I’m Terry Collingsworth, the human rights lawyer who filed a landmark child slavery lawsuit against Nestle, Mars, and Hershey. I am the Executive Director of International Rights Advocates, and a crusader against human rights violations in global ...
Thank you for highlighting this important issue on r/news!
As founder and Executive Director of the International Rights Advocates, and before that, between 1989 and 2007, General Counsel and Executive Director of International Labor Rights Forum, I have been at the forefront of every major effort to hold corporations accountable for failing to comply with international law or their own professed standards in their codes of conduct in their treatment of workers or communities in their far flung supply chains.
After doing this work for several years and trying various ways of cooperating with multinationals, including working on joint initiatives, developing codes of conduct, and creating pilot programs, I sadly concluded that most companies operating in lawless environments in the global economy will do just about anything they can get away with to save money and increase profits. So, rather than continue to assume multinationals operate in good faith and could be reasoned with, I shifted my focus entirely, and for the last 25 years, have specialized in international human rights litigation.
The prospect of getting a legal judgement along with the elevated public profile of a major legal case (thank you, Reddit!) gives IRAdvocates a concrete tool to force bad actors in the global economy to improve their practices.
Representative cases are: Coubaly et. al v. Nestle et. al, No. 1:21 CV 00386 (eight Malian former child slaves have sued Nestle, Cargill, Mars, Hershey, Barry Callebaut, Mondelez and Olam under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act [TVPRA] for forced child labor and trafficking in their cocoa supply chains in Cote D’Ivoire); John Doe 1 et al. v. Nestle, SA and Cargill, Case No. CV 05-5133-SVW (six Malian former child slaves sued Nestle and Cargill under the Alien Tort Statute for using child slaves in their cocoa supply chains in Cote D’Ivoire); and John Doe 1 et. al v. Apple et. al, No. CV 1:19-cv-03737(14 families sued Apple, Tesla, Dell, Microsoft, and Google under the TVPRA for knowingly joining a supply chain for cobalt in the DRC that relies upon child labor).
If you’d like to learn more, visit us at: http://www.iradvocates.org/
Ask me anything about corporate accountability for human rights violations in the global economy:
-What are legal avenues for holding corporations accountable for human rights violations in the global economy? -How do you get your cases? -What are the practical challenges of representing victims of human rights violations in cases against multinationals with unlimited resources? -Have you suffered retaliation or threats of harm for taking on powerful corporate interests? -What are effective campaign strategies for reaching consumers of products made in violation of international human rights norms? -Why don’t more consumers care about human rights issues in the supply chains of their favorite brands? -Are there possible long-term solutions to persistent human rights problems?
I have published many articles and have given numerous interviews in various media on these topics. I attended Duke University School of Law and have taught at numerous law schools in the United States and have lectured in various programs around the world. I have personally visited and met with the people impacted by the human rights violations in all of my cases.
THANKS VERY MUCH REDDIT FOR THE VERY ENGAGING DISCUSSION WE'VE HAD TODAY. THAT WAS AN ENGAGING 10 HOURS! I HOPE I CAN CIRCLE BACK AND ANSWER ANY OUTSTANDING QUESTIONS AFTER SOME REST AND WALK WITH MY DOG, REINA.
ONCE WE'VE HAD CONCRETE DEVELOPMENTS IN THE CASES, LET'S HAVE ANOTHER AMA TO GET EVERYONE CAUGHT UP!