Samsung Named in French Forced Labor Lawsuit -

Samsung Named in French Forced Labor Lawsuit

  • Published on
    January 11, 2018
  • Written by:
    Jamison Liang
  • Category:
    Forced Labor, Supply Chain
Hero Banner

Two French human rights groups have filed a lawsuit against Samsung, saying that the company misled consumers because of alleged forced labor abuses at factories in South Korea and China. They say the company benefited from child labor, excessive working hours, and the use of dangerous equipment and gases.

Sherpa and ActionAid France — the two rights groups — named Samsung Global, the headquarters in Suwon, South Korea, and its French subsidiary in the lawsuit. The court will now decide if it wants to take up the case.

U.S. News and World Report note that this case is a question of who is ultimately liable for worker abuses:

The lawsuit is part of larger efforts by rights groups to use French courts to hold multinationals to account for alleged wrongdoing, and to push for an international treaty against corporate abuses.

The groups argue that French consumers were among those deceived by Samsung’s pledges of ethical treatment of workers, and therefore French courts can rule in the case. But they want to call attention to the problem beyond French borders.

“We hope to make things evolve not only in France but on an international level,” said Marie-Laure Guislain, legal director for Sherpa.

This lawsuit follows reports from several workers in Samsung’s factories of occupational health violations. Courts have begun to rule in favor of these workers who were sickened by chemicals used in manufacturing.

Samsung’s website says otherwise: “the cleanliness of the air within our facilities is equivalent to or better than that we breathe in our general surroundings.” It also says it “monitors all risks associated with work environments at all suppliers … on a real-time basis.”

Samsung did not immediately comment on the new French lawsuit.

Freedom United is interested in hearing from our community and welcomes relevant, informed comments, advice, and insights that advance the conversation around our campaigns and advocacy. We value inclusivity and respect within our community. To be approved, your comments should be civil.

stop icon A few things we do not tolerate: comments that promote discrimination, prejudice, racism, or xenophobia, as well as personal attacks or profanity. We screen submissions in order to create a space where the entire Freedom United community feels safe to express and exchange thoughtful opinions.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

This week

Migrant workers jailed in Qatar over demands for owed wages

Five months on from the World Cup final, migrant workers continue to report exploitative labor practices and mistreatment at the hands of Qatari authorities. Three former security guards have been jailed in Qatar for four months following their repeated requests for unpaid wages from their employer, Stark Security Services. Though lauded by FIFA as an opportunity to improve Qatar’s treatment of migrant workers, workers who toiled to make the world’s

| Friday May 26, 2023

Read more