Last week New York-based China Labor Watch accused Shinyang Electronics of illegally hiring children to produce Samsung products in Dongguan. Furthermore, the watchdog claimed Samsung was overlooking the situation. Samsung immediately responded saying that their internal audits showed no signs of child labor usage, although they vowed to look into the matter thoroughly.
As it turns out, a separate investigation conducted by Samsung in response to CLW’s accusations has turned up evidence of an “illegal hiring process that took place on June 29”. As a result, Samsung has now temporarily halted business with the supplier, until further notice.
In an official blog post, Samsung says that the Chinese authorities are looking into the case and states that “if the investigations conclude that the supplier indeed hired children illegally, Samsung will permanently halt business with the supplier.” For Samsung’s part they say they remain committed to preventing child labor and “it is unfortunate that the allegation surfaced despite Samsung’s efforts to prevent child labor at its suppliers.”
We will never know with any real certainty whether or not Samsung really turned a blind eye to the situation as the CLW implies, or if the illegal hiring was truly out of Samsung’s hands and completely the fault of the supplier. Either way, Samsung is far from the only company that has ran into these types of situations, making it clear that illegal child labor is still very much a real problem, despite global efforts to stop it.