Nintendo Responds To Child Labour Allegations
Nintendo have responded to the worker exploitation allegations surrounding their Chinese manufacturing partner, Foxconn. It was reported yesterday that Foxconn allegedly used several under-age workers in their facilities while manufacturing tech for several companies including Nintendo.
Foxconn have admitted their guilt somewhat and released the following statement saying the issue has since been rectified – not that that makes things any better.
“We recognize that full responsibility for these violations rests with our company and we have apologized to each of the students for our role in this action… it is also a violation of Foxconn policy and immediate steps have been taken to return the interns in question to their educational institutions.”
Nintendo’s response is a fairly standard one:
“Nintendo is in communication with Foxconn and is investigating the matter. We take our responsibilities as a global company very seriously and are committed to an ethical policy on sourcing, manufacture and labor. In order to ensure the continued fulfillment of our social responsibility throughout our supply chain, we established the Nintendo CSR Procurement Guidelines in July 2008. We require that all production partners, including Foxconn, comply with these Guidelines, which are based on relevant laws, international standards and guidelines. If we were to find that any of our production partners did not meet our guidelines, we would require them to modify their practices according to Nintendo’s policy. For more information about Nintendo’s Corporate Social Responsibility report, please visit http://www.nintendo.co.jp/csr/en/index.html.”
This statement is an expected one but it does raise a few questions. If Foxconn have since admitted their guilt, why are Nintendo still using them? Is it okay for a company to simply “modify their practices according to Nintendo’s policy” if they’ve been found to be exploiting children?
This issue isn’t likely to go away anytime soon, not for Nintendo and not for any other global tech giants who consistently use cheap labour overseas to reduce costs and boost profit margins.