International Trade and Human Rights: An Unfinished Debate

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Abadir M. Ibrahim
St. Thomas University – School of Law

January 18, 2013
14 German Law Journal 321 (2013)


Since the nexus between the regimes of human rights and international trade has been established, most of the views expressed on this subject are at extreme variance. On one side you have scholars who argue that the nexus between international trade and human rights is a positive one, and on the other side, you have scholars who argue that international trade can only be bad for human rights. Taken to their logical extremes, these arguments would either end up recommending that international trade be encouraged or restricted for the sake of human rights.

This article expounds a view that global trade and human rights are neither inherently in harmony nor inherently at odds. Since both fields are bound to co-occur in the future, the focus should be on finding ways to reduce collisions and frictions rather than assuming that they do not conflict or that they cannot coexist.

Source and download: Social Science Research Network


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