abusesaffiliationarrow-downarrow-leftarrow-rightarrow-upattack-typeburgerchevron-downchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-upClock iconclosedeletedevelopment-povertydiscriminationdollardownloademailenvironmentexternal-linkfacebookfiltergenderglobegroupshealthC4067174-3DD9-4B9E-AD64-284FDAAE6338@1xinformation-outlineinformationinstagraminvestment-trade-globalisationissueslabourlanguagesShapeCombined Shapeline, chart, up, arrow, graphLinkedInlocationmap-pinminusnewsorganisationotheroverviewpluspreviewArtboard 185profilerefreshIconnewssearchsecurityPathStock downStock steadyStock uptagticktooltiptwitteruniversalityweb

1 Sep 2010

Global Horizons lawsuit (re forced labour, criminal proceedings)

Status: CLOSED

Date lawsuit was filed
1 Sep 2010
Migrant & immigrant workers
Location of Filing: United States of America
Location of Incident: United States of America
Type of Litigation: Domestic



Snapshot: In September 2010, the US Justice Department brough criminal charges against employees of Global Horizons Manpower (Global Horizons), a US-based recruiting company, on charges of forced labour alleging that the company brought hundred of Thai workers to the US from 2001 to 2007 to work on farms. The case was eventually dismissed after prosecutors believed they could not prove the charges beyond reasonable doubt.

In April 2011, The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed two related civil lawsuits: one in Hawaii against Global Horizons and six local farms, and one in Washington state against the same company and two local farms. In June 2014, some of the local farms announced that they had reached an out of court settlement. In December 2014, a federal judge ruled that Global Horizons and one Hawaii local farm were liable for $12.3 million in damages.

For civil proceedings, see Global Horizons lawsuit (re forced labour, civil proceedings)

Criminal proceedings

On 1 September 2010, a US federal grand jury in Hawaii indicted four employees of Global Horizons Manpower (Global Horizons), a US-based labour recruiting company, and two Thailand-based recruiters on charges of forced labour.  The US Justice Department’s criminal charges allege the defendants brought hundreds of Thai workers to the US from 2001 to 2007 to work on farms across the country and conspired to hold these workers in forced labour.  The indictment alleges that the defendants caused the workers to believe that if they did not work for the defendants, they could be arrested and deported.  The defendants allegedly confiscated the Thai nationals’ passports after their arrival in the US.  Three defendants pleaded guilty in June 2011.  On 20 July 2012, a federal judge dismissed the case, after the prosecutors requested dismissal because they believed they could not prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.

Further reading

- "Human Trafficking Case Against Executives Is Dismissed", Associated Press, 21 Jul 2012

- [video] “Food chain slaves”, Al Jazeera, 10 Oct 2011

- “Indictment Accuses Firm of Exploiting Thai Workers”, Julia Preston, New York Times, 3 Sept 2010

US Department of Justice:
- “Three Defendants Plead Guilty in Honolulu in Connection with Human Trafficking Scheme that Exploited 600 Thai Workers”, 15 Jun 2011
- “Six People Charged in Human Trafficking Conspiracy for Exploiting 400 Thai Farm Workers”, 2 Sep 2010