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

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23 October 2018

Doe v. Nestle, Opinion on dismissal of claims

Author: Judge D.W. Nelson, Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit (USA)

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23 October 2018

October 23, 2018 Court of Appeals Finds Nestle and Cargill can be Liable under Alien Tort Statute for Child Slavery in Cote d'Ivoire

Author: International Rights Advocates

A three judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on October 23, 2018 that the IRAdvocates’ lawsuit on behalf of former child slaves against Nestle and Cargill for using child slaves in Cote D’Ivoire to harvest cocoa can proceed under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS), 28 U.S.C. § 1350. The Court solidly rejected the companies’...argument that under new decisions by the Supreme Court no cases can be brought where the actual harmful act..occurred outside of the United States.  The Court...held that Plaintiffs’ case can proceed based on the legal theory that these two...multinationals “aided and abetted” child slavery from their corporate offices in the United
States by continuing across many years to knowingly purchase cocoa that was harvested by child slaves and providing funds, supplies, training and other assistance to the plantations in Cote D’Ivoire that the companies knew were using child slaves... There are several possible legal hurdles remaining, including the companies seeking further review by the Supreme Court...[T]he legal team will soon be filing a new complaint against Nestle, Cargill and other major companies for knowingly benefitting from the trafficking of children into slavery to harvest cocoa for these companies...

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23 October 2018

U.S. appeals court revives Nestle child slavery lawsuit

Author: Tina Bellon, Reuters

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...

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