In their book, Corporate Predators: The Hunt For Mega-Profits and The Attack on Democracy, Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman expose the pervasiveness of rights violations committed by corporations both domestically and abroad. However, while the authors alert their readers to and educate them about the dangers of globalization, they fail to provide many clear solutions. Fortunately, evidence suggests that the United States judicial system is already being used to pursue corporate accountability in the global marketplace. The Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA), adopted by the first Congress in the Judiciary Act of 1789, provides foreigners who suffer human rights injuries outside the United States a federal forum through which to pursue their claim. Recently, decisions have extended the ATCA's jurisdiction into the realm of labor rights as well. Through an analysis of the ATCA's case law, the current lawsuit filed against eighteen United States clothing designers and manufacturers for labor violations in Saipan factories can be better examined. In turn, this analysis will show how the ATCA, while not yet a panacea for the ills of the global economy, has become an increasingly powerful tool in promoting corporate accountability abroad.
Douglas S. Morrin,
People Before Profits: Pursuing Corporate Accountability for Labor Rights Violations Abroad Through the Alien Tort Claims Act,
B.C. Third World L.J.