International, Regional, Subregional and Bilateral Free Trade Agreements


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There is a dense network of economic and financial agreements and treaties – inter­national, regional, sub-regional and bilateral – that have superseded the basic in­struments of international and regional human rights, including the right to a safe environment. Constitutions and national laws intended to promote harmonious na­tional development and political, economic, social, cultural and environmental hu­man rights have been subordinated to them.

This network, as a consequence of the implementation of “most favourable treatment”, “national treatment” and “most favoured nation” clauses that ap­pear in almost every treaty, works as an interconnecting system that allows neo-liberal policies to operate freely on a planetary scale and penetrate coun­tries where they result in the dismantling of national economies, provoking grave social harm.

All this involves the primacy of the interests of capital over the democratic and hu­man rights of peoples. Liberalization and privatization policies are coalescing into a legally binding system. And these policies are being made irreversible through in­ternational agreements.

Thus one is witnessing the creation of a sort of feudal-style corporative law, ad­vanced by a strong coercive system underpinning its implementation: fines, eco­nomic, diplomatic and military pressure and sanctions.


Webpage of the People’s Summit Alternatives III Declaration, Lima (May 2008)

STOP LAND GRABBING NOW! Say NO to the principles of “responsible” agro-enterprise investment promoted by the World Bank !, Joint Statement by La Vía Campesina, FIAN, Land Research Action Network and GRAIN (April 2010)

Annual Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health,Mr. Anand Grover, Human Rights Council A/HRC/11/12 (31 March 2009)

Human Rights and Bilateral Investment Treaties. Mapping the role of human rights law within investor-state arbitration, by Luke Eric Peterson, Ed. Rights and Democracy – International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development (2009)

Bolivia y el CIADI: crónica de un divorcio anunciado, Equipo de Análisis Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Cultos de Bolivia, only in Spanish (July 2010)

Trade and Development Report 2007, UNCTAD

32 organismes exigent plus de transparence et de consultation de la population concernant les négociations d’un accord de libre-échange Canada-Union européen, Press release from Attac Québec, only in French (6 August 2010)



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