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Bridging Trade, Investment, Finance and Human Rights

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ESCR-Net hosted the first international workshop on economic, social and cultural rights called "Bridging Trade, Investment, Finance and Human Rights: Pilot Project on the Agricultural Sector" in Bangkok, from 26-30 January 2009.

The five-day workshop focused on human rights and economic policies, with particular emphasis on the agricultural sector. Fifteen participants from Latin America, Africa, North America and Asia have come together to discuss strategies to include human rights in international trade in farming and food production.
The group will develop an agenda for human rights engagement with international trade bodies, financial institutions and governments.
A human rights based approach to economic policy insists that governments and other relevant international institutions (many of which are created and/or made up by duty-bearing governments) make their economic policy concerns, decisions and agreements consistent with their human rights obligations.
When a conflict arises, the duty of a state to respect, protect, and fulfill human rights is paramount and must outweigh other trade, investment or finance commitments.

The outcome of the workshop includes developing a training module for a model workshop on ESC rights, specifically based on trade, investment, finance and human rights; how to define the linkages from a human rights framework, and how to conduct advocacy on the related issues.

ESCR-Net is a collaborative initiative of groups and individuals from around the world that seeks to strengthen economic, social and cultural rights by mutual learning, strategy sharing, developing new tools and resources, engaging in advocacy and networking, while providing information on the issue. FORUM-ASIA is a member of ESCR-Net.