Human Rights Essay

919 words - 4 pages

In my opinion, the best answer is neutral. The reason for a neutral answer is “although everyone has a general idea of what human rights are, the exact definition differs per country, culture and background. Worldwide, one agrees, for example, that the right not to be tortured is a human right. The relationship between human rights law and international trade law has been a point of discussion for many years” (Noorhoek, 2010).

Thus, “Canada and the United States focus on specific human rights, embed these provisions in the body of the trade agreement, and often make them binding. These approaches have become more similar over time, but they remain distinct” (Chauffour and Maur, 2013).
In addition, “although growing numbers of countries include or accept human rights provisions, the trend has limits. Many policy makers in middle-income countries and in the developing world are reluctant to use trade policies to change the behavior of other countries. As countries grow richer and more influential, however, these policy makers may become more willing to accept or to demand human rights provisions. Nevertheless, some industrial countries, such as Australia, that have strong human rights records have refused to include human rights requirements in trade agreements. Other nations, such as China, have accepted such provisions” (Chauffour and Maur, 2013).

Moreover, “developing countries must devote scarce resources to human rights, perhaps before they have the national income or will to do so. If human rights provisions are carefully designed, they can focus on improving governance (the supply side), as well as on empowering people to demand their rights” (Chauffour and Maur, 2013).

Nevertheless, “if these rights provisions are to be workable and lasting, policy makers will need to understand their effects on trade and governance. Policy makers, scholars, and activists should use human rights impact assessments, as well as widely accepted datasets, to gain greater understanding of how to make the match between trade and human rights effective and enduring” (Chauffour and Maur, 2013).

According to Schefer (2007), when it “comes to international trade, both preferential trade agreements and trade sanction can have a direct influence on human rights. Whereas trade sanctions stop or severely limit the amount of trade between two countries, preferential trade agreements grant certain trade privileges to a particular country, such as very low import taxes. Although the potential effects of trade sanctions on human rights in the sanctioned country are somewhat obvious, the effects of preferential trade agreements can have many of the same negative effects as sanctions, but in a more obscure manner. For example, a situation involving three countries; A, B, and C. Country A is a wealthy developed country that has decided to give Country B, a developing country with high human rights standards, preferential trade rights in the...

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