In recently published remarks of a July 17, 2018 meeting of the World Cocoa Foundation, an association of multinational cocoa companies, including Nestle, Cargill, Barry Callebaut, Mars and Mondelez, Vice President Tim McCoy admitted that the goal of reducing child slavery in the West Africa Cocoa sector 70% by the year 2020 will not be met. This is a direct admission that these companies are knowingly profiting from child slavery.
IRAdvocates is delighted to announce that their clients in Quinteros, et al., v. DynCorp, et al., Case No. 1:07-cv-01042 (ESH) reached a final settlement of their claims with the DynCorp defendants. This case was first filed in 2001 and involved the controversial fumigations of Plan Colombia. The more than 2,000 individual Plaintiffs are all farmers and fishermen who live on the Ecuador side of the Colombia-Ecuador border. They filed suit against DynCorp, the contractor that implemented the coca eradication fumigations in Colombia on behalf of the U.S. Department of State.
On this day in 1948 the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. "Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world," the declaration begins. International Rights Advocates is dedicated to defending Human Rights across the world and creating accountability when those rights are violated.
Attached is our concept paper on ending child labor in West Africa.
A drop in global cocoa prices threatens to undermine efforts to stamp out child labor in Ghana and Ivory Coast, the world's two biggest growers, as falling incomes could force farmers to send their children to work, charities said on Monday.
Monday, June 12, is the day recognized by the International Labor Organization as World Day Against Child Labor. Every credible organization working on the issue agrees that child labor remains a crisis for humanity, with most estimates that more than 200 million children are in the workforce, and many of them are working in the supply chains of major international companies. With these overwhelming numbers, it is too easy to say, “what can I do?” and then do nothing except click on some Facebook page to show your disapproval for child slavery. Well, there is plenty that all of us can do, and today I am asking you to do just one, simple, relatively pain-free thing on June 12: Boycott chocolate products that are not certified to be child labor free.
On May 18, 2017 on behalf of affected Colombian communities, a coalition of human rights groups called on the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate the complicity of executives at Chiquita Brands International in crimes against humanity. To date, no executive has been held to account despite the company’s admission that it funneled millions of dollars to Colombian paramilitaries that killed, raped, and disappeared civilians. If the ICC takes up the case, it would be the first time it moved against corporate executives for assisting such crimes.
Chiquita’s Colombia-based staff questioned the company’s payments to illegal armed groups, and asked whether Chiquita had gone beyond extortion and was directly funding the activities of leftist guerrillas and right-wing paramilitary groups, even while top company executives became “comfortable” with the idea.This is the second in a series of stories jointly published by the National Security Archive and VerdadAbierta.com documenting how the world’s most famous banana company financed terrorist groups in Colombia.
The New Chiquita Papers are the result of a seven-year legal battle waged by the National Security Archive against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and later Chiquita itself, for access to tens of thousands of records produced by the company during an investigation of illicit payments made in Colombia.
The Archive has used these records to identify individual Chiquita executives who approved and oversaw years of payments to groups responsible for countless human rights violations in Colombia, but whose roles in the affair have been unknown or unclear until now.
Ten years ago, Chiquita Brands International became the first U.S.-based corporation convicted of violating a U.S. law against funding an international terrorist group—the paramilitary United Self-defense Forces of Colombia (AUC). But punishment for the crime was reserved only for the corporate entity, while the names of the individual company officials who engineered the payments have since remained hidden behind a wall of impunity.
As Colombian authorities now prepare to prosecute business executives for funding groups responsible for major atrocities during Colombia’s decades-old conflict, a new set of Chiquita Papers, made possible through the National Security Archive’s FOIA lawsuit, has for the first time made it possible to know the identities and understand the roles of the individual Chiquita executives who approved and oversaw years of payments to groups responsible for countless human rights violations in Colombia.
A U.S. jury in Washington declined to award damages Thursday in a trial testing claims by the first six of 2,000 Ecuadoran farmers who allege that they were poisoned by an American security contractor in a years-long coca-eradication campaign by the U.S. and Colombian governments.
On Thursday, April 20, 2017 a federal jury returned a verdict in the first of the test trials against DynCorp International, the defense contractor that did the aerial fumigations in Plan Colombia. The International Rights Advocates (IRAdvocates) first filed this case in 2001 on behalf of over 2,000 Ecuadoran farmers who live near the border with Colombia and allege that they had their farms destroyed when the toxic chemicals used by DynCorp to kill coca and poppy plants was also sprayed on their farms. The Ecuadoran farmers also alleged that they received personal injuries and suffered battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
After a 15-year legal battle, a U.S. jury will begin deliberations Wednesday over whether a U.S. security contractor must pay damages to as many as 2,000 Ecuadoran farmers who say they were poisoned by the U.S. and Colombian governments’ years-long, coca-eradication campaign.
Defense contractor DynCorp and plaintiffs suing it for allegedly poisoning farmers in Ecuador with herbicide while trying to eradicate drug crops in Colombia sparred in midtrial briefs filed in Washington, D.C., federal court Sunday over whether the company could be held liable for actions of pilots employed by subcontractors and Colombian police.
On April 3, 2017, International Rights Advocate's trial commenced in Quinteros v. Dyncorp, an historic 15-year old human rights case concerning the harmful effects of Defendant Dyncorp's spraying of our Ecuadoran Plaintiffs and their property in Ecuador, during their efforts to eradicate coca crops as part of Plan Colombia.
On April 3, 2017, after a 15-year struggle with the notorious defense contractor, DynCorp International, International Rights Advocates, together with co-counsel Ted Leopold of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, will go to trial on behalf of more than 2,000 Ecuadoran plaintiffs at the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to establish that when DynCorp implemented Plan Colombia, it unlawfully invaded Ecuadoran territory and fumigated thousands of farmers and ruined their farms.
International Rights Advocates (www.iradvocates.org) is a small human rights advocacy group that promotes corporate accountability through legal advocacy. We focus on human rights cases and rely on individual donations and support from foundations to continue our work. After a 15-year struggle with the notorious defense contractor DynCorp International, we are going to trial on April 3, 2017 to establish that when DynCorp was implementing Plan Colombia, it unlawfully invaded Ecuadoran territory and fumigated thousands of farmers there and ruined their farms. We have been in this struggle since we filed the case on September 11, 2001, and to finally bring DynCorp to justice, we need your support.
On March 10, 2017, Judge Wilson issued an Order granting defendants' motion to dismiss.
"Judge Wilson's decision, which states that business conduct such as the provision of unrestricted funds to those committing slavery cannot be illegal, directly contradicts not only international law but also the Ninth Circuit's prior decision in this case. The Ninth Circuit has made clear that knowingly contributing to the enslavement of others for profit is an international crime whether committed by individuals or corporations."
IRA will appeal.
Colombia’s prosecution is set to charge almost 200 companies, including multinationals like Dole and Del Monte, for financing death squads in the banana-growing region of the country, according to Blu Radio. The radio station reported contents of the alleged set of indictments a day after the country’s chief prosecutor announced his office would charge companies for crimes against humanity for their alleged voluntary support for the paramilitary death squads.
Companies who financed paramilitary death squads in Colombia’s banana growing region, including Chiquita’s subsidiary, will face charges for crimes against humanity, the Prosecutor General’s Office said Thursday. The prosecution decision is unprecedented as never before have private enterprises been charged with crimes against humanity.
Multinational companies have benefited as paramilitaries have violently evicted thousands of people from their land, clearing the way for large-scale mining, oil or agro-industrial projects. These companies are knowingly operating in a country where death squads suppress dissent by targeting community activists and trade unionists...There is almost total impunity for the security forces and their paramilitary allies who target land activists and community leaders and those who have protested against large-scale mining, oil and agro-industrial projects.
His former company is being sued for its alleged role in unprovoked shootings and arbitrary detention of Indonesian people.
The former Exxon Mobile CEO spent his entire adult life working for a company that has left a trail of carnage - from human rights abuses to the destruction of the environment - in its ruthless pursuit of oil.
Six men forced into slavery as boys to harvest cocoa pods have a second chance to go after some of the world's biggest chocolate companies in U.S. court, saying the companies should have known their suppliers used forced labor.
Terry Collingsworth, Executive Director of International Rights Advocates and lawyer representing six alleged child slaves working in cocoa in a class action against Nestlé, ADM and Cargill says the ramifications of the case on the chocolate industry could be huge.
On November 29, 2016, a federal court in Florida issued a long-awaited ruling denying Chiquita’s last effort to have the case dismissed brought by thousands of Colombian nationals who sued Chiquita for funding the AUC paramilitary units that murdered their family members.
Human rights defenders and families of victims are one step closer to justice for Colombian labor leaders and other activists murdered at the hands of right-wing paramilitaries paid by U.S. banana giant Chiquita Brands as a U.S. court gave the green light Wednesday for the trial to move forward against the company and its top executives.
Company's corporate affairs manager writes in response to NOW article that "child labour in our cocoa supply chain is a complex issue"
On November 7, 2016, International Rights Advocates together with lead co-counsel filed their Memorandum in Opposition to Defendants' Motions to Dismiss in the Nestle case arguing plaintiffs have sufficiently alleged that all three of the corporate Defendants in the Nestle case aided and abetted slavery and forced labor in Côte d’Ivoire.