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28.4.2015 : 17:53 : +0200
HRIA Case Study: Human rights and trade in the Pacific: A paper on designing a Human Rights Impact Assessment for PACER-Plus

Author(s): Wesley Morgan, Roshni Sami, Claire Rowland and David Legge

Publisher: 2010, International Women's Development Agency inc. (IWDA), La Trobe University, University of Melbourne

Australia, New Zealand and 13 Pacific Island countries are negotiating a new regional trade agreement called PACER-Plus. That agreement could radically affect the lives of Pacific Islanders and is likely to reshape relations with Australia's island neighbours for decades to come.

This scoping study explores the potential impact of new trade rules on the realisation of human rights in the Pacific, and details options for a Human Rights Impact Assessment for PACER-Plus. Such an assessment could help to mitigate potential negative impacts of PACER-Plus and enhance positive ones.

Currently there is a lack of coherence between international trade law on the one hand (as embodied by bilateral and multilateral trade agreements) and international human rights law on the other. In recent years, there have been growing calls worldwide for Human Rights Impact Assessments (HRIAs) to be undertaken in relation to new trade agreements, with the goal of improving trade governance and ensuring that human rights are protected.

The scoping study will provide a platform for further research in relation to human rights and trade in the Pacific island countries.  Specifically, it is hoped that this project will provide the basis for a more comprehensive Human Rights Impact Assessment to be undertaken for PACER-Plus.

For more background information about this study click here.

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English PDF document Human rights and trade in the Pacific: A scoping study on designing a Human Rights Impact Assessment for PACER-Plus