Child labor is extremely difficult to rein in. It's there in China, it's there in India and in countless other countries. The parents of such kids cases either support it or just cannot force the kids to go to school, they being illiterate themselves and cannot really get their kids to imbibe that habit of studying. In a short while, some of the kids cannot cope at school and drop out. The labor market picks them up like hot cakes. The society at large (I speak for India here) condones this and only a few social activists stand up against child labor.
I agree that Apple is most probably doing this to reduce backlash. Child labor is there, Apple cannot do much about it, so why not publicly announce it and claim they are trying to do something about it to garner public support. In a highly unregulated labor market like China, there is no way any company can ensure that all workers are above legal age, so not using that country is the only way to avoid it, if...if the company really doesn't like it.
F ellows, let dont forget the basic subject of this article. Working kids!
Let be honest, who would like to or allow their kids at western countries to work as hell, and get paid ridiculously at factories where people are behaved as robots? No matter for whom, for apple, contractora etc. its the basic of human being, kids should live, be as kids, we adults should guarantee that they d live so. Its black humor if at our hometown we talk about human rights but when subject is related to pampering, serving us, playing 3 monkeies. No matter its Apple, samsung or someone else we, people of earth should fight for exploiting children
You might be right if the suppliers are the direct employees of Apples then apple should look for this kind of matters, otherwise if the suppliers are only getting the percentage out of sale then the saying of apple should be justifying the local employment economics.
If the suppliers are franchisees then the franchisers should format strict policies.
In terms of humanity, I agree with what Apple does. In terms of management, I don't understand why Apple would bother. At the end of the day, Apple is outsourcing the works to elsewhere where the labor law is likely different from that in the States. If the manufacturer is violating the law to deliver a product the Apple, shall Apple be punished or shall the manufacturer be. There are reasons there are underaged labors. We can't simply make an assumption that the underaged labors earn low wages compared to the counterpart. We need to understand the developing world, not using our perception of living in a developed world.
The companies should have a stict rules to provide the contracts to the chinese manufacturing companies. Those who are not adhered have to be given a strong couple warnings and then if still there is a lapse probably they can better stop giving out any orders.
There are (and have been) a number of cultures that count age from 1 year at birth. Several ancient cultures did similar things for years a king reigned etc. In general it has less to do with the 9 month gestation period than with the fact that for much of history, the concept of zero did not exist. Calling an infant 1 year old was in effect saying, "this is year one of their life", akin to our use of the phrase "first year". The counted from the beginning of the year, rather than the end.
Never the less, the point is well taken here that 16 years old in China would be younger than 16 years old in the US.