Joint Committee on Human Rights

Human Rights Protections in International Agreements inquiry

Inquiry status: open

Report in preparation.

Scope of the inquiry

International Agreements contain increasingly important provisions in a modern, globalised world and can have significant impacts on a huge variety of areas. 

Deals done in such agreements can impact on the human rights of those living in the UK and also the human rights of those living overseas.  This could involve justice or home affairs treaties, such as mutual legal cooperation or extradition treaties, or trade deals allowing businesses special access to markets or the export of goods that could be used in human rights violations.

All of these agreements have the potential to impact human rights, such as the rights of workers, the right to be free from servitude and forced labour, and the right to privacy of data as it passes across borders.
The JCHR is embarking on a short inquiry into whether parliament should set up a specific mechanism to scrutinise international agreements for compliance with human rights post-Brexit and what processes should be followed to ensure adequate scrutiny of compliance with human rights standards in international agreements.

Terms of reference

Latest evidence

  • 23 Jan 2019 - Human rights protections in international agreements - oral evidence | PDF version (PDF257 KB) Published 28 Jan 2019

    Evidence given by Dr Lorand Bartels, Reader in International Law and Fellow, Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge, Sam Fowles, Barrister, Cornerstone Barristers, and James Harrison, Associate Professor, University of Warwick; Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State for the Commonwealth and UN, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and Richard Jones, Deputy Director, Human Rights and Democracy Department, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (at 4.15pm).

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