Research by the Tech Transparency Project found that Uyghurs work hard at Lens Technology, an Apple vendor for the iPhone. They would have had the “choice” of working in the factory or going to detention centers that were taken into concentration camps.
According to the investigation report, there are several thousand Uighur workers at Lens Technology. This supplier will thus become one of Apple’s partner companies known to have been accused of forced labor in the Chinese province of Xinjiang. The Chinese government has reportedly taken more than a million Uyghurs to detention centers. They would be forced to work for companies in conditions similar to those in prison. Officially, the Chinese government says that Uighur workers are there voluntarily.
An Apple spokesman responded to the Washington Post about the enforced presence of Uyghur workers at Lens Technology. The manufacturer assures that its supplier has not received any Uighur workers from Xinjiang. He added that the necessary steps were taken several months ago to ensure that no supplier would do forced labor with the Uyghurs.
Here is Apple’s detailed answer on the matter:
Apple has no tolerance for forced labor. Checking for the presence of forced labor is part of every supplier assessment we conduct, including surprise audits. This protection applies to the entire supply chain, regardless of a person’s work or location. Any violation of our policies has immediate consequences, including the possible cessation of activity. As always, we make sure everyone is treated with dignity and respect and we will continue to do everything we can to protect the workers in our supply chain.
Already allegations of forced labor with Uyghurs at Apple suppliers
A few weeks ago it was the subcontractor O-Film who was hit on the fingers for forced labor. However, Apple did not completely cut ties with the supplier. There was also an affair with BOE.