Amicus Briefs

The Human Trafficking Legal Center files amicus briefs on behalf of survivors of human trafficking to inform courts about human trafficking data, precedent, and trends.

Amicus Briefs

The Human Trafficking Legal Center and Equal Justice Center filed an amicus brief in support of the plaintiff, a Filipino worker forced into labor in a Louisiana shipyard.  The plaintiff alleges that the defendants used fraud to recruit him to work at sea and then forced him to work in a shipyard under abusive conditions for little pay.  The amicus brief on behalf of the Human Trafficking Legal Center and Dr. Laura-Leigh Cameron Dow, an Australian professor, asked the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse the district court’s incorrect holding that the plaintiff should be compelled to arbitrate his claims in the Philippines.  The appeal is currently pending.

The Human Trafficking Legal Center and Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll LLP filed an amicus brief on behalf of twelve legal scholars in support of the plaintiffs.  The plaintiffs alleged they were trafficked as children into forced labor in cobalt mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The amicus brief on behalf of the legal scholars asked the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse the district court’s incorrect holding that extraterritorial jurisdiction does not cover such cases. This erroneous dicta in the court’s decision made this the first federal court to hold that the extraterritorial jurisdiction provided in the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act does not extend to civil actions. The appeal is currently pending.

Human rights and worker rights advocates, led by Global Labor Justice – International Labor Rights Forum, filed this amicus brief to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in support of a group of Cambodian migrant workers who alleged that they were held in forced labor in Thai shrimp processing factories.  The amicus brief pressed the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to rehear the case en banc after a three-judge panel dismissed the Cambodian migrant workers’ case. Amici on the brief were: Global Labor Justice – International Labor Rights Forum, the Human Trafficking Legal Center, Amnesty International, Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, Inc., Corporate Accountability Lab, Freedom Network USA, Greenpeace USA, Human Rights Watch, the Human Trafficking Institute, the Justice Defense Fund, the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable, the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights & Justice, the Law Office of Mary Joyce Carlson, the Migrant Workers Rights Network, Oxfam America, Share (Asia Pacific) Limited, the Solidarity Center, the State Enterprises Workers’ Relations Confederation and the Uyghur Human Rights Project.

The Human Trafficking Legal Center, Freedom Network, and Global Labor Justice-International Labor Rights Forum submitted this amicus brief asking the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to affirm the default judgment entered against Imperial Pacific International LLC, a company that built casinos in the Northern Mariana Islands. Seven construction workers from China sued the company under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, alleging forced labor and human trafficking. The district court, after multiple warnings and opportunities to correct their discovery misconduct, issued a default judgment against Imperial Pacific International for a total of $5.9 million. As stated in the amicus brief, the case presents the question whether a company that is alleged to have long perpetrated and profited from the use of forced labor can thwart liability by engaging in bad-faith discovery misconduct.

Global Labor Justice – International Labor Rights Forum, the Human Trafficking Legal Center, and the Uyghur Human Rights Project submitted this amicus brief in support of the U.S. Government’s designation of a corporation, Changji Esquel, on the “Entity List” for its involvement in forced labor in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China. The amicus brief pressed the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to affirm the lower court’s denial of Changji Esquel’s motion for a preliminary injunction.

The Human Trafficking Legal Center and Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP submitted this brief to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals in support of a group of Cuban doctors alleging that they were forced to provide medical services in Brazil.

The Human Trafficking Legal Center and Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll LLP filed an amicus brief on behalf of twenty-one members of Congress in support of the plaintiffs who alleged they were trafficked as children into forced labor on cocoa farms in Côte d’Ivoire.

The Human Trafficking Legal Center, Tahirih Justice Center, Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking, Americans for Immigrant Justice, and ASISTA Immigration Assistance submitted this amicus brief to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in support of former immigrant detainees who alleged that CoreCivic, a private prison and detention company, coerced them into forced labor under threat of solitary confinement and other forms of serious harm.

The Human Trafficking Legal Center submitted this amicus brief to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in support of six Mexican veterinarians who alleged that Funk Dairy, Inc., an Idaho-based dairy, coerced them into forced labor under threat of deportation, paying them less than promised.

The Human Trafficking Legal Center, Tahirih Justice Center, ASISTA, Freedom Network USA, and Sanctuary for Families submitted this amicus brief to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in support of former immigrant detainees who alleged that GEO Group, a private prison and detention company, coerced them into forced labor under threat of solitary confinement, paying them $1.00 a day.

The Human Trafficking Legal Center, Freedom Network USA, Public Counsel, the Human Trafficking Clinic at the University of Arkansas School of Law, the Civil Litigation and Advocacy Clinic at the University of Arkansas School of Law, Professor Janie Chuang, and Professor David Abramowitz submitted this amicus brief to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in support of a group of Cambodian migrant workers alleging they were held in forced labor in Thai shrimp processing factories.

The Human Trafficking Legal Center, represented pro bono by Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP, submitted this brief to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in support of a domestic worker trafficked by a diplomat. The worker alleged that his diplomat employer held him in forced labor. [The domestic worker prevailed in the case. The court held the amicus brief moot after ruling on a narrow issue in the case.]