Ecuador Courts to Rule on Historic Exploitation Cases Involving Agricultural Workers and Japanese Company Furukawa


Ecuador is poised for landmark court rulings on historic cases of exploitation involving agricultural workers who allege decades of abuse on plantations. These workers, producing plant fiber for the Japanese company Furukawa, accuse the company of negligence, lack of safe working conditions, healthcare, and clean drinking water, alongside claims of child labor and modern slavery. The Ecuadorian government has testified against Furukawa, highlighting the severity of the accusations. The upcoming decisions could set precedents for accountability and workers’ rights in Ecuador.
  • Workers allege decades of abuse on plantations producing plant fiber for Furukawa, a Japanese company.
  • Accusations include negligence, unsafe working conditions, lack of healthcare and clean drinking water, child labor, and modern slavery.
  • Ecuador’s government has testified against Furukawa, supporting the workers’ claims.
  • The cases could lead to criminal sanctions and reparations for the affected workers.
  • More than 80% of the workers live in extreme poverty.
  • Furukawa’s current manager claims workers had social security and medical care, attributing responsibility to local contractors until 2018.
  • The Constitutional Court and penal court’s decisions could set out responsibility and accountability for workers’ rights in Ecuador.
  • Global issue of forced labor discussed, with the ILO estimating 28 million men, women, and children experiencing forced labor worldwide.
  • Victims demand justice and reparations, including land and economic compensation.
  • UN working group on business and human rights emphasizes the importance of clarifying companies’ responsibilities towards human rights.

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