Apple has uploaded the results of its 2011 audit of its suppliers. Each year the investigation reveals unsettling facts, including child labor, poor work conditions, health and safety issues and slave labor. You can find the full report at Apple or read a summary at VentureBeat.
Two facilities were repeat offenders in the category of involuntary labor. Apple’s report states, “We terminated business with one supplier and are correcting the practices of the other supplier.”
[In] 15 facilities… we discovered foreign contract workers who had paid excessive recruitment fees to labor agencies… Some of our suppliers work with third-party labor agencies to hire contract workers from countries such as the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam. These agencies, in turn, may work through multiple subagencies in the hiring country, the workers’ home country, and, in some cases, all the way back to the workers’ home village. By the time the workers have paid all fees across these agencies, the total cost can equal many months’ wages, forcing workers into debt…
We discovered a total of 6 active and 13 historical cases of underage labor at 5 facilities. In each case, the facility had insufficient controls to verify age or detect false documentation. We found no instances of intentional hiring of underage labor.