Samsung rejects calls to restructurePhoto: Luc, flickr (Creative Commons)

Samsung faces a lawsuit in the French courts for misleading advertising related to alleged workers’ rights violations.

Samsung rejects calls to restructurePhoto: Luc, flickr (Creative Commons)

Two french non-governmental (NGO) firms – Sherpa and ActionAid France filed a lawsuit last week targeting Samsung Global and its French subsidiary. The organisations claim to have gathered evidence, with support of the NGO China Labour Watch, that human rights violations allegedly took place in Samsung factories in China and South Korea.

The alleged violations include exploitation of children under 16, demanding working hours, as well as the use of toxic-chemicals which pose long-term health risks to employees.

However, Samsung is not accused of human rights violations but of misleading advertising. This is because Samsung has published information on its website stating commitment to guarantee workers’ rights. This differs to the reality in Samsung’s factories and has trigger action from NGOs, who have sued the company.

Samsung has not commented on the allegations and has yet to reply to a request for comment.

However, Samsung has been previously accused of violating human rights in its supply chain. As recently as 2017, The GoodElectronics Network reported on Samsung’s continuing use of toxic-chemicals, worker abuses and wider corporate abuses.Yet again this shows the need for increased corporate transparency and that Samsung should take responsibility for its misconduct.

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