Following allegations that one of Samsung’s suppliers in China was using child labor despite passing three separate Samsung audits, the company has now suspended its contract with the supplier. It says that if the allegations are substantiated, it will permanently cease doing business with the supplier.

Samsung’s 2014 Sustainability Report originally claimed that no instances of child labor had been found, but China Labor Watch said that it had found examples of child labour at a Samsung supplier in Dongguan, China, with several children found to be working 11 hours a day … 

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Samsung has issued a statement saying that a fresh investigation has discovered evidence of illegal hiring practices, and that it will end its relationship with the supplier if it finds that children were hired. The full statement can be found below.

Samsung Electronics statement on recent allegation of child labor at a supplier

July 14, 2014

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. 

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