Terry Collingsworth

Terry Collingsworth

Terry Collingsworth is the founder and Executive Director of the International Rights Advocates. He has been practicing law in the United States for over 35 years, and for the last 25, has specialized in international human rights litigation. He has worked all over the world, from India and West Africa to most countries in South America, addressing a wide range of human rights issues. Follow him on Twitter at @tpcollingsworth.

He has recently focused on cases preventing multinational companies from violating the human rights of children who are forced by poverty and other factors to work in global supply chains. A representative case is John Doe 1 et al. v. Nestle, SA and Cargill, Case No. CV 05-5133-SVW (C.D. CA) a pending class action with six representative Plaintiffs who were trafficked from Mali when they were children and forced to perform hazardous work harvesting cocoa in Cote D’Ivoire on plantations that supply to Nestle, Cargill and other large cocoa companies.

Recently, Collingsworth filed a class action in U.S. federal court in the District of Columbia (Case No. CV 1:19-cv-03737) on behalf of 14 Doe Plaintiffs who are either guardians of children killed in tunnel or wall collapses while mining cobalt in the Democratic Republic of Congo (“DRC”) or children who were maimed in such  accidents. The suit names Apple, Alphabet (Google), Dell, Microsoft, and Tesla as Defendants. The suit alleges these companies in particular aided and abetted the mines that abused and profited from forcing the Doe Plaintiffs and other children to mine cobalt under dangerous conditions that led to their deaths or serious, crippling injuries. Rather than deny the facts of the horrific conditions facing child cobalt miners in the DRC, the Defendant companies issued statements claiming they have “policies” against child labor. This case was filed in December 2019 and has the potential to establish supply chain liability when companies are knowingly benefiting from deaths and serious injuries to child workers.

Collingsworth attended Duke University School of Law and has taught at numerous law schools in the United States.