UN experts voice concern over adverse impact of free trade & investment agreements on human rights

Author: UN experts (see full list below), Published on: 2 June 2015

A number of free trade and investment agreements, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), are currently being negotiated. A group of UN experts* have issued the following statement to express concern about the secret nature of drawing up and negotiating many of these agreements and the potential adverse impact of these agreements on human rights...Our concerns relate to the rights to life, food, water and sanitation, health, housing, education, science and culture, improved labour standards, an independent judiciary, a clean environment and the right not to be subjected to forced resettlement...As also underlined in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, States must ensure that trade and investment agreements do not constrain their ability to meet their human rights obligations...

The experts:

  • Mr Alfred de Zayas, Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order
  • Ms Catalina Devandas Aguilar, Special Rapporteur on the rights of person with disabilities
  • Mr Dainus Puras, Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health
  • Ms Farida Shaheed, Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights
  • Ms Gabriella Knaul, Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers
  • Ms Hilal Helver, Special Rapporteur on the right to food
  • Mr Juan Bohoslavsky, Independent Expert on the effects of foreign debts and other related international financial obligations of States on the full enjoyment of all human rights, particularly economic, social and cultural rights
  • Mr Léo Heller, Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drink water and sanitation
  • Ms Victoria Lucia Tauli-Corpuz, Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples
  • Ms Virginia Dandan, Independent Expert on human rights and international solidarity

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