US and European food companies used child slaves in Africa to boost profit
US and European food companies are accused of committing human rights violations through perpetuating slavery in cocoa farms in the West African nation of Ivory Coast.
US firm Cargill, and a subsidiary of Swiss company Nestle allegedly turned 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.
Nestle, which is based in Geneva, is the world's biggest food producer. Cargill is a global food corporation based in Minnetonka, Minnesota.
Lawsuits were filed in 2005 in US courts on behalf of former child slaves from Mali. The group of six adult citizens of Mali claim they were taken from their country as children and forced to work on cocoa farms in neighboring Ivory Coast.
However, on Thursday, the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of the food companies and against the group of Mali citizens.
The Supreme Court ruled the claim could not be brought under the Alien Tort Statute, which lets non-U.S. citizens seek damages in American courts in certain instances. The business community has long sought to limit corporate liability under this law.