Two French campaign groups filed a legal case against Samsung in France on Thursday, alleging the Korean electronics giant was responsible for the use of child labour and other abuses in its Chinese plants.
Using a new French law that makes a company potentially liable for working conditions elsewhere in the world, the NGOs Peuples Solidaires and Sherpa lodged a complaint in Paris against the Samsung’s French subsidiary and international parent company.
Using research from the China Labor Watch group, the French campaigners alleged that children had been found in Chinese plants producing Samsung products and other staff faced severe health problems.
They took aim at Samsung’s stated objective of becoming one of the most ethnical companies in the world.
“We are asking the justice system to sanction the unacceptable gap between its ethical commitments and the reality in its factories as described by Chinese NGOs on the ground,” the French groups said in a statement.
Peuples Solidaires and Sherpa targeted Samsung unsuccessfully with a complaint in 2014 which was thrown out of court, but are banking on new tougher legislation passed in 2017.