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1 Sep 2012

China Labor Watch report re alleged use of child labour in Samsung supplier factory

September 2012 update – scroll down 


On 6 Aug 2012, China Labor Watch released an investigative report, "Samsung’s Supplier Factory Exploiting Child Labor" on Samsung’s supplier HEG Electronics (Huizhou) Co., Ltd.  China Labor Watch reported issues of child labour and student labour exploitation as well as other problems including the alleged failure of auditors to uncover the issues.


On 8 Aug, Samsung announced its plan to inspect HEG's factory. China Labor Watch welcomed the quick reaction from Samsung, but raised additional concerns for the inspection, and called on Samsung to carry out the investigation thoroughly to stop the use of child labour.


Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Samsung, HEG Electronics (Huizhou) Co., Ltd and Intertek, the auditor named, to respond.


Company responses


- HEG Electronics (Huizhou) responded that they were coordinating with Samsung for its investigations, and would communicate with the public when there is further information.


- Samsung sent a link to a statement on the company's official blog


Intertek response [DOC]


September 2012 update


On 3 Sep 2012, Samsung released the results from a field audit that the company conducted at HEG Electronics in August in response to the report by China Labor Watch.  Samsung says that its investigators did not identify any underage workers during the site audit, but did identify student workers between the age of 16 and 18, who were legally allowed to work. The audit also identified several instances of inadequate management and potentially unsafe practices. Samsung emphasised that if HEG fails to meet Samsung’s zero tolerance policy on child labour, the contract will be immediately severed. The company also outlined actions that it will take to address potential violations, which include site inspections in hundreds of its Chinese supplier factories.

News coverage


Samsung to inspect its China suppliers, UPI, 4 Sep 2012


三星将检查250家中国代工厂:排查童工问题, 新浪, 2012年9月4日 (Chinese-language article re Samsung's plans to inspect its Chinese suppliers)


Labor group says there’s something fishy about Samsung’s child labor claims, Ricardo Bilton, VentureBeat, 4 Sep 2012 [includes comment by China Labor Watch]

Samsung Supplier Hired Underage Workers, Forced Overtime, Douglas MacMillan and Lulu Chen, Bloomberg, 14 Dec 2012 [includes comment from China Labour Watch & supplier factory]


China Labor Watch issued additional reports on labour rights in Samsung's supply chain in early September.  We are inviting Samsung to respond to and will link to the reports here as well as Samsung's response (or indicate if it did not respond).

Company Responses

Intertek View Response
Samsung View Response

Story Timeline