Mr. Speaker, China is now in the process of applying for membership in the World Trade Organization, an application which the Liberal government supports in spite of China's appalling record on human rights and labour rights.
The WTO does not have any rules regarding labour rights, despite the efforts of the NDP working alongside many labour movements, social democratic parties and others around the world. To join, China must therefore prove it will respect foreign investors' intellectual property rights but not the rights of many child labourers, prison labourers and conscript labourers who suffer in China's unregulated labour market.
Trade will improve human rights in countries like China if and only if international trade rules offer the same protection for the human rights of citizens and workers as they do for the rights of investors.
I call on the government to take the lead internationally in making China's membership in the WTO conditional on the respect for basic labour rights.