The Hidden Price of Our Gadget Obsession: Child Labor

The Hidden Price of Our Gadget Obsession: Child Labor

One item that came through in Apple’s Supplier report last week was a marked increase in issues with child labor in supplier facilities, particularly in China. The report noted that Apple ” audited 127 facilities and found 91 cases including 31 workers who had been hired prior to reaching the legal age, but were no longer underage or no longer employed at the time of the audit.”

Before you get out the Apple-bashing hammer, remember that EVERYONE making devices is using these facilities – Dell, Asus, Acer, HP, even Samsung gets loads of stuff from these plants. This means it is a huge and spreading issue as Chinese companies do whatever they can to draw more and more business. Apple is doing what it can, as the report notes:

Apple has required the suppliers to return the young people to their families and support their return to school while continuing to pay them until they reach 16 years of age. Apple said it has also required the suppliers to improve their management, such as labor recruitment practices and age-verification procedures, to prevent recurrences.

It is a shame to see these practices continuing year after year … but it is more disturbing to see it getting worse as our thirst increases for the latest cool tech.

Source: EETimes

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About the Author

Michael Anderson
I have loved technology for as long as I can remember - and have been a computer gamer since the PDP-10! Mobile Technology has played a major role in my life - I have used an electronic companion since the HP95LX more than 20 years ago, and have been a 'Laptop First' person since my Compaq LTE Lite 3/20 and Powerbook 170 back in 1991! As an avid gamer and gadget-junkie I was constantly asked for my opinions on new technology, which led to writing small blurbs ... and eventually becoming a reviewer many years ago. My family is my biggest priority in life, and they alternate between loving and tolerating my gaming and gadget hobbies ... but ultimately benefits from the addition of technology to our lives!

3 Comments on "The Hidden Price of Our Gadget Obsession: Child Labor"

  1. RT @geardiarysite: The Hidden Price of Our Gadget Obsession: Child Labor

  2. RT @GearDiarySite: The Hidden Price of Our Gadget Obsession: Child Labor

  3. Christopher Gavula | February 22, 2011 at 9:52 am |

    It’s interesting to me that we bash Apple for these kinds of findings regularly, but where is an equivalent Dell Supplier Report and it’s findings, or an HP Supplier Report or an HTC supplier report?

    As you said, they all use many of the same suppliers with the same issues, but it’s only Apple we hear from and Apple we bash. Same thing happened with the “Green” reports a few years ago – the only one ever mentioned was Apple – what about the others?

    Do we bash them because they are the only ones that report on these things or are they being pressured to report because of their name and reputation? Are we expecting more from them than other manufacturers? Either way – why don’t we hear the same info from the other big tech manufacturers and what steps they are taking to correct these issues?

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