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  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online publication date: June 2020

12 - Human Rights Impact Assessment: Trade Agreements and Indigenous Rights

from Part II - Building a More Equitable and Inclusive Free Trade Agreement


Finally, in Chapter 12, Caroline Dommen concludes our discussion by addressing how human rights impact assessments can contribute to ensuring that Indigenous rights are upheld in international trade agreements. She considers how explicit reference to the rights of Indigenous peoples, including the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, may improve human rights impact assessments as well as trade agreements, from both legal and policy perspectives. There is now a substantial body of impact assessments of actual or likely impacts of trade and investment agreements on human rights, including on the rights of Indigenous peoples. Her chapter describes the role and the objectives of impact assessment, explaining the particular advantages of human rights-based impact assessment. It draws on recommendations of UN human rights mechanisms and analysis of completed impact assessments of trade agreements to present some of the main principles of human rights law that are relevant in the trade policy context, and how these impose legal obligations on states to carry out human rights impact assessments prior to adopting new trade agreements.

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