A lawsuit filed against the world’s largest food maker, Nestle, has revealed how the company connived with local farmers to use children for slave labour in West Africa especially Mali.
The lawsuit was filed against Nestle by Archer Daniels Midland Co and Cargill Inc. for former child slavery victims originally from Mali in West Africa.
The case dates back to 2005.
Their lawsuit claims that, aware of the child slavery problem, the companies offered financial and technical assistance to local farmers in a bid to guarantee the cheapest source of cocoa.
Nestle failed in its bid to get the court to strike the case out in the United States where the suit was filed against it.
In fact, the US Supreme Court’s refusal to dismiss the lawsuit seeking to hold Nestle accountable for using child slaves to harvest cocoa has been described as a boost.
The ruling sends the case back to federal court in California and brings closer the possibility of a trial, said Terrence Collingsworth, executive director at International Rights Advocates who is involved in the lawsuit.
“On behalf of current and former child slaves in the cocoa sector in West Africa, the plaintiffs hope their case will help to end this inhumane practice,” Collingsworth said.
Specifically, the Supreme Court left in place a 2014 Appeals Court ruling that refused to dismiss the case.
“It is a victory,” said Marco Simons, a legal expert at EarthRights International in Washington, D.C. “There’s still several steps to go before trial, but it’s certainly moving forward.”
The case focused in part on how lower court judges have interpreted a 2013 Supreme Court decision that made it harder for plaintiffs to sue corporations in US courts for abuses alleged to have occurred overseas.
In that 2013 case, the high court threw out a lawsuit by 12 Nigerians accusing Royal Dutch …Read More
Source:: PM Newspaper