Foxconn has released a statement acknowledging that it breached Chinese labor laws by employing 14- and 15-year-old interns. The company told CNet in a statement that was conducting an investigation into how the underage workers came to work at Foxconn.
The company's statement comes in response to a report published by China Labor Watch, a New York-based non profit, that claimed Foxconn employed child labor during the summer of this year. CLW cites worker at the factory as saying interns under the age of 16 were working at the factory, a report corroborated by a Chinese radio show.
CLW says that a small number of student interns aged between 14-years-old and 16-years-old were sent to Foxconn by schools. Foxconn did not check the students' IDs to confirm their ages.
"The schools involved in this incident should take primary responsible, but Foxconn is also culpable for not confirming the ages of their workers," a statement on CLW's site reads. "China Labor Watch calls on the Chinese government to improve the current intern system of Chinese schools."
Speaking to CNet, Foxconn said the interns in question have been sent back to school.
"This is not only a violation of China's labor law, it is also a violation of Foxconn policy and immediate steps have been taken to return the interns in question to their educational institutions," the company is quoted as saying. "We are also carrying out a full investigation, in cooperation with the respective educational institutions, to determine how this happened and the actions that must be taken by our company to ensure that it can never happen again."