Trafficking Lawsuits; Corporate Liability

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Trafficking lawsuits have recently addressed human slavery in the supply chains of large companies, setting precedents for anti-trafficking and protection laws and impacting international litigation…

Several class action suits  in 2015 obligates companies that perform business in California and that earn more than $100 million (gross) to disclose their anti-trafficking policies on their websites.

The law does not require companies to change their anti-trafficking policies or to implement them if none are in place. Consumers argued that they would not have bought the products (in cases against Nestle, Mars, and Hershey, chocolate farmed by child slaves; in a separate case against only Nestle, cat food made using fishmeal caught by bonded laborers) if they had known that slave labor had gone into the production of the goods. On the plaintiffs’ false advertising and unfair competition claims, the courts found that companies do not have an obligation to disclose all “information that may have persuaded a consumer to make a different purchasing choice.” Rather, the law is meant to compel companies to disclose what efforts they are making to root out forced labor from their supply chains, but does not require changes in policies.

Nestle is the the biggest food company in the world.

Targeted legislation that regulates policy disclosure and requires the disclosure of voluntary supply chain monitoring efforts are critical for eliminating forced labor.

To read the entire article about trafficking lawsuits, click on the link below.

View Article on Human Rights First

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