Amicus Briefs

Nestle v. Doe and Cargill v. Doe

Status Amicus Brief

Practice area Human Rights

Court U.S. Supreme Court

Case number 19-416, 19-453

Overview

On October 21, 2020, Cohen Milstein, the Human Trafficking Legal Centers, and Open Society Policy Center submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court of the United States on behalf of senior members of Congress, as Amici Curiae, in support of respondents in Nestle USA, Inc. v John Doe I, et al. (No. 19-416) and Cargill, Inc. v. Doe I, et al. (No. 19-453).

The amicus brief can be accessed here.

Introduction

Over the last two decades, with virtually unanimous support, Congress has made extraordinary efforts to combat human trafficking and forced labor worldwide. Amici have all been engaged in this effort through committee work, legislation, advocacy, and other measures.

Because Petitioners’ briefs fail to recognize Congress’ efforts, Amici submit this brief. We wish to ensure, to the extent it is relevant to the Court’s deliberations, that the Court has before it a history of Congress’ efforts: through the last four presidential administrations and on a bipartisan basis, Congress has pursued an aggressive, multifaceted strategy to eliminate the worldwide scourge of this modern-day slavery. That strategy includes the enactment of a comprehensive statutory scheme, codified primarily in Chapter 77, Title 18 (Peonage, Slavery, and Trafficking in Persons), that provides victims with the ability to bring a civil suit in the United States against the direct perpetrators, aiders and abettors, and those who benefit from participation in ventures that have engaged in human trafficking, forced labor, and other violations, whether committed in the United States or abroad.

As the People’s elected representatives, Amici have an interest in ensuring that the Court is informed about the policy choices Congress has made to fight human trafficking. Human trafficking is one of the most significant human-rights challenges of the 21st Century. Combating it—wherever on the globe it occurs—is among Congress’s highest foreign-relations priorities.

Summary of Argument

Over the last two decades, with virtually unanimous support, Congress has made extraordinary efforts to combat human trafficking and forced labor worldwide. Amici have all been engaged in this effort through committee work, legislation, advocacy, and other measures.

Because Petitioners’ briefs fail to recognize Congress’ efforts, Amici submit this brief. We wish to ensure, to the extent it is relevant to the Court’s deliberations, that the Court has before it a history of Congress’ efforts: through the last four presidential administrations and on a bipartisan basis, Congress has pursued an aggressive, multifaceted strategy to eliminate the worldwide scourge of this modern-day slavery. That strategy includes the enactment of a comprehensive statutory scheme, codified primarily in Chapter 77, Title 18 (Peonage, Slavery, and Trafficking in Persons), that provides victims with the ability to bring a civil suit in the United States against the direct perpetrators, aiders and abettors, and those who benefit from participation in ventures that have engaged in human trafficking, forced labor, and other violations, whether committed in the United States or abroad.

As the People’s elected representatives, Amici have an interest in ensuring that the Court is informed about the policy choices Congress has made to fight human trafficking. Human trafficking is one of the most significant human-rights challenges of the 21st Century. Combating it—wherever on the globe it occurs—is among Congress’s highest foreign-relations priorities.