News Article

Nintendo Responds To Foxconn's Admission Of Guilt In Child Labour Scandal

Posted by Damien McFerran

"We take our responsibilities as a global company very seriously"

Yesterday, allegations surfaced online that Chinese manufacturer Foxconn - which counts Nintendo, Sony and Apple as some of its clients - was employing children in its factories.

Foxconn has since admitted guilt, issuing the following statement:

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.

According to a source close to the company, approximately 56 children have returned to their homes from Foxconn's 'internship program,' which makes up 2.7% of Foxconn's 1.2 million person staff roster.

Nintendo has followed with its own statement, which reads as follows:

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.

[via uk.ign.com]

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User Comments (41)

GameLord08

#1

GameLord08 said:

I like how immediate an action Nintendo took to resolve the situation, and that Foxconn is doing the right thing as well. Good on both of them, at least.

doctor_doak

#3

doctor_doak said:

They are guidelines, which means they do not have the force of the law at their back. So what are the consequences for transgressing? And what constitutes a transgression in a country with weak to non-existent labour laws?? It's not clear. I think you'd find most corporations who've moved their production to China proclaim to practice CSR in one shape or another. What that actually means for the protection of and compliance with human rights norms in practice is anyone's guess.

Chunky_Droid

#4

Chunky_Droid said:

Unfortunately Nintendo is in a place where they can't do a hell of a lot about it, except essentially say 'stop it! stop it please!'.

I'm just glad this made news so that the appropriate actions were taken by Foxconn.

Sonomin

#5

Sonomin said:

Typical businesd talk. They try to make themselves sound serious until people forget about what happened.. Then it's back to the ol routine..

doctor_doak

#6

doctor_doak said:

Foxconn are only apologizing because its made international headlines. Unfortunately, these kind of transgressions appear to be the norm.

R-L-A-George

#7

R-L-A-George said:

I hope they bring some manufacturing to the U.S., it will bring more jobs and probably wouldn't be as much bootlegging.

LEGEND_MARIOID

#8

LEGEND_MARIOID said:

Yeah, I'm sure its a common problem with factories of global comapnies located on that part of the world (I'm sorry to say). Hopefully, Nintendo can deal with this. Apple and Sony have had other issues with workers' rights abuse in the Oriental region of the world too haven't they?

DestinyMan

#9

DestinyMan said:

Unfortunately, I don't think Nintendo can do much with Foxconn. They're still going to take advantage of people, young and old, and it'll be business as usual for them. It's sad.

Araknie

#10

Araknie said:

Learn to read the article, haters, and think. Why Sony and Microsoft didn't act like Nintendo.

Still if they act it's only because of having trouble because Nintendo acted in the right way.
Nintendo is again the first doing the right thing.

DarkNinja9

#12

DarkNinja9 said:

@stardust nope gamesake beat you to that comment >.>

but at least something got settled now and we dont feel too bad about all this :(

rjejr

#13

rjejr said:

Anybody know how "intern" translates into chinese business practices? I'm just wondering if it loosely translates to "underage" or "unpaid" or "pre-paid" or "temporary". I think Foxconn has a lot of rules against a lot of things that they neglect, they're aspiring to be a part of the 1%.

goldgin

#14

goldgin said:

"if we were to find that any of our production partners..." it's amazing what an unannounced visit can unravel nintendo... try it sometime. It is also amazing that a teenage group of hackers called anonymous have found out and pointed out child abuse from continents away WITH VIDEO FEED! while apple, nintendo and sony simply had nothing to do about it. The worst thing is foxcon simply apologized and sony, nintendo and apple gave their forgiveness and blessing like scolding a child.

ultraraichu

#17

ultraraichu said:

Everytime they say children I think 12 years and under instead of 12-17, not a big deal but still confusing to me and the amount of impact.

Nice to know that Interns are getting treated better (even though I joke about interns in the states) but what about the full-time workers? Sorry to be the buzz kill but those suicide-prevention nets don't fix themselves.

Robo-goose

#18

Robo-goose said:

"Action" is being taken. This means that, in a month or two, they're just going to repeat their actions all over again.

The_Fox

#19

The_Fox said:

@Araknie
If Nintendo were doing the "right thing" they would have dumped Foxconn years ago. They share as much guilt as everyone else that works with them.

DrDaisy

#21

DrDaisy said:

@The_Fox Well said. I wouldn't say they're just as guilty, but I think Nintendo was fully aware of the exploitaion of workers at Foxconn and just didn't care. Probably still doesn't. In the end, only the money matters to Nintendo, and that goes for Sony, MicroSoft, and Apple s well. How Apple got to be so liked among liberals is beyond me.

DarkKirby

#22

DarkKirby said:

People are blowing this situation out of proportion. Not because it happened, but that people act like it was a huge unexpected horror on man kind. Is it fantastic that child labor exists? Your opinion of that aside, it's not as uncommon as many articles are making is seem and is one of the many reasons you can get many products for low prices. If you are REALLY that surprised about this then you are naive. It's analogous to saying you think a lion killing a baby zebra is disgusting then eating a burger because you don't think about where it comes from. Many of the products you use were manufactured at factories with very cheap and possibly child labor.

Rapadash6

#23

Rapadash6 said:

@DarkKirby
Sadly, you are right. I think the problem is so widespread that unless the United States as a whole, as well as other benefitting countries, can stand together to boycot these products, a true solution will never be realized. It also doesn't help that we can't be certain which products these are, as well as the implications on our own economy and job market by eliminating these practices entirely. It's also sickening to know that this is all driven by greed in the end, but that's the kind of society we've created for ourselves, and that's what it takes to maintain it.

Vishiyra

#24

Vishiyra said:

Wow. 56 out of nearly 33,000. What a big step towards making things right.

And I bet they were expelled from school, too.

arrmixer

#27

arrmixer said:

this is definitely an unfortunate reality.... people tend to forget in most third world countries children are also responsible to help in the families' survival...

its sucks.... i'm just thankful were I live... also I get upset at how certain people can take their situation for granted... even the poor people in the united states have food, shelter, running water, free education, etc.......

SteveW

#30

SteveW said:

@Gamesake - for children? why are you here if you dislike Nintendo? oh yeah, because of all the free time you have since the other consoles lack good games, I understand and feel for you

Zombie_Barioth

#33

Zombie_Barioth said:

Nintendo is one of the companies most likely to whatever they can but it still won't do much, unfortunately.

Foxconn will work on damage control and save face while Nintendo and anyone else snoops around, but as soon as they think the coast is clear its back to business as usual. They won't have much luck getting employees to speak up since not only do they need that job they'll be afraid of the repercussions.

sinalefa

#34

sinalefa said:

If Apple uses cheap labour to make their products, why are they so expensive then? It is because of greed. And Nintendo has to keep costs down to compete against its rivals, so they are likely to do the same thing.

And even if they don't employ children anymore, there will be hundreds of persons there working 12 hours a day and barely earning their daily bowl of rice.

OuijaU

#35

OuijaU said:

Well, that's a PR nice statement, but what is Nintendo going to do if Foxconn doesn't comply with its "Social Responsibility" policy? Tell them to stop manufacturing consoles for them? Probably not. We need to look at the bigger picture as far as labour practices in China go, and sending a few underage workers back to school isn't going to solve the problem over there.

arrmixer

#36

arrmixer said:

@k8sMum
understood in all honestly a small percentage is homeless not by choice.. usually drug or alcohol abuse is the culprit, in 1st world countries there is unemployment, food stamps, and public housing... not the best situation trust me... I know what this is like but it is still available..

In third world countries, you are out of luck.......

ThumperUK

#41

ThumperUK said:

Good that Nintendo is quick on the ball. However, Foxconn has had many troubles, just google 'Apple suicides' for some more information. Following multiple deaths, what was Apple's action? To get Foxconn to amend terms of employment that workers must not commit suicide. Oh and 'suicide netting' was placed around the roofs of buildings.

Sadly, I'm not joking.

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