“There are more than 1.5 million workers making products for Apple, and some of them are children,” Tim Fernholz reports for Quartz. “The company knows this, and it will tell you: In 2013, it audited 451 different facilities in 16 countries, and found 23 people who had been hired when they were younger than 16. Eleven were still underage at the time of the audit. In all of its publicly available audits, from 2006 to 2013, the company has found 349 child laborers.”
“What happens after they are found?” Fernholz reports. “[Apple] executives decided to adopt a program designed in 2008 by Impactt, a social-responsibility consultancy based in the UK that operates in China, India, and Bangladesh. The plan calls for Apple to make any transgressing supplier pay not only for the education of any child laborers it is found using, but also keep paying them wages until they graduate (thus removing their incentive to stay out of school). Apple follows up with the former workers to ensure they are still in school.”
“The idea is to deter suppliers from hiring children, while making sure any they do hire end up back in school. Dionne Harrison, who manages these programs for Impactt, says her local staff go to the factory to meet the workers, figure out their actual age and, eventually, meet their families, in an effort to convince them to go back to school,” Fernholz reports. “It sounds like a good deal. Yet most of the time, the young workers don’t take it.”
Read more in the full article here.
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