Past eventCorporate MembersNominees Breakfast BriefingPartners and Major Corporates

Sovereignty, Trade and Human Rights

24 November 2016 - 8:00am to 9:15am

Chatham House, London


Dr Jennifer Zerk, Associate Fellow, International Law Programme, Chatham House



What does sovereignty mean in a globalized world?  The UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, has said the UK should be “a country that works for everyone” and “a global leader in free trade”.  But are these competing or complementary goals?  What trade-offs exist between “taking back control” and cooperation to further international trade?  And if trade-offs are necessary, where should lines be drawn?

The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights provide guidance for states through this complex terrain. However, in this event, the speaker will argue that there is little evidence so far that states are putting these principles into practice.  As the UK government begins to develop its post-Brexit trade strategy, and as trade continues to feature prominently in US political discourse, the speaker will consider how proper representation and protections can be ensured for those “left behind by globalization”. In other words, what does a human rights-respecting trade deal look like?  

To enable as open a debate as possible, this event will be held under the Chatham House Rule.

This event is only open to Major Corporate Member and Partner organizations of Chatham House. If you would like to register your interest, please RSVP to Linda Bedford. We will contact you to confirm your attendance.