The Apple products we’ve grown used to seeing everyday, like the iPhone4S and iPad 2, were made by 13-year-old Chinese girls working 16-hours a day for just 48 yen (about $0.60 US) an hour.

This news comes from Chicago Public Media’s Mike Daisey, who was investigating Apple’s subcontractors.

The subcontractor in question is Taiwan’s Foxconn, whose main factory complex is found in Shenzhen in mainland China. This area, which was once a peaceful rural community focused on rice cultivation, is now covered with row upon row of factories.

Foxconn, which employs about 430,000 people in total, is said to have armed guards outside the gates of its factories. Inside, between 2,000 and 3,000 people at a time are working on the huge factory floor. According to Daisy, about 5 percent of those are minors.

Thirteen-year-old girls polish thousands of panes of glass in a day, usually working in 12-hour shifts. However, before a new product is released,this shift is extended to a grueling 14-16 hours.

The average salary for workers in Shenzhen is $250 US a month. Foxconn’s workers make a better-than-average $298 a month.

Still, Daisey says, when you see their working conditions and how they live together in barred-window dormitories not much better than concentration camps, it’s hard not to be disturbed.

via Yucasee Media