Samsung Unveils New Guidelines Meant to Protect Migrant Workers

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Samsung has terminated a contract with one of its Malaysian labor supply companies following an investigation into the working conditions of migrant workers there. The Korean tech giant said on Monday that other supply companies remain under investigation, but declined to name any of the firms or elaborate on specific violations.

The Guardian reported in November that several workers in the Malaysian supply chain were having their passports confiscated and being forced to work more than 14 hours a day. Workers also told the paper that some were being cheated out of pay.

The company is using the termination of the contract as a springboard for a new set of guidelines for its global network of suppliers. The "Samsung Migrant Worker Guidelines" were created with help from Business for Social Responsibility, an NGO with offices in New York, Paris and Shanghai.

"The intent of the guidelines is to eradicate any existing or potential of forced or coercive labor, slave labor or human trafficking of migrant workers either at Samsung or among any of our suppliers," according to a statement.

The guidelines require both Samsung and its suppliers to comply with all local labor laws, as well as various company codes of conduct. Suppliers must "take immediate and effective measures to address instances of forced, bonded or indentured labor and human trafficking, and also ensure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labor. Samsung shall also periodically conduct appropriate due diligence, monitoring, and training programs to screen and manage Samsung’s suppliers and recruitment agencies."

Read the new guidelines here.


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