International Economic Law and Human Rights:  From Conflict to Cooperation?

The tortuous relationship between economics and human rights was already on the mind of participants in the Vienna Conference 30 years ago. Amongst others, the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action stressed the fulfillment of the right to development "so as to meet equitably the developmental and environmental needs of present and future generations" as well as the need to "help alleviate the external debt burden of developing countries". It is accordingly hardly surprising that the relationship between international human rights law and international economic law has captured the interest of both researchers and practitioners to an ever larger extent. Whether it is trade law, international investment law or international finance and monetary law: every area of international economic law affects the enjoyment and full realization of human rights. This conference proposed a stock-taking of the full breadth of the relationship between international economic law and international human rights law and inquired to what extent the relationship should no longer just be conceptualized as one of regime conflict, but whether human rights can be turned into a vehicle to resolve and addressed particularly problematic issues raised in the area of international economic law.

The conference was organised by the Diplomatische Akademie Wien - Vienna School of International Studies (DA) in cooperation with its partners, the Centre for International Governance and Dispute Resolution (CIGAD) at King's College London and the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, and held at the DA from 24-25 May 2024:

  • Welcome (24 May @ Festsaal)
  • Roundtable: Technology and Human Rights (24 May @ Festsaal)
  • Keynote Panel (24 May @ Festsaal)
  • Panel I: Trade and Human Rights (24 May @ Festsaal)
  • Panel II: Regimes and Their Interactions (24 May @ Human Rights Space)
  • Panel III: Business and Human Rights (24 May @ Festsaal)
  • Panel IV: Investment and Human Rights (25 May @ Festsaal)
  • Panel V: Finance and Human Rights (25 May @ Human Rights Space)
  • Concluding Plenary: Inequality and Development (25 May @ Festsaal)

Recordings of all sessions are available below.
To download the full official conference programme in PDF format, click here.

King's College London

Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs

Vienna +30


Int'l Economic Law and Human Rights

Panel I

Trade and Human Rights

Panel IV

Investment and Human Rights


Technology and Human Rights

Panel II

Regimes and Their Interactions

Panel V

Finance and Human Rights

Keynote Panel

Int'l Economic Law and Human Rights

Panel III

Business and Human Rights

Concluding Plenary

Inequality and Development

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