Electronics manufacturing giant Foxconn admitted that it hired underage interns at its Yantai facility in China's Shandong Province. The legal working age in China is 16 years, but an internal investigation revealed that children of 14 to 16 years were interning at the facility.
The internal investigation came right after the watchdog group, China Labor Watch, outed Foxconn for the underage interns. The group said that it had proof, and that schools had sent the underage interns to Foxconn to work. However, Foxconn failed to check the IDs of the students to make sure they were of legal age.
"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," said Foxconn in a statement. "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."
Just over a month ago it was also reported that students were forced to manufacture iPhones in order to receive full academic credit. Foxconn is one of China's largest employers with 1.2 million workers, but the company frequently enters the news due to poor work conditions.