samsung child labour
Samsung is investigating the second set of allegations in two years that its supplier factory used underage workers

Samsung has said that it is "urgently" looking into fresh claims that one of its suppliers in southern China is using child workers.

The allegations stem from a report released today by China Labor Watch (CLW), which claims five workers under the age of 16 and numerous student workers below the age of 18 were used in a Shinyang Electronics factory in Dongguan, China. The South Korean-owned company produces covers and other parts for Samsung devices.

It is the second time in two years that Samsung has faced child labour allegations from CLW. In response to the first report, Samsung undertook an audit covering 105 suppliers manufacturing their products in China.

Despite claiming to have covered more than 65,000 employees, CLW believes its latest findings prove that Samsung are still not doing enough to protect children from exploitative working conditions.

"Child Labour and minors working in factories are still all too common in the Chinese electronics manufacturing sector," Kevin Slaten, programme coordinator at CLW, told IBTimes UK.

"Samsung's efforts are apparently more focused on making a public statement than on really instituting reforms and providing workers making their products with fair wages and safe working conditions."

In response to CLW's latest report, Samsung has said the previous audits had covered the Shinyang Electronics factory but that it would investigate the claims.

"We are urgently looking into the latest allegations and will take appropriate measures in accordance with our policies to prevent any cases of child labour in our suppliers," the firm said in an emailed statement.

"For the supplier in question, we have conducted a thorough audit in March 2013 which was followed by a third-party inspection in August 2013, and yet another one in June 2014. No cases of child labor were found during these audits."

A petition has since been launched by human rights group Green America for Samsung to "immediately cease child labour abuses" at the factory in southern China.

"It's criminal for Samsung to profit at the expense of children," said Elizabeth O'Connell, Green America campaigns director. "Samsung needs to take immediate action in this facility and others to ensure that children are removed from work and compensated appropriately."