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Civil Litigation as a Tool to Combat Forced Labor in Global Supply Chains

March 26 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Sponsored by the Human Rights & Business Association (HuB) and The Human Trafficking Institute.

Cocoa, cotton, extractive mining, fishing, construction – these industries, among others, are known to have supply chains tainted with forced labor, from which multinational corporations financially benefit. However, it has proven challenging to obtain justice for foreign victims of forced labor, especially following the series of U.S. Supreme Court rulings narrowly interpreting the Alien Tort Statute. Please join us for a discussion with leading experts to assess the potential of bringing civil lawsuits under the Trafficking Victim Protection Reauthorization Act (“TVPRA”) to combat labor trafficking and exploitation in global supply chains and advance corporate accountability. Brief introductions will be followed by a Q&A. Please register at the link below.

Guest Speakers

  • Agnieszka Fryszman is a Partner at Cohen Milstein and Chair of the firm’s Human Rights practice. She has been recognized as leading one of the best private international human rights practices in the world. Ms. Fryszman represents individuals who have been victims of torture, human trafficking, forced and slave labor and other violations of international law. She regularly litigates cases against corporate giants. Ms. Fryszman was a member of the legal team that successfully represented survivors of Nazi-era forced and slave labor against the German and Austrian companies that allegedly profited from their labor. She also earned the National Law Journal Pro Bono Award for efforts on behalf of Nepali laborers injured or killed at U.S. military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan, and she filed and settled the first successfully resolved case of fishing boat slavery in the world.
  • Aaron Halegua is the Founding Member of Aaron Halegua, PLLC and a research fellow at both NYU Law School’s Center for Labor and Employment Law and U.S.-Asia Law Institute. Mr. Halegua recently assisted over 2,400 Chinese construction workers trafficked to Saipan to recover $14 million in backpay, and he is currently litigating a case in a U.S. federal court to recover compensation for trafficked workers injured on that project. Mr. Halegua has also consulted for Apple, Asia Society, International Labor Rights Forum, Ford Foundation, Service Employees International Union, International Labor Organization, and Brown University on labor issues in China, Thailand, Myanmar and Mexico. Mr. Halegua has an A.B. from Brown University and J.D. from Harvard Law School. He was a Fulbright Scholar at Peking University Law School after college. He speaks, reads and writes Mandarin Chinese.
  • Martina E. Vandenberg is the founder and president of The Human Trafficking Legal Center, an organization dedicated to providing pro bono counsel to trafficking survivors. Vandenberg has spent more than two decades fighting human trafficking, forced labor, rape as a war crime, and violence against women. Vandenberg has represented victims of human trafficking pro bono in immigration, criminal, and civil cases. She has trained more than 4,000 pro bono attorneys nationwide to handle human trafficking matters. Prior to founding the Human Trafficking Legal Center, Vandenberg was a partner in the law firm of Jenner & Block, where her practice focused on internal investigations related to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the False Claims Act, First Amendment litigation, and pro bono human trafficking cases. A former Human Rights Watch researcher, Vandenberg spearheaded investigations into human rights violations in the Russian Federation, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Uzbekistan, Kosovo, Israel, and Ukraine.


March 26
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Event Category:
Student Orgs Events




Human Rights and Business (HuB) Students Association