Samsung, in a statement released this evening on its official Samsung Tomorrow site, said that it has "temporarily suspend[ed] business" after finding evidence of child laborers at once of its Chinese suppliers. The revelation comes on the heels of an investigation from China Labor Watch that reported 15 instances of labor violations, including the use of child laborers. Samsung, in a response to the The Next Web, initially had said that it had found no instances of child labor in its audits, but that it was investigating the claims.
In this most recent statement, Samsung said its June 25 audit uncovered no instances of child labor. But a separate, independent audit spurred by the CLW report "found evidences of illegal hiring" on June 29.
Here's Samsung's statement in its entirety:
Samsung Electronics conducted an investigation into Dongguan Shinyang Electronics Co. Ltd., one of its suppliers, immediately after China Labor Watch accused on July 10 the China-based supplier of hiring children.
Following the investigation, Samsung decided to temporarily suspend business with the factory in question as it found evidences of suspected child labor at the worksite. The decision was made in accordance with Samsung's zero tolerance policy on child labor.
It is unfortunate that the allegation surfaced despite Samsung's efforts to prevent child labor at its suppliers. As part of its pledge against child labor, Samsung routinely conducts inspections to monitor its suppliers in China to ensure they follow the commitment, and has provided necessary support.
For Dongguan Shinyang Electronics, Samsung has conducted audits on three occasions since 2013, with the latest one ending on June 25, 2014. No cases of child labor were found during these audits.
In the separate investigation following the CLW allegations, however, Samsung found evidences of illegal hiring process that took place on June 29. The Chinese authorities are also looking into the case.
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.
Furthermore, Samsung will strengthen its hiring process not only at its production facilities but also at its suppliers to prevent such case from reoccurring.
Source: Samsung Tomorrow