Government’s Role

The Case for a New UK Facility on Responsible Trade

Submission, 16 January 2019

This submission responds to the Inquiry called by the Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) into whether the UK Parliament should set up a specific mechanism to scrutinise international agreements for compliance with human rights, and what processes should be followed to ensure adequate scrutiny of compliance with human rights standards in international agreements post-Brexit.

“International agreements” is a broad term that covers a wide range of activities – some of which have relevance to human rights, including rules governing international transport, tax policy, international investment and finance, and other issues as diverse as sports governance.

However given that the inquiry is prompted by the UK’s potential departure from the European Union, and given the JCHR’s interest in workers’ rights, including the right to be free from servitude and forced labour, and data privacy, this submission focuses on the following points:

  • trade agreements and human rights: the case for a new UK facility on responsible trade;
  • migrant workers and their rights, technology and data: specific considerations;
  • the need for parliamentary oversight.

Read the full submission here

Latest IHRB Publications

The Start of Modern Corporate Accountability Efforts - In Memory of Joel Filártiga

It is an unfortunate reality that when human rights defenders speak against their governments, they place themselves at risk of harm. Still, some choose to speak, and in doing so they change the course of history.

Dr Joel Filártiga was one such...

25 July 2019

Human Rights and the Built Environment - A Call for Action

Two-thirds of humanity are projected to live in urban areas by 2050. If we are to make progress in reducing global inequality and in meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals, a rights-based approach to the built environment is critical. 


Rights and Wrongs - Where Does the Buck Stop?

Last week, Bank of America announced that it would no longer lend to companies that run the controversial centres where the United States Government is detaining refugees and migrants who have entered the country without proper documentation  (such...