The recent signing of the EU-China Investment Agreement has reignited arguments about trade and human rights. While many trade agreements envisage human rights monitoring in some shape or form, the monitoring systems that have emerged so far are not especially coherent, systematic or impactful.
Are the human rights commitments in trade agreements more than just window-dressing? If so, what kind of monitoring is needed to ensure they are lived up to?
At this panel event, which marks the launch of a new Chatham House research paper, participants explore the arguments in favour of more robust human rights monitoring systems and why effective monitoring mechanisms have proved so difficult to get up and running in this context.
- What factors are presently holding governments back, and where is innovation and investment most needed?
- What are the political, economic and structural conditions for fair and effective human rights monitoring of trade agreements?
- Is human rights monitoring best done unilaterally – or should more effort be put into developing joint approaches?
- What role might human rights monitoring have to play in governments’ strategies to ‘build back better’ from the COVID-19 pandemic?
Derk Bienen, Managing Partner, BKP Economic Advisors
Vitor Ido, Program Officer, South Centre
Radboud Reijn, Coordinator, GSP Platform
Jennifer Zerk, Associate Fellow, International Law Programme, Chatham House
Chair: Mattia Di Ubaldo, Research Fellow, University of Sussex Business School; Fellow, UK Trade Policy Observatory