FIDH Contribution to the public online consultation on the Sustainability Impact Assessment (SIA) Handbook of EU trade negotiations

International trade and investments can have both positive and negative impacts on human rights. Past experience has shown that, in the current state of affairs, international trade and investment rules have tended to undermine the protection and realisation of human rights. In the negotiation of such agreements, FIDH has consistently called for human rights to be fully integrated within the framework of trade and investment. The EU has an obligation to ensure that the trade agreements it implements are not harmful to human rights abroad. In order to do so, the EU should conduct HRIAs and take all necessary measures (including adapting or renouncing an agreement, or taking flanking measures) to prevent trade and investment agreements from impending upon the enjoyment of human rights in other countries.

In septembre 2014, FIDH issued a report "Building Trade’s consistency with human rights: 15 recommendations to the EU on impact assessments" calling for a reform of the impact assessments, new guidelines and improvements.

New guidelines have been drafted (DG Trade “Guidelines on the analysis of human rights impacts in impact assessment for trade-related policy initiatives” and a "Handbook for Trade Sustainability Impact Assessment"). As requested by FIDH and other NGOs,
civil society was consulted.

Below are the guidelines and the FIDH’s contribution to the public consultation.

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