Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA)

D.C. Circuit Defines “Venture” Under the TVPRA

On March 5, 2024, the D.C. Circuit issued its long-awaited opinion in Doe v. Apple, a suit against U.S. tech companies seeking to hold them liable under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) for forced labor and human trafficking used to mine cobalt in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). (Disclosure: I joined…

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Congress Amends the TVPRA to Correct Ninth Circuit’s Erroneous Ruling in Ratha

Last year, in Ratha v. Phatthana Seafood, the Ninth Circuit held that civil liability under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) does not extend to those who attempt to benefit from forced labor. After the court denied en banc review, the Human Trafficking Legal Center and other human and workers’ rights organizations asked Congress…

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Oral Argument in Doe v. Apple

Last week, the D.C. Circuit heard oral argument in Doe v. Apple, a case brought by victims of forced labor and human trafficking against five U.S. technology companies. The plaintiffs are children or family members of children who were injured or killed mining cobalt in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The defendants—Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft,…

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Cert Petition Raises Personal Jurisdiction Question in Context of the TVPRA

The Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) explicitly authorizes extraterritorial application to six predicate offenses (18 U.S.C. § 1596) and creates a private right of action (18 U.S.C. § 1595). Assuming without deciding that § 1595’s civil remedy extends extraterritorially to the same extent as those six predicate offenses, the Ninth Circuit in Ratha v….

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SDNY Rejects Immunity for Former Diplomat in Trafficking Case

To ensure that diplomats can perform their functions without harassment, international law grants them broad immunity from the criminal and civil jurisdiction of the state to which they are accredited. Unfortunately, some diplomats seem to treat such immunity as a license to abuse their domestic servants. Earlier this year, Ingrid (Wuerth) Brunk reported on a…

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Does the TVPRA Apply Extraterritorially? Thoughts on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Amicus Brief in Doe v. Apple

As the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly limited the scope of the implied cause of action under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS), victims of human rights abuses have looked to other U.S. statutes for remedies. One of these is the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA), which creates a civil remedy against perpetrators and others…

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Has the Alien Tort Statute Made a Difference?

In a globalized and interconnected world, human rights litigation has, by necessity, become transnational. For decades, the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) was viewed as a beacon of American justice for foreign victims of human rights violations. However, a series of Supreme Court decisions—most recently the paired cases of Nestlé USA, Inc. v. Doe and Cargill,…

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A Primer on Human Rights Litigation

Modern human rights law developed in response to the events of the World War II, although it has earlier precursors. In 1948, the U.N. General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a non-binding declaration. More than seventy human rights treaties followed, including the Genocide Convention, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,…

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New Bill Would Amend the Alien Tort Statute to Apply Extraterritorially

Last week, Senators Dick Durbin and Sherrod Brown introduced a new bill, the Alien Tort Statute Clarification Act (ATSCA), that would amend the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) to apply extraterritorially. Since 1980, plaintiffs have relied on the ATS to bring international human rights claims in federal court against individuals and corporations. But since 2013, the…

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Ingrid (Wuerth) Brunk

Vanderbilt Law School
ingrid.wuerth@vanderbilt.eduEmail

William Dodge

UC Davis School of Law
wsdodge@ucdavis.eduEmail

Maggie Gardner

Cornell Law School
mgardner@cornell.eduEmail

John F. Coyle

University of North Carolina School of Law
jfcoyle@email.unc.eduEmail

Zachary D. Clopton

Northwestern Pritzker School of Law
zclopton@law.northwestern.eduEmail

Noah Buyon

Duke University School of Law
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Will Moon

University of Maryland
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William K. McGoughran

Vanderbilt Law School
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Chimène Keitner

UC Davis School of Law
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Catherine Amirfar

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
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Justin R. Rassi

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
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Isabelle Glimcher

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
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Ben Köhler

Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law
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Aaron D. Simowitz

Willamette University College of Law
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Timothy D. Lytton

Georgia State University College of Law
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