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China: Danwatch investigations found forced interns at Wistron - manufacturer of HP, Dell & Lenovo servers - companies respond

Danwatch has investigated the supply chain of servers bought by European universities and found that...tens of thousands of Chinese students are sent by their schools - many of them forced, on irrelevant internships to the assembly lines of electronic factories to produce servers and other ICT equipment for the world’s biggest brands. Interns work 10-12 hours a day, six days a week for 3-5 months producing equipment that later will end in universities across Europe.Danwatch investigated the supply chain of servers at European universities because, according to Principle 6 of UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, as public procurers universities have a particular responsibility to protect human rights when doing business with companies.

HP, Dell and Lenovo are the leading server brands in the higher education sector in Europe, according to market data and Danwatch’s research. Wistron Corporation in Zhongshan, China,manufactures servers for all three brands.Danwatch’s investigation and interviews with student interns from Wistron in Zhongshan reveals several violations of interns’ rights, Chinese labour law and the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) convention on forced labour.

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