Document Type

Amicus Brief

Publication Date


Case Name

Keo RATHA, et al., Petitioners, v. PHATTHANA SEAFOOD CO., LTD., et al., Respondents


Since Congress first enacted the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, it has expanded and strengthened it through successive reauthorizations. Congress has broadened the scope of the TVPRA in order to impose criminal and civil liability on individuals, corporations, and other legal persons who use, or knowingly benefit from ventures that use, forced labor, as well as those who aid and abet these practices. Through this legislation, Congress has bolstered efforts to hold traffickers accountable, opening the courthouse doors to victims of these egregious crimes.

The Ninth Circuit's decision below undermined the very statutory scheme Congress put in place to combat forced labor by restrictively interpreting due process requirements and finding respondents were beyond the reach of the statute. The court's decision not only misapplies the law of this Court and conflicts with other Courts of Appeals, but it seriously impairs the TVPRA and Congress's efforts to fight against human trafficking and forced labor. Because the court's decision is wrong and will significantly compromise the enforcement and intended purpose of the TVPRA, the following organizations respectfully submit this brief as amici curiae in support of petitioners.

Janie Chuang is a Professor of Law at American University Washington College of Law. Professor Chuang teaches and writes about issues relating to human trafficking, labor migration, and global governance.