Foxconn released a statement on Tuesday confirming it violated Chinese labor laws by illegally hiring underage workers at its Yantai plant in Shandong Province. Several workers as young as 14 years old were discovered as part of an internal investigation, says a CNET report.
Foxconn’s statement was released shortly after this violation was reported by China Labor Watch. According to China Labor Watch, these underage workers were part of a school intern program that sends students to work at Foxconn for a period of time. Foxconn did not check the IDs of the interns to confirm they met China’s legal minimum working age of 16 years old.
In its statement, Foxconn said it immediately sent the interns back to their schools and is taking steps to ensure this doesn’t happen again. “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,” says Foxconn’s 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.”