Scholars and policymakers have long believed that the interdependence encouraged by trade relations encourages trust and peaceful relations. In this article, we examine the role of the GATT/WTO (and the trade it supposedly encourages) in conflict zones. Although the WTO is built on the notion that trade stimulates peace, policymakers really don’t know how more or less trade affects the human rights conditions of citizens living in zones of conflict. Policymakers often try to reduce trade in such zones in the hopes that sanctioning trade will reduce conflict. Yet, at other times, policymakers try to encourage trade in conflict zones. We show that policymakers have used several avenues under the WTO to discuss and address human rights in member states experiencing conflict or in post-conflict recovery. We then focus on how policymakers can achieve greater coherence among trade and human rights policies in conflict zones
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