Leading Human Rights Expert Defends Apple and Its Supply Chain Responsibility

Pegatron workers

Working conditions in some of the Chinese factories that make up Apple’s supply chain are once again the topic of discussion. The debate was ignited by the BBC’s Panorama report, “Apple’s Broken Promises,” which made waves worldwide after it aired on December 18 at 9:00 pm UK time. But as it turns out, not everything is as black and white as the BBC documentary painted it: a leading human rights expert praised Apple’s dedication to bringing a welcome change to those affected facilities (via the Telegraph).

The comments come from Dan Viederman, executive director of Verité, who highlights an important fact omitted by the BBC report: “These are problems that every company sourcing in China faces — they are not unique to Apple. From our experience, Apple has done more strategically to address the issues than most tech companies,” he said.

“For us as an organisation working on these issues, the important question is how the tech sector can as a whole drive change in their common suppliers, and how can the export-driven business help change Chinese work places,” Mr Viederman continued.

“On both those counts, Apple has done more than most other, if not all other, tech companies. Which isn’t to say they’re perfect, or would be denying these problems still exist – in fact I think Apple has been fairly transparent about the fact these problems still exist.”

He goes on to defend Apple and its efforts to improve the working conditions in those factories. As Viederman sees it, Apple has “done much more than most other, if not all other, tech companies.”

While it’s far from perfect, he also highlights that Apple has been fairly transparent about the fact that these problems still exist.

Verité was instrumental in addressing the issues that Apple faced within its overseas facilities, as multiple media outlets reported in 2011. The 2013 Supplier Responsibility Report includes a Viederman quote, in which he praises Apple’s approach to addressing the vulnerabilities faced by migrant workers, making it “one of the leading companies tackling this issue.”