Foxconn, which manufactures iPhones and iPad for Apple, has admitted to using interns as young as 14 years old at its factories in China.
In a statement sent to the Associated Press Foxconn says it wil be performing an internal investigation into the matter. The company reportedly worked with Chinese schools to acquire interns and did not fully vet its interns upon employment.
"We recognise that full responsibility for these violations rests with our company and we have apologised to each of the students for our role in this action," Foxconn said in a statement.
"Any Foxconn employee found, through our investigation, to be responsible for these violations will have their employment immediately terminated."
Foxconn said in its statement that it would be investigating how underage interns were granted the opportunity to work at company factories. The company will reportedly spearhead a joint investigation into the matter with the schools that the underage interns came from.
A statement from labour rights group China Labor Watch (CLW) points out that many interns were sent to work at Foxconn by school work programs. CLW says that Foxconn staff did not confirm student ages when interns arrived for their internships.
"These underage interns were mainly sent to Foxconn by schools, but Foxconn did not check the IDs of these young interns," said CLW.
"The schools involved in this incident should take primary responsible, but Foxconn is also culpable for not confirming the ages of their workers. China Labor Watch calls on the Chinese government to improve the current intern system of Chinese schools."
Following the incident Apple chief executive Tim Cook visited a Foxconn factory to access working conditions, according to Reuters.
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