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Samsung to audit 250 of its suppliers in China amid allegations of child labor violations


(CBS/AP) Samsung said it plans to examine all of its Chinese suppliers for possible violations of labor policies.'

Samsung manufacturer in China employs child labor, group alleges

Samsung Electronics Co. said it will carry out audits of 105 Chinese companies that are its exclusive suppliers this month.

The move comes after Samsung's audit of a supplier, HEG Electronics, in response to an allegation it used child labor.

Bloomberg reported in August that China Labor Watch, a non-profit group that monitors working conditions in factories in China, accused HEG Electronics of employing children under the age of 16.

According to a report released by China Labor Watch, HEG Electronics employs 2,000 workers. Of those, the organization listed seven workers they believed to be 16-years-old or younger, but estimated that there could be between 50 and 100 children working at the factory.

"The employment of child laborers can occur was firstly because of HEG's slack internal supervision mechanisms; they never check the students' IDs," the group wrote in its report.

China Labor Watch had a group member pose as a factory worker to carry out the investigation. The group found that the children often carried out dangerous tasks, resulting in injury, and were paid about 70 percent of what adults made for the same amount of work.

Samsung denied claims that its manufactures are breaking labor laws and released this statement to CBS News in August:

"Samsung Electronics has conducted two separate on-site inspections on HEG's working conditions this year but found no irregularities on those occasions. Given the report, we will conduct another field survey at the earliest possible time to ensure our previous inspections have been based on full information and to take appropriate measures to correct any problems that may surface. Samsung Electronics is a company held to the highest standards of working conditions and we try to maintain that at our facilities and the facilities of partner companies around the world."

Samsung said its audit found no under-aged workers at the Huizhou, China-based company but it discovered other practices that failed to meet its policies.

The company will also review records of 144 Chinese firms that have contracts with Samsung and conduct on-site inspections if necessary.

Samsung said it could terminate contracts if suppliers are violating labor laws.

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