Free Trade Agreements And Human Rights

In the wake of corporate abuses and crimes and the increase in corporate power, a central question is now being debated: should companies have human rights obligations or not? As a result of these two developments – the rise of corporate power and the increase in human rights violations – there have been strong calls for alternative approaches to development that balance the well-being of individuals with the interests of businesses. Ecuador`s draft articulates the first elements of a legally binding instrument for NTCs, but frames it as a regulation of TNC operations in international human rights law. While many see the publication of the project as an important first step, some of the project`s weaknesses have been identified by proponents of the treaty, particularly on the general issue of direct obligations for the NSTs. The campaign for a legally binding treaty on NTDs and human rights, for example, advanced the following text to recognize the superiority of human rights over trade and investment agreements and to recognize corporate legal responsibility for human rights violations. The 1990s and 2000s are considered the era of corporate globalization. This is the moment when we have seen the most aggressive advance towards the free trade and investment agenda, deregulation and privatization. The creation of the World Trade Organization in 1995 was heralded as the jewel in the crown of this global multilateral trading order. The World Bank, on the other hand, would be used to improve countries` trade capacity by making money available to war-torn and devastated countries for reconstruction and development projects. [3] Post-war institutions – the United Nations and the Bretton Woods institutions – undoubtedly established broad architectures of global governance over the years, with a multitude of strategies, agreements and conventions, and a number of implementation and compliance mechanisms. As parties to these international agreements, States have taken on the responsibility of respecting, protecting and respecting human rights. Since then, the WTO`s leadership has been to continue undermining the development agenda in order to conclude more ambitious agreements, with higher standards and commitments on liberalization and deregulation.

The G77 declaration highlighted significant imbalances between rights and commitments under the WTO; And he called for the opening of an agenda to remedy imbalances and strengthen the dimensions of trade development. [12] Thus, the new round was presented as a development cycle that purported to “improve the trade prospects of developing countries”. [13] We know these brands and we know the power that these companies have. These 25 groups are more powerful than many countries. They control much of the world economy and exert great influence on economic policy, from trade policy to taxation, and their activities around the world have a huge social, environmental and cultural impact. In this declaration, States also recognized that the denial of human rights was an obstacle to development.

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