iPhone workers being used as forced labor in China

New claims have revealed that iPhone workers are being used as forced labor in China. The news broke out following an investigation.

According to 9to5Mac, iPhone workers in China are being used as forced labor. Tech Transparency Project’s recent investigation has revealed it. The report on the same was first published by The Washington Post.

The claims say that Apple smartphone’s glass supplier Lens Technology is always using Muslim minority Uighurs. The workers were given the choice of either working at the plant or going to detention centers.

The iPhone maker denying claims

The Chinese government and its officials have dismissed the latest reports and allegations. They claim that all the Uighur workers are working at the site by their choice. However, many other people disagree with this.

When it comes to the California tech giant itself, then it has denied all such claims.

Company spokesperson Josh Rosenstock said on the company’s behalf:

“Apple has zero-tolerance for forced labor. Looking for the presence of forced labor is part of every supplier assessment we conduct, including surprise audits. These protections apply across the supply chain, regardless of a person’s job or location. Any violation of our policies has immediate consequences, including possible business termination. As always, our focus is on making sure everyone is treated with dignity and respect, and we will continue doing all we can to protect workers in our supply chain.”

He mentioned that Lens Technology didn’t receive any labor transfer of Uighur Muslim workers from Xinjiang. And that there are specific checks in the said place.

That said, it doesn’t mean that Apple doesn’t notice any such cases. Earlier in December, it took strict action against its camera supplier O-Film, over forced labor issues. However, it didn’t wholly end its ties with the supplier.

The dark state of the tech sector

Meanwhile, after constant reports and claims of forced labor in China, most tech industry people hesitate to use any suppliers from there. And it can be firmly said for Xinjiang, compared to other locations.

But the most important thing to note is the violation of human rights if these claims are valid. No matter what sector it is, no one can force any individual or a minority to work against their will.

The latest case of the iPhone maker’s involvement with the alleged supplier also reveals many suspicious things. They can’t be witnessed, however, if left unchecked. Thus, there’s a dire need for international authorities to look into these kinds of matters as soon as possible.


Image courtesy of ZorroGabriel/Shutterstock

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