Supplier Code of Conduct" by using child labor and carrying out other dubious practices.

Apple's annual report has revealed that some of its suppliers have been breaching the company's "Supplier Code of Conduct" by using child labor and carrying out other dubious practices.

The most shocking of the revelations is that three factories responsible for manufacturing parts had 11 minors employed. These minors were 15 years old, but the minimum working age in the countries in question was 16.

Another 50 factories were found to be keeping workers on for longer than the maximum 60 hour work week, while another 24 were paying workers less than the minimum wage.

Other issues that were uncovered was that 39% of the factories involved in making Apple products weren't following correct safety regulations and only 43% didn't have the necessary environmental permits.

There's no word on the location of the factories that were found to be breaking the code of conduct.

The good news here for Apple is the fact that these discoveries were made as a result of Apple's own audits of facilities, which means that the company is taking its own code of conduct seriously. Also, as a result of this audit, the child laborers are no longer employed. However, it seems that all the factories discovered to be violating the code of conduct are still being used by Apple.

While Apple should be praised for carrying out the audits, it seem that the company is unable or unwilling to take a "follow the rules of lose the contract" approach. Given Apple's track record on supply chain issues, this is disheartening.