Apple's 2010 Supplier Responsibility Report admits instances of suppliers' child labour use

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Article
10 March 2010

Letter to the Editor of CSR Asia

Author: William Anderson, Head of Social & Environmental Affairs, Asia Pacific, adidas Group

I read your…article on Media misreporting and Apple’s CSR and would like to offer a comment. .. Firstly, hats off to Apple for a very transparent and readable report...For those of us in major brands who…have had to deal with the media, it comes as no surprise that bad news sells papers…Efforts by companies to manage the complexities of workplace conditions which are impacted by…thread-bare industrial relations… and a host of other factors is often left at the door when an emotional touchstone is available for a headline about “child labour”. However, your stated concern that the apple story will reinforce the conservatism of many Asian companies who are “cautious about being transparent…” perhaps misstates the risk…I am therefore hopeful that the Asian companies that subscribe to your newsletter see that the merit of transparency far outweighs the risks of media exposure… it lifts their standing, rather than diminishes it.

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Article
4 March 2010

Supply chains in China

Author: The Economist

…According to a report…[Apple] released on February 23rd, the treatment of workers at several of its contractors… broke both local laws and Apple’s own standards…Apple says some of its suppliers hired underage employees… and paid less than the minimum wage. They also violated Apple’s own standards by discriminating against pregnant women…To be fair, Apple was under no obligation to commission the report or make its findings public…China’s reluctance to grant visas to foreign reporters and its censorship of the press does allow factories to elude the kind of scrutiny that would be routine elsewhere. But even China may have limits. On February 25th the People’s Daily…reported that 62 workers had been poisoned in a…factory… run by Wintek… [also refers to Nike, Nokia]

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Article
3 March 2010

Media misreporting and Apple's CSR

Author: Richard Welford, CSR Asia

...this report from Apple, which we should actually praise, has been met with a huge amount of irresponsibility from journalists looking for sensational stories of child abuse in order to sell their copy and ride on the back of a brand that is well recognised. Such irresponsible reporting hardly encourages transparency amongst companies and damages the business case for CSR...By running comprehensive audits of its suppliers, Apple runs the risk of uncovering just how poorly a minority [of] its suppliers treat its workers, and by publishing those results, it runs the risk of news outlets…exaggerating them to sell newspapers…Journalists are trying to hold Apple to account, but in fact in many cases are revealing their own social irresponsibility.

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Article
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Author: Slate [France]

Onze enfants de quinze ans ont été découverts l'an dernier, dans trois usines fournissant Apple, rapporte le quotidien britannique The Telegraph. La compagnie...n'a pas donné le nom des usines, ni l'endroit où elles se trouvent, mais les pièces qui y sont fabriquées sont majoritairement assemblées en Chine. Apple a déclaré qu'elle n'employait désormais plus aucun enfant, ou que les enfants employés sont désormais majeurs. «Dans chacune des trois usines, nous avons exigé de vérifier tous les contrats de travail de l'année, ainsi qu'une analyse complète du processus de recrutement pour clarifier de quelle manière des mineurs avaient pu être embauchés», a déclaré Apple.

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Article
26 February 2010

Apple finds child labour in supply chain

Author: Hani Megerisi, PC Pro [UK]

Apple has found cases of suppliers using child labour and forging audits, the company has admitted. In its 2010 Supplier Responsibility report, the Mac maker looked into the practices of manufacturers and suppliers that work with and for Apple. Human and labour rights, management practices and health and safety procedures were all looked into in the study, which found discrepancies among suppliers. In three cases Apple discovered that 15-year-old workers had been hired and that records existed of 11 other workers who had been hired before reaching legal working ages, although they were all now adults.

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