Should trade restriction be use to enforce human rights?

The imposition of trade restrictive measures on countries adhering to the World Trade Organization (WTO) for the protection of human rights has been subject of debate in the international arena . The decisions of the WTO Dispute Settlement Body (DSU) have also contributed to clarifying this matter but in the same way provided experts with further opportunities for analyzing the provisions stated in the trade agreements. Opponents and proponents of the rulings have been providing arguments and counter-arguments as to why international trade rules should take into consideration human rights issues. In the chapter, “Economic Globalization and Social Rights: The Role of the International Labor Organization and the WTO,” the author Claudio Di Turi examined this question while looking into the main trade provisions that govern this matter. As such, in accordance with the provisions in particular the Most Favored Nation Clause, products from a foreign country must be treated in a similar manner as domestic ones. Moreover, the National Treatment Clause stipulates that like products originating from a third country must be governed with the same regulations that are applicable to similar products coming from different states. The questions that arise in this respect is whether there is a possibility to consider human rights trade restrictive measures as a valid reason for discriminating between domestic and foreign products or like products originating from different countries where the human rights criteria could be used to justify such discrimination.The rulings of the panels and AB in the two Tuna cases and in US – Import Prohibition of Certain Shrimp and Shrimp Products (Shrimp/Turtle I) indicate that there is no possibility of discrimination between the products on the basis of these provisions in case human rights issues are involved. Despite the fact that the measures adopted by the US in these cases had human rights concerns as a reason of discrimination, it was decided that these provisions could not be interpreted as such in a manner that would allow discrimination on the basis of human rights matters as the factors chosen to decide whether there was a discrimination between the different products did not take into account the human right record of the country on which the discriminative measures were supposed to apply. Yet, it is important to point out to the fact that scholars are currently debating the possibility of using certain provisions of Article XX of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in order to justify trade discrimination on the basis of human rights concerns. Is it possible to apply the provisions aiming at the protection of public morals, life, or health as a means of derogation through which trade restrictive measures reflecting human rights concerns could be introduced?