Article discusses if consumer concerns can justify trade restrictions to prevent co's importing good made from child labour

Author: Aleydis Nissen, Utrecht Law Review, Published on: 5 July 2018

"Can WTO Member States Rely on Citizen Concerns to Prevent Corporations from Importing Goods Made from Child Labour?", 15 June 2018

Import restrictions may appear an attractive solution for states which are increasingly expected (or obliged) to rein in ‘home’ corporations in their jurisdiction when they violate children rights in third states. Such measures allow states to create an artificial level playing field which enforces the same child labour standards across both national and foreign corporations that operate in its market...

The issue [...] is, however, contested... The debate has focused on [...] the effectiveness of such measures and the question whether the comparative advantage of developing and emerging states in the global marketplace is influenced. The separate development of international labour standards in the ILO and trade regulation in the WTO is symptomatic of this debate...

They have, however, largely overlooked the role of the attitude-behaviour gap – the behavioural phenomenon of people’s actions not correlating with their attitudes... Without an assessment..., it is not possible to determine whether citizen concerns that are not reflected in consumption decisions might justify import restrictions under the WTO regime. This essay [...] undertakes to investigate whether and to what extent the attitude-behaviour gap is taken into account...

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