By Marvin G. Perez Bloomberg
International Rights Advocates, a human rights group, said it filed a federal class-action lawsuit Friday on behalf of eight Malian citizens against chocolate companies for alleged complicity in trafficking and forced labor.
The plaintiffs were trafficked as children and forced to harvest cocoa in Ivory Coast, the biggest exporter and producer, IRAdvocates said in a statement.
The case is based on a law that allows victims to sue companies that participate in a venture that benefits from trafficking and forced labor.
Nestle, Cargill and Mars are among the companies named in the suit.
“They benefit by continuing to profit from selling cheap cocoa harvested
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