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Inside Apple's supply chain: child labor, grueling hours, deadly mud pits

Inside Apple's supply chain: child labor, grueling hours, deadly mud pits
photo courtesy of shutterstock

Do you know where your iPhone comes from? According to a new documentary from the BBC, the answer might surprise and appall you.

Apple is no stranger to worker-rights controversies stemming from its suppliers in China, but the company has said it is working to improve conditions. However, the new documentary from the BBC's Panorama shows that Apple suppliers still employ working conditions and practices that are dangerous for workers and bad for the environment.

The BBC sent three teams of undercover workers into various Chinese factories and raw-materials suppliers to get its video footage.

The documentary shows workers in Chinese factories falling asleep while standing. According to the documentary, the workers, who assemble iPhones, have 12-hour shifts. Some workers were too tired to eat, and one man said he would fall asleep even before using the restroom at the end of the day. Other allegations include too many workers assigned to each dorm room, child labor violations and bullying by management.

The documentary also shows videos of children working in dangerous tin mining pits in Indonesia that are at risk for landslides. According to the BBC, the tin mining operations result in many miner deaths, deforestation and the destruction of reefs in the ocean.

Next page: Read Apple's response
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