In the News

Leading Human Rights Watchdog to Sue U.S. Customs Service for Not Enforcing Laws Against Child Labor

Also Demand That Five U.S. Companies Importing Cocoa from Africa Act to Stop Child Slavery on Suppliers’ Farms
10/04/2004

CONTACT: Ira Arlook, New Economy Communications (202) 721-0111

On Thursday morning, October 28, The International Labor Rights Fund (ILRF) will file a lawsuit with the U.S. Court of International Trade (CIT) in New York City against the U.S. Customs Service for failure to enforce its own laws against the importation of goods made by forced child labor.

Flower Power

Shanghai Star
09/09/2004

Aide Silva has spent 13 years working in the flower planta tions surrounding Colombia's capital Bogota, making sure carnations and roses grow straight and uniform for export.

But five days after she and 26 other workers decided to form a union to confront Benilda Flowers about management changes that lowered their wages, her job description changed.

Products of Brazil's slavery find way to U.S. markets

Knight Rider
09/05/2004

By Kevin G. Hall

BETHESDA, Md. - Products tainted by Brazilian slavery are finding their way into U.S. stores and homes more often despite the efforts of concerned trade groups, activists and consumers.

Some U.S. companies turn a blind eye in order to buy Brazilian products at the lower prices that slavery helps make possible. Other companies are like most Americans: ignorant about Brazilian slavery, let alone which of its exports are tainted by slavery or what to do about it.

Not in Their Backyard

CorpWatch
07/14/2004

Legal experts and activists weigh impact of Supreme Court decision to uphold the Alien Tort Claims Act, commonly used by human rights groups to try cases against U.S. corporations on American soil.

by Jacqueline Koch, Special to CorpWatch

Though he may never set foot in America, an Iraqi man simply identified as “Plaintiff Ahmed” wants to have his day in a US court.

Rights Ruling a Compromise

Washington Post
06/30/2004

By Charles Lane

The Supreme Court issued a compromise ruling in its first interpretation of a key human rights law yesterday, upholding the right of foreigners to seek compensation in U.S. courts for abuses that take place abroad but urging federal judges to interpret that right narrowly to avoid judicial interference in foreign affairs.

Human Rights Abuses Worldwide Are Held to Fall Under U.S. Courts

New York Times
06/30/2004

By Charles Lane

The Supreme Court issued a compromise ruling in its first interpretation of a key human rights law yesterday, upholding the right of foreigners to seek compensation in U.S. courts for abuses that take place abroad but urging federal judges to interpret that right narrowly to avoid judicial interference in foreign affairs.

Court Limits Use of U.S. Law by Foreigners

Financial Times
06/29/2004

By Patti Waldmeir

The US Supreme Court on Tuesday handed a partial victory to international businesses when it narrowed the scope of lawsuits that can be brought in US courts alleging misconduct by companies abroad.

But the court stopped short of barring all suits under the controversial Alien Tort statute, a 1789 law recently used by human rights activists to sue multinational companies in US courts over involvement in human rights abuses abroad.

Nepalese Get Trapped in Indian Circuses

The Washington Times
06/25/2004

By Shaikh Azizur Rahman

NEW DELHI — Children's rights campaigners trying to rescue enslaved Nepalese children from a circus in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh were attacked last week by circus employees with guns, machetes and iron rods inside the tent of the Great Roman Circus.

The Indian activists, accompanied by Nepalese activists and the parents of some of the enslaved children, were chased away by circus managers and hired thugs who warned them not to return to the circus again.

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