A U.S. federal appeals court on Tuesday reinstated a lawsuit by a group of former child slaves accusing the U.S. unit of Nestle SA, the world’s largest food maker, and Cargill Co [CARG.UL] of perpetuating child slavery at Ivory Coast cocoa farms.
Judges of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Pasadena, California, said in a unanimous decision that the group could proceed with its claims despite the alleged abuses having occurred overseas.
“In sum, the allegations paint a picture of overseas slave labor that defendants perpetuated from headquarters in the United States,” the court wrote.
The court did not rule on the merits of the plaintiffs’ claims.
The plaintiffs, originally from Mali, are contending that the companies aided and abetted human rights violations through their active involvement in purchasing cocoa from Ivory Coast (Cote d’Ivoire).