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23 Okt 2018

Tina Bellon, Reuters

U.S. appeals court revives Nestle child slavery lawsuit

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A U.S. federal appeals court on Tuesday reinstated a lawsuit by a group of former child slaves accusing the U.S. unit of Nestle SA...and Cargill...of perpetuating child slavery at Ivory Coast cocoa farms.  Judges of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Pasadena, California, said in a unanimous decision that the group could proceed with its claims despite the alleged abuses having occurred overseas...The court did not rule on the merits of the plaintiffs’ claims.  The plaintiffs, originally from Mali, are contending that the companies aided and abetted human rights violations through their active involvement in purchasing cocoa from Ivory Coast (Cote d’Ivoire).  They originally sued Nestle USA, Archer-Daniels-Midland Co and Cargill...Archer-Daniels-Midland was dismissed from the lawsuit in 2016...The companies have denied the allegations.  Nestle said in a statement...that it had explicit policies against child labor and was working to combat the global problem.  The company said it disagreed with the 9th Circuit decision and was assessing appellate options.  Cargill did not reply to a request for comment...The 9th Circuit said...the alleged violations fell outside the scope of the companies’ ordinary business conduct.  The former child slaves alleged that the companies provided financial and technical assistance to local farmers to guarantee the cheapest source of cocoa...

Part of the following timelines

US appeals court allows lawsuit against Nestlé & Cargill over their alleged complicity in child slavery to proceed

Nestlé, Cargill, Archer Daniels Midland lawsuit (re Côte d'Ivoire)