Levin College of Law
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Trade and Human Rights

Course Number: LAW 6936 Credits: 2

Although human rights law and trade law have developed well-established regimes through a series of negotiations on parallel tracks since WWII, there is increasing criticism from a variety of fronts that international trade rules are insensitive to basic human rights and that globalization has done little to alleviate the gap between rich and poor. Must trade and human rights regimes necessarily conflict? This seminar will explore the premises of the trade and human rights debate from the perspectives of both free trade advocates and human rights activists, with the purpose of imparting a better understanding if the rationales for both systems of law and the ways each is attempting to avoid a clash that could have profound impact on the protection of human rights and on the global market. Using actual examples from the 35 nations of the hemisphere, the seminar will examine in depth such human rights policies in the Americas as those involving conscripted child labor, sustainable development, health promotion, equality of women, trafficking, indigenous peoples, poverty, citizenship, and economic sanctions.