Apple has vowed to route out children from its vast workforce after an audit in China revealed one of the company’s component makers employed over 70 underage workers. The tech giant increased its audits by 72 percent in 2012 following numerous scandals emerging over working conditions in its Chinese factories, including a spate of suicides in manufacturer Foxconn factories in 2010.
“While child labor reflected a small percentage of the workforce, Apple is investigating its smaller suppliers – which typically supply parts to larger suppliers and hence face less scrutiny – to bring them into compliance,” Reuters reported. Apple’s senior vice-president of operations, Jeff Williams, said that the company was increasing efforts to look “deep in the supply chain” to check for child workers. “When we do find it, we ensure that the underage workers are taken care of, the suppliers are dealt with,” he said.