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

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