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Human Rights and Capitalism

A Multidisciplinary Perspective on Globalisation

Edited by Janet Dine and Andrew Fagan

Human Rights and Capitalism brings together two important facets of the globalisation debate and examines the complex relationship between human rights, property rights and capitalist economies.
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Chapter 10: Time for a Change: Reforming WTO Trading Rules to Take Account of Reparations

Fernne Brennan


* Fernne Brennan INTRODUCTION The vision of a world of equals outlined in the policy documents of the World Conference against Racism and Xenophobia, where racism is to be combated by effective reparations,1 will not materialise without a fundamental change in the application of the international trading rules of the World Trade Organisation which impact on the lives of people in developing countries such as Guyana as they struggle to trade in the international markets for sugar, rice and bananas. It is argued that the rules and the management of them currently operate to the disadvantage of the poor in developing countries.2 The poor of these economies represent one of the targets of concern for the World Conference Against Racism (2001) (WCAR),3 and goals for action of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action.4 The latter recommended that Africans and people of African descent as victims of this slave trade5 and the subsequent periods of colonialism and post-colonialism currently suffer from contemporary forms of racism and racial discrimination6 and should be proper subjects for reparations from the West.7 The conference acknowledged that the Transatlantic Slave Trade was a human tragedy, a crime against humanity and a major source of current racism,8 racial discrimination, xenophobia9 and intolerance.10 Advocates of reparations such as the representative of Trinidad and Tobago contend that the World Conference ‘should call upon those States that have practised, benefited or enriched themselves from slavery, the Transatlantic Slave Trade and indenture ships to provide reparations to...

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