In line with our co-operative and democratic principles, our Human Rights and Trade Policy was launched in 2009 following a call from our members.

The Policy reflects our values of openness and honesty, and sets out our commitment to a consistent approach to human rights and trade issues.

Trade is a force for good, but in exceptional circumstances the benefits of trade may be undermined. Withdrawing trade is not a decision we take lightly, as we fully recognise that it may deprive people of an income when they are already suffering under oppression.

So, we will only withdraw trade from a state or region if at least one of the following conditions is met:

  1. Where the democratic representatives of a country call for a withdrawal of trade;
  2. Where there is international consensus that the status of a designated region or state is illegal; or
  3. Where there is strong evidence that trade is a contributory factor to a conflict.