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Nestlé and Cargill face demands from slave descendants of Ivory Coast cocoa farms

Wednesday, July 15th 2020 - 08:32 UTC
Full article 2 comments
The lawsuits targeted the US subsidiary of Swiss-based Nestle, the world's biggest food producer, and commodities trader Cargill The lawsuits targeted the US subsidiary of Swiss-based Nestle, the world's biggest food producer, and commodities trader Cargill

The US Supreme Court will decide whether American corporations can be sued for alleged human rights abuses occurring abroad under a 1789 law, agreeing to hear appeals by two companies: Cargill Inc and a Nestle SA subsidiary: accused of knowingly helping perpetuate slavery at Ivory Coast cocoa farms.

The two companies are asking the nine justices to reverse a lower court ruling that allowed the lawsuit, filed on behalf of former child slaves from Mali who worked on the farms, against the companies filed under the Alien Tort Statute to proceed.

The lawsuits targeted the US subsidiary of Swiss-based Nestle, the world's biggest food producer, and commodities trader Cargill, the largest privately held US company.

The case concerns the 18th century US law called the Alien Tort Statute that lets non-US citizens seek damages in American courts in certain instances. The business community has long sought to limit corporate liability under the Alien Tort Statute.

The plaintiffs accused the companies of aiding and abetting human rights violations through their active involvement in purchasing Ivory Coast cocoa and turning a blind eye to the use of slave labor on the farms despite being aware of the practice in order to keep cocoa prices low.

A federal district court in Los Angeles dismissed the lawsuit twice, most recently in 2017. That court found that the claims were barred by recent Supreme Court decisions that have made it harder for plaintiffs to sue corporations in US courts for alleged violations overseas.

The San Francisco-based 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in 2018 revived the claims, citing the allegations that the companies provided “personal spending money” to local farmers to guarantee the cheapest source of cocoa.

The 9th Circuit found that the payments were akin to kickbacks and that the low price of cocoa was dependant on the child slave labor.

The US Chamber of Commerce, the Coca-Cola Company and Chevron Corp all filed briefs asking the court to hear the Nestle and Cargill appeals.

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  • Pugol-H

    The above case is not historical, it is modern, first brought in 2005 by people taken as children from Mali and forced to work in Ivory Coast. Their case being the two companies knew all about what was happening.

    This is currently about whether a case can even be brought in an American court.

    The black lives matter movement has nothing to do with “money for nothing” or even chicks for free.

    It is about stopping black people from being murdered (no other word for it), on the streets by Police who are supposed to be protecting all the people.

    Of the black people I know (which is a few), all are strong supporters of the BLM movement, however none are “Marxists”,” “Anarchists” or “Muslims”, in fact they are hardworking, devoutly Christian, mostly A-Political people, except the two Rastas who just want out of Babylon and back to Africa.

    None of which have any desire to see the society that they, their parents and their children live in “destroyed”.

    You cannot change the past and neither is anyone today responsible for the events of the past.

    However, we are all responsible for dealing with the effects of the past that are still with us today.

    As a friend of mine said, “for 200 years we were bred like farm animals, not for intellect but for work in the fields. Our culture was completely whitewashed out of us, kept in squalor with no education allowed except just enough language to understand what we were being told to do”.

    “Then one day someone comes along and waves a piece of paper in front of you, which you can’t read, and says you’re free, which you don’t really understand”. So what actually changed?

    “It wasn’t as if then next year we all moved to the burbs and our kids went to university.”

    The institution of slavery may have ended (in the western world) with the abolition, the effects of slavery did not.

    Jul 18th, 2020 - 01:16 pm +1
  • Livepeanuts

    This is what the black lives Marxists and anarchists were after all the time!
    Money for nothing! They are defrauding mankind.
    Also all the big envy which drives Marxists and Muslims to want to topple the successful Western States and to destroy our way of life, and we go along with it at our peril.
    There is nothing we can do about the past but we are here thanks to our past which wasn't kind either to the very poor whites as it wasn't kind to blacks, we need to stop these frauds of human beings distributing the lie that they can correct the past, we can do absolutely nothing about the past, those who don't work shouldn't bet paid for anything.
    The Great Empire spent 40% of its income to end slavery and all those who paid taxes in the UK from 2015 back would have contributed to the end of slavery such was the debt taken on by the Great Empire.
    For the first time ever in Human History did a great State decide to end slavery, credit to the Great British Empire for that.
    If it ruled Africa TODAY the blacks and the Muslims wouldn't be making slaves of other blacks today
    Any doubts you can see on Youtube NOW the big lie of the blacks, the anarchists, the Marxists and the Muslims of the black lives Marxists and their fraud. If they have a message against slavery then take it to Africa, there are no problems in England.

    Jul 15th, 2020 - 12:42 pm 0
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