“Chen Guangcheng, the Chinese dissident whose flight to the U.S. in April roiled U.S.-China relations, said iPhone-maker Apple Inc. should take a more outspoken role criticizing China for its one-child policy,” Sara Forden and Adam Satariano report for Bloomberg. “Apple, which hires manufacturers to assemble products such as the iPhone and iPad in China, can help stop forced abortions and other coercive population control measures, Chen said in an interview this week. The blind human-rights activist is betting that Apple’s presence in China and the popularity of its products there will help draw attention to the issue. ‘Apple in China should take a very active role,’ Chen said. ‘There’s a huge social responsibility for these international corporations like Apple.'”

Forden and Satariano report, “Chen and other China human-rights advocates are seeking a meeting with Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook to discuss their concerns. They sent a letter to Cook last week asking Apple to adopt measures to end coercive family planning practices in its factories. The proposals included prohibiting access to factories for government family-planning officials and refusing to report women who are pregnant without birth permits. The group also wants other companies, including Cisco Systems Inc., to urge the Chinese government to drop its policy.”

“Introduced in the late 1970s and made mandatory in 1980, China’s one-child policy restricts most married couples to having one child in order to control population growth in the country of 1.3 billion,” Forden and Satariano report. “Migrant women must provide certificates showing their childbearing and birth-control status to the provincial government where they work, according to government regulations. Employers are required to play a role in family planning and accept government supervision, the national commission says on its website.”

Forden and Satariano report, “Apple said in its most recent annual corporate responsibility report that 24 facilities it audited conducted pregnancy tests of female workers and that 56 didn’t have policies and procedures that prohibit discriminatory practices based on pregnancy. Apple said it classified these practices as discrimination, even if permitted by local law, and that the suppliers had stopped the screenings. Apple has said it will stop doing business with suppliers who can’t meet its code of conduct… Chen and his group didn’t provide any evidence that Apple has been tied to forced abortions or other coercive birth- control measures.”

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