Briefing Note on Trade and Investment


This briefing note outlines the implications of trade and investment liberalisation for the enjoyment of human rights and social and economic equality. It considers the policies implemented through the World Trade Organisation (WTO), as well as through free trade agreements concluded outside of the WTO (including consideration of intellectual property rights provisions, trade in services, and investor-state dispute settlement). Finally, the impact of trade liberalisation on the right to work and workers’ rights is considered.

Also included is a selection of resources that are helpful for understanding the human rights impacts of trade and investment liberalisation as well as the broader political and economic context.

This briefing note was originally developed in August 2016, following a mapping of ESCR-Net members focused on economic policy and human rights in 2015-2016 and reflects one of the key themes identified by members for further analysis and potential collective action. 

View the complete paper here.

Developed thanks to the collective work of ESCR-Net Members
Working Group(s):