TERRY COLLINGSWORTH, Executive Director
Mr. Collingsworth is a labor and human rights attorney specializing in trade and international labor rights issues. He was General Counsel of the International Labor Rights Fund (ILRF) from 1989 to 2006. He was made Executive Director of the ILRF on September 1, 2001. In April 2007, the litigation practice of ILRF became International Rights Advocates (IRAdvocates), and Mr. Collingsworth decided then to focus primarily on human rights litigation and left the ILRF to head up IRAdvocates as Executive Director. From 2008 through 2015, he was the managing partner of the D.C. office of Conrad & Scherer, LLP.
Mr. Collingsworth’s primary activities at IRAdvocates are directing litigation strategy, developing legislative proposals to regulate labor rights in the global economy, building coalitions with other groups to address human rights and labor rights issues in international forums, and researching conditions for workers in developing countries. On behalf of Burmese victims of forced labor, he initiated the landmark case under the Alien Tort Statute, John Roe III et al v. Unocal Corporation et al, seeking to hold Unocal liable for human rights violations that occurred during the construction of its gas pipeline in Burma. He has filed similar cases against Coca-Cola, for allowing the murder and torture of trade union leaders at its bottling plants in Colombia; Exxon Mobil, for human rights violations of its military security forces in Aceh, Indonesia; Drummond Company, Inc. for collaborating with paramilitary groups in Colombia which murdered of hundreds of innocent civilians living in the areas around Drummond's operations and executing Drummond's union leaders; and Del Monte, for using paramilitary thugs to torture leaders of the banana workers union in Guatemala. Mr. Collingsworth also was instrumental in establishing the RUGMARK program, a unique system of certifying that hand-knotted carpets are not made with child labor that also sponsors education programs for former child workers.
He is a graduate of Duke University School of Law, and has published numerous articles on labor rights issues.
Terry Collingsworth, "Using the Alien Tort Claims Act to Introduce the Rule of Law to the Global Economy" (2005).