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Middle East and North Africa

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Children’s Rights

Women’s Human Rights


The U.S.-Jordan Trade Pact

Another promising option can be found in the U.S.-Jordan Free Trade Agreement, concluded in October. Rather than uncritically endorsing national standards or relegating labor rights to a side accord, as does the North American Free Trade Agreement, the U.S.-Jordan accord incorporates core international labor rights standards in its body and insists that domestic laws uphold them. The parties explicitly recognize that "it is inappropriate to encourage trade by relaxing domestic labor laws" and vow not to do so. The agreement establishes consultative and adjudicative processes to address violations and allows unilateral sanctions in the event of breaches. But sanctions can be applied only if a violation of the accord "severely distorts the balance of trade benefits" or "substantially undermines the fundamental objectives" of the agreement -- both quite high bars. The agreement also precludes judicial remedies for breaches, leaving it exclusively to governments to challenge violations.


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Human Rights Watch World Report 2000

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  The Global Economy
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Human Rights Defenders


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