Apple has issued a statement in response to the Mail on Sunday's claims regarding working conditions within the facilities of some of its Chinese iPod manufacturing partners.

"Apple is committed to ensuring that working conditions in our supply chain are safe, workers are treated with respect and dignity, and manufacturing processes are environmentally responsible," the statement explains.

The company also explains that it is "currently investigating the allegations regarding working conditions in the iPod manufacturing plant in China".

Apple stresses that: "It does not tolerate any violations of its supplier code of conduct, which is posted online".

This code is modelled on the Electronic Industry Code of Conduct and can be downloaded as a PDF here.

"Recognised standards such as International Labour Organisation Standards (ILO), Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), Social Accountability International (SAI), and the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) were used as references in preparing this code," the company says on its website.

The code of conduct includes a commitment to uphold the human rights of workers, and covers matters including discrimination, harsh treatment and harassment, involuntary and child labour, working hours, remuneration and freedom of association.

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