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Apple's Chinese factories accused of 'forcefully employing student interns'

London, Mon, 02 Apr 2012 ANI

London, Apr 2 (ANI): Tech giant Apple's factories in China are reportedly employing tens of thousands of students, some of them on forced internships, to manufacture its iPads, iPhones and other products.

According to campaigners lobbying for better labour conditions at Foxconn plants, Apple's main manufacturer in China, students are told they will not graduate unless they spend months working on production lines during the holidays.

Campaigners have accused Apple, Foxconn and the Fair Labor Association (FLA), a charitable organisation investigating inhuman working conditions at the tech giant's factories, of ignoring the issue of forced internships, The Guardian reports.

According to the paper, campaigners claimed that some students forced to work in the factory could be as young as 16.

In December, 1,500 students were sent by just one vocational college in Henan, China's most populous province, for internships at Foxconn's Zhengzhou plant, the report said.

The Yancheng Evening News, which exposed the practice, interviewed students who said they were going against their will and that their schools were acting as 'labour agencies'.

"The gross violation of forced internship was not addressed at all. They tried to water down the problem," said Debby Cheng, project officer of Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour (Sacom).

According to the paper, Sacom and a number of Chinese media reports claimed colleges and universities are sending their pupils to Foxconn not for relevant training, but to bolster the workforce during summer and winter holiday periods. (ANI)

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