The High Commissioner for Human Rights also referred to how human rights can be applied in the business context. The 2002 Trade in Services Report indicates, for example, that the human rights approach to assessing the liberalization of trade in services introduces an evaluation methodology that encourages the participation and consultation of those affected by liberalization – the poor, persons dependent on public services, small enterprises, industrial groups and ministries of social affairs. trade and finance. The report adds that a human rights assessment approach emphasizes transparency and accountability, so that the results of trade assessments and negotiation processes are publicly available.24 Indeed, bilateral trade negotiations are almost always negotiated outside of public opinion and often progress so quickly for civil society groups – and sometimes even for others. Government departments such as trade or commerce. he high-level political negotiator – impossible to comment on this. They bring their expertise to the negotiations on certain subjects. An example is in Thailand. According to the Thai group FTA Watch, during negotiations between Thailand and the United States for a bilateral trade agreement, the United States asked the Thai government to declare its oral readiness to keep the negotiation process secret.1 The Thai government signed a new trade agreement (with Australia) without the participation of Parliament and without revealing to the public the content of the agreement until the pact was concluded. And then only in English. Human rights defenders can continue to demonstrate the positive role they can play by participating in the development and formulation of trade policy at the national level.
In some countries, coalitions of civil society groups are already involved in the formulation of trade policies, but, in addition to trade unions, human rights groups rarely participate. The participation of human rights groups in these processes would not only broaden the range of actors represented, but also improve human rights defenders` understanding of trade issues. When human rights were recognized, the dominant power was the State with regard to the individual and the citizen. Over time, the approach has been modified by the fact that the State should have a positive obligation to use its power to protect the human rights of individuals, citizens and communities. 13. For a more detailed discussion of the impact of services liberalization rules on human rights, see 3D &Forum-Asia, „Practical Guide to the WTO for Human Rights Advocates“ (2004). Available from www.3dthree.org/en/complement.php?IDcomplement=36. Last accessed September 7, 2005.
A recent WTO Appellate Body ruling raised important questions in this regard: the US gambling case14 Antigua and Barbuda challenged the US ban on internet gambling for the World Trade Organisation dispute settlement system and declared it a violation of obligations under the US General Agreement on Trade in Services. The WTO Appellate Body has decided that, in the case of Internet gambling, the US ban will be excused by the „public morality“ exception in the GATS, which allows countries to derogate from the provisions of the agreement. Human rights defenders may be encouraged that this decision allow other countries to depart in the future from the obligations under the General Agreement on Trade in Services in order to maintain the public interest objectives recognized by the GATS.15 Some human rights defenders call for the abolition of the World Trade Organization as a solution to a trade policy that is consistent with human rights. Others call for the words „human rights“ to be included in WTO or other trade agreements. This section argues that these requirements are erroneous and that the best way to ensure that trade and trade rules promote human rights is to broaden the World Trade Organization`s human rights policy to incorporate human rights concerns about non-discrimination, oversight, democratic participation and accountability at every stage of the trade policy development and implementation process. . . .