“In recent years, Chinese factories have increasingly turned to labor agencies and vocational schools to meet their workforce demands,” said Apple’s report. “We learned that some of these recruitment sources may provide false IDs that misrepresent young people’s ages, posing challenges for factory management.”
By comparison, in 2009, eleven underage workers had been discovered by Apple.
The tech giant said that to combat the problem it has “intensified” its search for underage workers. In one factory it discovered two children working on the production line and has terminated its contract.
Apple said factory’s management “had chosen to overlook the issue and was not committed to addressing the problem.”
In other cases, Apple said it was “aggressive” in returning children to their families and forced factories to cover the costs of education for the underage workers for six months, or until they reached 16, “whichever is longer”.
Apple said it will not tolerate any instance of underage labor.
“Apple demands immediate corrective actions, including returning the underage workers to school, financing their education, and improving management practices to prevent future occurrences,” the company stated.