Foxconn Admits to Having Had Child Laborers in Its FactoriesS

We've known for a while now that Foxconn, the Chinese mega-plant where Apple and other technology companies have their gadgets manufactured, has struggled with suicides and rampant worker dissatisfaction. But today comes confirmation that Foxconn's labor force is involved in yet another ugly scandal: child labor.

The company that manufactures Apple's iPhone said Tuesday it found underage interns as young as 14 working at one of its factories in China.

Foxconn Technology Group said the interns were found by a company investigation at its factory in the eastern city of Yantai and were sent back to their schools. China's minimum legal working age is 16.

Foxconn, owned by Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., said it was investigating with schools how the interns were sent to its factory. It didn't say how many underage interns it found.

Foxconn has apologized for not properly vetting employees to ensure children aren't working its lines, but this latest snafu comes only a week after a strike in which thousands of Foxconn workers complained that the demands put upon them in order to craft the iPhone 5 were too much. How many times can Foxconn apologize before it's clear that the company's labor issues are entrenched, endemic, and in dire need of fixing?

Worse still: What can you, the electronics consumer, do to help Foxconn workers? Almost nothing.

[Image via AP]