Child Labor Law Violations Put Wedge Between Samsung and Chinese Supplier

July 14, 2014 - Written By Ray Greer

Samsung has come to a decision that has “temporarily suspend[ed] business” with one of their Chinese suppliers. This decision has come after an investigation done by China Labor Watch has uncovered possible child labor violations. Samsung, being aware of questionable labor violations at some locations in China has been conducting their own investigations since the beginning of 2013. In the official statement made by Samsung on their site, Samsung Tomorrow, Samsung said “Samsung has conducted audits on three occasions since 2013,” The last of those three was just recently on June 25 2014. Still, none of those investigations turned up any evidence of labor violations-specifically one that would violate Samsung’s “zero tolerance policy on child labor.”

Then on July 10th, China Labor Watch accused Dongguan Shinyang Electronics Co. Ltd.-one of Samsung’s suppliers-of possible child labor violations.Those accusations sparked yet another investigation from Samsung into the electronics supplier. When Samsung went back to conduct another investigation, they “found evidences of illegal hiring process that took place on June 29.”

Immediately after Samsung’s findings were reported, they decided to “temporarily suspend business with the factory in question…” Samsung plans on furthering the investigation and has even involved Chinese authorities into the investigations. Samsung also promises that “If the investigations conclude that the supplier indeed hired children illegally, Samsung will permanently halt business with the supplier in accordance with its zero tolerance policy on child labor.”

No matter what the outcome from the investigations, Samsung has said they will “strengthen its hiring process not only at its production facilities but also at its suppliers to prevent such case from reoccurring.” The reason Samsung even started the investigations back in early 2013, was a pledge against this very issue. Child labor has been a huge issue for Samsung as they continue to use suppliers from China. Samsung has allowed third-party audits to take place in which case 100 suppliers were audited. Out of that 100, Samsung reported that 59 were found to not use proper safety equipment last year.

Since 2012, Samsung has promised they would ensure a safe and lawful working environment at all of it’s Chinese suppliers. Just in case Samsung misses anything, China Labor Watch-based in New York, continues to keep a watchful eye over the situation.