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Contact: Kerwin Xavier


Tuesday 5 April 2011  In 2008, the European Partnership Agreement (EPA), was established  to govern the conduct of trade and services between CARICOM and the European Union.  Under the arrangement, six broad areas are negotiated including competition policy, innovation and intellectual property rights, social aspects which includes labour, personal data protection, the environment, and public procurement.


“The main commitments we have made revolve around reaffirming or recommitting ourselves to the International Labour Organization core standard,” CARICOM's  Private Sector Liaison in the Office of Trade Negotiation - Lincoln Price said. “Those standards include, the right to a decent work environment, prohibitions on the use of child labour, prison labour, and a number of elements.”  


According to Price,  although most of the CARICOM member states are signatories to the ILO's standards most states have challenges in fully implementing these standards.  


“The EPA is committing us to moving further in ratifying and fully implementing the ILO Standards, and providing us with some of the technical resources and assistance to do this. 


These standards are important for consumers in that it guarantees that the products and services we supply to Europe and we purchase from Europe, would have been produced under decent working conditions.”

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