Apple Terminates Contract with Supplier Found to be Using Child Laborers

In the past few years, Apple has come under criticism for the questionable labor practices of its suppliers, mainly in Asia. Despite not doing much of anything to change this, Apple has at least maintained that it will not tolerate any of its devices being built by child laborers. This week, Apple made good on that vow and terminated a contract with a supplier that it found responsible for 74 underage labor violations.

According to Apple's seventh Supplier Responsibility Report released late Thursday, an audit of Guangdong Real Faith Pingzhou Electronics in January 2012 found the supplier responsible for 74 underage labor violations. This prompted Apple to end its relationship with the company, which manufacturers circuit boards.

Under Apple's code of labor, child labor is strictly limited, stating:

"The minimum age for employment or work is 15 years of age, the minimum age for employment in that country, or the age for completing compulsory education in that country, whichever is higher."

In all, Apple conducted 393 audits in 14 countries across its supply chain, which was a 72 percent increase from 2012. The audits covered 1.5 million workers at manufacturing facilities and non-production facilities like call centers and warehouses.