Coordinating Trade Policy and Human Rights

With the Transpacific Partnership (TPP) currently under review and free trade agreements in discussion with several economies in Asia, the question of linking human rights with trade policy looms large.

In order to facilitate informed policy discussion on this important issue, UBC’s Asia Pacific Dispute Resolution (APDR) project hosted a Policy Roundtable in Vancouver April 20, 2016 in collaboration with the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada. Other roundtables were held in Toronto and Ottawa in May.

The roundtables provided an opportunity to present and discuss five forthcoming Thematic Volumes examining coordination of trade policy with human rights issues of (a) development; (b) public health; (c) labor relations; (d) poverty and inequality; and (e) government accountability.

The Roundtables provided opportunities for feedback and discussion with stakeholders in the Asia-Pacific community (Vancouver); the business community (Toronto); and the policy community (Ottawa) on the results of a seven-year policy research program on coordinating trade policy and human rights.

Following presentations on the five Thematic Volumes, participants discussed policy implications and proposals for developing more effective approaches to integrating trade and human rights. The Roundtables generated multiple policy recommendations on issues such as standard setting; monitoring and enforcement, expanding the role of women in trade policy and practice, and linking trade treaties with human rights protection. 

Contact Information:

Inquiries concerning these events may be directed to Dr. Pitman B. Potter, Project Director, UBC Allard School of Law ( and to the  Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada (