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12 Feb 2021

Terry Collingsworth, IRAdvocates

USA: Victims of child trafficking & slavery sue major chocolate brands, incl. Nestle, Cargill, Hershey & Mars, alleging they knowingly profited from the forced labour of children harvesting their cocoa beans

"Press Release: Child Slaves Who Were Trafficked and Forced to Harvest Cocoa in Cote D’Ivoire Sue the Cocoa Companies that Enslaved Them: Nestle, Cargill, Mars, Mondelēz, Hershey, Barry Callebaut, and Olam", 12 February 2021

On February 12, 2021, IRAdvocates filed a federal class action lawsuit on behalf of eight Malian young men who managed to escape back to Mali after being trafficked as children and forced to harvest cocoa in Cote D’Ivoire for one or more of the Defendant companies, Nestle, Cargill, Mars, Mondelēz, Hershey, Barry Callebaut, and Olam.

... The case filed today is based primarily on the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (“TVPRA”), 18 U.S.C. § 1595 et. seq. This law allows victims of trafficking and forced labor to sue companies that participate in a “venture” and benefit from the trafficking or forced labor. The named Defendant companies have been cooperating in a venture for decades as they collaborate in a scheme to continue using child slaves while jointly promoting bogus programs they falsely claim are solving their child labor problem. They benefit by continuing to profit from selling cheap cocoa harvested by child slaves, including the eight Plaintiffs who filed this case. The TVPRA makes the companies jointly liable for child slavery on behalf of the “venture.”

... The full complaint of the new TVPRA case as well as information about the ATS case are available at http://www.iradvocates.org. Here is an article detailing the situation the cocoa slaves endure: https://www.justsecurity.org/73959/nestle-cargill-v-doe-series-meet-the-...