TED Conversations

Sherry Mattice

Canadian Federation of University Women

This conversation is closed.

Should governments consider human rights when granting preferential trading agreements to countries?

Many governments overlook human rights in trading agreements particularly the Preferential Trading Agreements.
Are there ways to enforce human rights in PTAs?


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Oct 19 2012: Absolutely. Governments should consider human rights when forming trade agreements.
    Blunt force measures of "persuading" countries to show greater respect toward human rights have proven ineffective and often counter-productive. BUT, we cannot pretend that our moral obligations end at our borders when trading when with these nations enables such abuses. However, monetary gain is a powerful persuader. If we make it economically wise to respect human rights, then change will follow and (theoretically) everyone benefits.
    Admittedly, this is a very general argument to a question which does not have a simple answer. The nature of the human rights violations and the effect of granting/withholding trade agreements with that nation must be taken into account. The point is we must stop to ask ourselves "would this agreement enable these abuses to continue?" and "would withholding this agreement likely have any effect for the better (long-term)?"

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.