Cocoa Pickers To Sue Nestle Over Child Slavery

     African Headlines

A long-running case involving chocolate maker Nestle and people who worked in cocoa plantations in the Ivory Coast has taken a big step up. A judge decided that the case can be heard in a Californian court, following a ruling last year which allowed U.S. firms to be sued in domestic courts for foreign transgressions. The crime in this case was not minor: three men, with the backing of a global charity, is suing Nestle and two other companies for turning them into child slaves, writes CorpWatch. The men say they were lured into the Cote d’Ivoire plantations with promises of good jobs, but instead found themselves working long days, often under gunpoint. The men, at the time not even teenagers, were allegedly regularly whipped and kept prisoner. But the case represents thousands of people treated this way and has pushed for a U.S. court, saying that Ivorian courts are too corrupt to be trusted. Nestle, one of the defendants has signed an agreement of conduct after the abuse claims came to light, but investigators say it has failed to implement any meaningful change.

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