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US judge to decide on jurisdiction in lawsuit against chocolate firms over alleged child slavery in Côte d'Ivoire

"Child Slavery Claims Against Nestle, Cargill Get One More Chance", 9 Jan 2017

Six men forced into slavery as boys to harvest cocoa pods have a second chance to go after some of the world’s biggest chocolate companies in U.S. court, saying the companies should have known their suppliers used forced labor.  They’re asking a federal judge...to allow their...case to go ahead...They say Nestle SA and Cargill Inc. employees in the U.S. knew of the forced labor....so they should be able to sue in an American court.  Allowing the former slaves to sue in the U.S. over human rights abuses overseas would reverse years of precedents...Nestle said its policies to reduce child labor aren’t, as the plaintiffs contend, evidence of its complicity...Lawyers for the six...claim U.S. importers knew of the abuses yet provided farmers with funding...On Friday, [U.S. District Judge Stephen Wilson] said he will decide whether to dismiss the amended claims...[T]he Malians have to give a plausible account of how the aiding and abetting of slavery occurred in the U.S.  The judge won’t rule on the merits of the claims, only whether the lawsuit falls within the court’s jurisdiction...[Also refers to Chevron Corp., Coco-Cola Co.]

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