Chapter 19: The European Union’s approach to social protection for workers in global value chains
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The WTO’s General Agreement on the Trade in Services (GATS) has been in force for nearly two decades; this chapter reviews developments that are relevant to social security. The first aspect concerns GATS negotiations and evidence from cases taken through the disputes resolution process. A second major aspect is the growth of free trade agreements between members of the WTO in which social security and social protection are occasionally treated. The new generation of trade agreements of the EU with third countries are a good example. The larger question addressed by this paper is to whether international trade in services agreements are consistent with the universal right to social security as set out by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, as well as by the Sustainable Development Goal 3 of social security systems for everyone, everywhere.

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