Former child slaves of Malian origin who were trafficked and forced to work harvesting and/or cultivating cocoa beans on farms in Côte d’Ivoire, which supply cocoa beans to the Defendant companies, filed a complaint on behalf of themselves and all other similarly situated former child slaves of Malian origin against Defendants: Nestlé, S.A., Nestlé, U.S.A., and Nestlé Côte d’Ivoire, S.A.; Cargill, Incorporated Cargill Cocoa, and Cargill West Africa, S.A. and Archer Daniels Midland Company for the forced labor and torture they suffered as a result of the wrongful conduct either caused and/or aided and abetted by these corporate entities. Plaintiffs assert claims for child slavery/forced labor, cruel, inhumane or degrqading treatment, and torture under the ATS.
The major international cocoa company organizations, NATIONAL CONFECTIONERS ASSOCIATION, WORLD COCOA FOUNDATION, CAOBTSCO, and EUROPEAN COCOA ASSOCIATION, just filed an Amicus brief in the Court of appeals (see link below) asking the Court to rehear our recent victory against Nestle and Cargill. These companies all signed or endorsed the "Harkin-Engle Protocol" in 2001 promising to end child labor in their supply chains.
In recently published remarks of a July 17, 2018 meeting of the World Cocoa Foundation, an association of multinational cocoa companies, including Nestle, Cargill, Barry Callebaut, Mars and Mondelez, Vice President Tim McCoy admitted that the goal of reducing child slavery in the West Africa Cocoa sector 70% by the year 2020 will not be met. This is a direct admission that these companies are knowingly profiting from child slavery.
On this day in 1948 the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. "Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world," the declaration begins. International Rights Advocates is dedicated to defending Human Rights across the world and creating accountability when those rights are violated.
A drop in global cocoa prices threatens to undermine efforts to stamp out child labor in Ghana and Ivory Coast, the world's two biggest growers, as falling incomes could force farmers to send their children to work, charities said on Monday.
Monday, June 12, is the day recognized by the International Labor Organization as World Day Against Child Labor. Every credible organization working on the issue agrees that child labor remains a crisis for humanity, with most estimates that more than 200 million children are in the workforce, and many of them are working in the supply chains of major international companies. With these overwhelming numbers, it is too easy to say, “what can I do?” and then do nothing except click on some Facebook page to show your disapproval for child slavery. Well, there is plenty that all of us can do, and today I am asking you to do just one, simple, relatively pain-free thing on June 12: Boycott chocolate products that are not certified to be child labor free.
On March 10, 2017, Judge Wilson issued an Order granting defendants' motion to dismiss.
"Judge Wilson's decision, which states that business conduct such as the provision of unrestricted funds to those committing slavery cannot be illegal, directly contradicts not only international law but also the Ninth Circuit's prior decision in this case. The Ninth Circuit has made clear that knowingly contributing to the enslavement of others for profit is an international crime whether committed by individuals or corporations."
IRA will appeal.
Six men forced into slavery as boys to harvest cocoa pods have a second chance to go after some of the world's biggest chocolate companies in U.S. court, saying the companies should have known their suppliers used forced labor.
Terry Collingsworth, Executive Director of International Rights Advocates and lawyer representing six alleged child slaves working in cocoa in a class action against Nestlé, ADM and Cargill says the ramifications of the case on the chocolate industry could be huge.