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Trade, investment, finance and human rights: assessment and strategy paper

The emergence of trade, finance and investment policy as priorities for those engaged in promoting the respect and defense of economic and social rights has to do with the increasing realization that, in the struggle to promote those rights, such policies cannot be ignored or abstracted as a separate field. The human rights paradigm as shaped by post-World War II developments which relies on the responsibility of state actors is complemented by economic aspects of globalization, e.g. the rise of international trade and financial flows across borders, deregulation, privatization and the reduction of the role of the state, culminating in an eroding capacity of states to take active measures required to respect, protect and fulfill human rights in their territorial jurisdiction. On the other hand, international organizations such as the World Trade Organization, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have increased their influence on the capacity of states to implement human rights obligations This paper seeks to fulfill several aims. Based on an overview of trends posed by the intersection of trade, investment and financial policies and human rights, the rich landscape of strategies and activities for human rights advocates will be presented. Before formulating some recommendations in the last chapter, the success stories and future trends, including opportunities and obstacles will be looked at.

Human rights; Economic and social rights; Globalization; Human rights advocacy

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