Earlier this week, Foxconn admitted to hiring underage workers as part of an internship program it was running at one of its factories. The company's admission (made to CNet) came hot on the heels of a report from China Labor Watch, a New York-based non-profit, alleging that the company had failed to check the IDs of incoming students applying for its internship program.
Now, one of Foxconn's partners, has released a statement about the incident. Video game giant Nintendo today said that it is investigating the matter with Foxconn. Nintendo said that it requires all production partners to comply with guidelines it set out in its Nintendo CSR Procurement Guidelines in 2008.
"Nintendo is in communication with Foxconn and is investigating the matter. We take our responsibilities as a global company very seriously and are committed to an ethical policy on sourcing, manufacture and labor. In order to ensure the continued fulfillment of our social responsibility throughout our supply chain, we established the Nintendo CSR Procurement Guidelines in July 2008," the company said, according to IGN.
"We require that all production partners, including Foxconn, comply with these Guidelines, which are based on relevant laws, international standards and guidelines. If we were to find that any of our production partners did not meet our guidelines, we would require them to modify their practices according to Nintendo’s policy. For more information about Nintendo’s Corporate Social Responsibility report, please visit http://www.nintendo.co.jp/csr/en/index.html."
Foxconn earlier this week said that it was investigating how the underage workers were admitted to the internship program when they were not legally old enough to work. Chinese labor laws put the minimum age for working at 16-years-old. According to China Labor Watch, 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. Foxconn said that immediate steps have been taken to return the interns in question to their educational institutions.