Seminar on International Trade Law
International Trade and Human Rights
Part I. What are Human Rights? What are basic international trade rules? (Three sessions)
• Human Rights instruments; Nature; Contents and functions; Categories
• Some specific human rights which are more closely related to trade (the right to food, the right to health, core labor standards…)
• Is International Economic Justice part of Human Rights requirements?
• Trade and Human Rights Regimes – Conflict or Coherence
Part II. Direct, Indirect or Inherent Linkages between Trade and Human Rights (Three Sessions)
• Freer trade deteriorating the economic situation of disadvantageous countries or helping them? Are there mechanisms under multilateral or regional trading system to help such countries and to alleviate the situation?
• Freer trade deteriorating the economic situation of vulnerable groups of people or helping them? Are there mechanisms under multilateral or regional trading system to help such vulnerable people and to alleviate the situation?
• Food Security under WTO
• Democratic decision making of trade policies
Part III. Certain WTO Principles and Human Rights Implication (Two Sessions)
• MFN and Human Rights Implications
• NT and Human Rights Implications
• Transparency, Due Process and Human Rights Implications
• Reciprocity and Human Rights Implications
Part IV Incorporating Human Rights Components in WTO and Regional Trade Rules (Three Sessions)
• Incorporating Human Rights Components into WTO through treaty interpretation or application?
– To what extent human rights treaties can be “applied” or “taken into account” when interpreting WTO agreements?
– Example: GATT Article XX (“Public Moral”)
• WTO Dispute Settlement Mechanism being used for Human Rights Claims?
• Incorporating Human Rights Components into WTO through creating Separate Mechanism
– “Unfair trade practices” to include violation of labor standard?
– More broadly, whether and how to include human rights as criterion of fair trade?
• Including Human Rights Chapter in FTAs: What are contents and how does it work?
Part V. WTO and Trade Interests as Tools to Enhance Human Rights in Other Countries (Three Sessions)
• Trade Liberalization as a tool to enhance human rights protection?
• GSP as a tool to enhance Human Rights protection? What are restrictions?
– But: In EC — Conditions for the Granting of Tariff Preferences to Developing Countries
• Trade sanctions against Human Rights violations?
– Justified under GATT XX or XXI?
• FTA as a tool to enhance Human Rights protection?
Part VI. TRIPS and Human Rights (Two Sessions)
• Implication of IP protection for Human Rights
– IP gives economic incentives to engage in innovations.
• More new medicines or medical instruments could better treat diseases and patients will be taken care of in a better manner.
• Patient’s right to health could thus be more effectively protected.
– Exclusive rights give right holders position to increase their prices up to a very high level. This could lead to adverse situation for patients to have access to needed medicines and medical devices.
• TRIPS’s balances between the protection of innovation and the public interests, including right to health.
• The flexibilities available under TRIPS are useful for balancing the economic interests of innovators and the protection of human rights concerning people’s access to affordable medicines.
• Examples of flexibilities:
– Parallel importation of genuine medicines
– Allowing compulsory licensing.