A Chinese supplier of Samsung Electronics Co., South Korea's top tech giant, hires children and underage students to work in peak seasons without giving them due compensation, a U.S.-based activist group said in a statement dated Wednesday.
China Labor Watch (CLW) said in its statement that it discovered the use of child labor at a factory owned by Shinyang Electronics in Dongguan, southern China.
According to CLW, Shinyang hires underage students, who usually work for a period of three to six months. They work for 11 hours a day without overtime pay, and the Chinese company does not provide social insurance for them as required by law, it said.
"These young workers usually leave...the factory as it enters the off-season, and the factory does not need to provide any sort of severance pay," the statement said, adding that it has confirmed at least five child workers under the age of 16.
"This revelation comes nearly two years after CLW first revealed the exploitation of children in a Samsung supplier factory."
Samsung Electronics has said it is currently looking into the claim, adding that there were barriers to taking control of matters at its overseas suppliers.
"For the supplier in question, we conducted a thorough audit in March 2013, which was followed by a third party inspection in August 2013, and yet another one in June 2014. No cases of child labor were found during these audits," Samsung said in its official statement.
"We are urgently looking into the latest allegations and will take appropriate measures in accordance with our policies to prevent any cases of child labor in our suppliers," it added.
The company added it routinely conducts inspections to monitor its suppliers as part of its pledge against child labor.
In its "Sustainability Report 2014," released at the end of June, Samsung said it adopts a "zero-tolerance policy for child labor" and suspends ties with suppliers found to use it.
"When hiring minors, suppliers are required to abide by local laws and regulations, including prohibition of hazardous work," the report said.
CLW charged that Samsung continues to fail to implement its own code of conduct and social commitments, and its suppliers as a result continue not to take the standards seriously.
"Samsung's social responsibility reports are just advertisements. Samsung has put its energy into audits and the production of these reports, but these things are meant to appease investors and don't have any real value for workers," said Li Qiang, executive director of CLW, in the statement. (Yonhap)