On February 26, the Schell Center hosted a talk with Agnieszka Fryszman, whose private international human rights practice at the law firm Cohen Milstein is considered one of the best in the world.
Recently, Fryszman has focused on human trafficking litigation. “Trafficking is affecting more and more people thanks to the transnational nature of the global economy,” she said, “and we’re at a point where it’s hard to get jurisdiction over a foreign corporation that has trafficked people abroad.”
As Fryszman explained, most victims of human trafficking are recruited from places of extreme poverty, forced to pay recruitment fees to a labor broker, then taken to an unfamiliar country where they are sent to work in factories, on ships, or elsewhere – mostly in facilities that sell products to foreign suppliers. “It’s a huge challenge to stop this,” said Fryszman. “Trafficking is super profitable – people are viewed as a renewable resource, in that it’s cheaper to traffic their replacements than pay them.”
Fryszman is no stranger to holding enormous corporations accountable for human rights violations. Her past clients have included Holocaust survivors suing Swiss banks for collaborating with the Nazi regime during World War II, and survivors of Nazi-era forced labor camps taking on the German and Austrian companies that allegedly profited from their slave labor.
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