The Alien Tort Claims Act and the Torture Victim Protection Act: Important Tools in the Fight Against Impunity

Abstract

Background paper defending two important statutes used to prosecute crimes of international law in courts of the United States. The first is the Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA), under which foreign national workers may sue U.S.-based multinational corporations if they have been complicit in violating their rights. The second is the Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA), which allows U.S. or foreign nationals to bring an action against a person who, acting under "actual or apparent authority or color of law, of any foreign nation," subjects an individual to torture or extrajudicial killing.