Human Rights Violations
As you might have seen on the news recently, factories linked to Apple like Foxconn in China have been accused of gross human rights violations. Children as young as 15 have been hired to work and many employees have been subjected to forced overtime. Apple employees are not supposed to work more than 60 hours per week, but many plants have ignored these internal regulations.
Foxconn has become one of the most visible manufacturing plants after 14 employees committed suicide throughout 2010. Four additional employees attempted to kill themselves by jumping off the roof of their facilities. These suicides are thought to have occurred as a result of poor working conditions and low pay, although ABC News and The Economist both reported that the Foxconn suicide rate is lower than the country’s overall suicide rate. However we should point out that some improvement has been made and this plant has since raised its wages by up to 25%.
Supply Chain Pollution
A 46 page report released by the Beijing-based Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs claimed that 27 suspected Apple Plants were committing serious environmental crimes. Complaints include evidence of the release of heavy toxic gases; improper disposal of hazardous waste containing copper, nickel and cyanide; factory emissions that far exceed legal limits, and more.