The US SC has ruled food giants Nestlé USA & Cargill can't be sued for child slavery on African farms from where they buy their cocoa. 6 African men alleged that they were trafficked from Mali & forced to work on cocoa farms in Ivory Coast.

The group of 6 men say both companies perpetuated slave trade to keep cocoa prices low. The court has ruled that the group had no standing because the abuse happened outside the US.

   

US Supreme Court blocks child slavery lawsuit against chocolate firms

WHAT?

The US SC has ruled food giants Nestlé USA & Cargill can't be sued for child slavery on African farms from where they buy their cocoa. 6 African men alleged that they were trafficked from Mali & forced to work on cocoa farms in Ivory Coast.

HOW?

In their lawsuit, the group of men alleged that they were forced to work on the cocoa farms for 12-14 hours a day. They also said they were kept under armed guard while they slept, in order to prevent them from escaping, and were paid little beyond basic food.

About 70% of the world's cocoa is produced in West Africa, and much of this is exported to America.

It's estimated that 1.56m children work on cocoa farms in Ivory Coast and Ghana, according to a report published by the US Department of Labor last year.

MORE:

While decrying child slavery, the companies argued the case should instead be made against the traffickers and the farmers who kept them in such conditions.

In its decision, written by Justice Clarence Thomas, the court ruled that while Nestlé USA and Cargill provided the farms with technical and financial resources, there was no evidence that business decisions made in the US led to the men's forced labour.

To activists who have fought chocolate firms for years, the ruling came as a blow.