Canadian Council for International Co-operation

The Council is a coalition of Canadian voluntary sector organizations working globally to achieve sustainable human development.

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Maximizing Development Impact of Canada's DFI

A policy paper on how Canada can draw on international best practice as it shapes its new Development Finance Institution

July 2017

Whose rights are we protecting?
Ensuring the primacy of human rights over investor protections in the international legal regime

International Investment Agreements (IIAs) are agreements negotiated between states to govern the promotion and the protection of foreign investments. While these agreements provide very strong protection to foreign investors and their investments, they do nothing to protect the human rights of those affected by these investments. This report reviews the main substantive issues related to IIAs, highlights their most problematic aspects, and presents various paths of action to address the problems related to investment agreements. It presents three recommendations on how to address the issues raised by this mechanism. (December 2015 - 1.18 Mb)


Bilateral Investment Treaties: A Canadian Primer
Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) make up one part of a global investment regime that governs how countries and their governments can regulate foreign-owned assets. In Canada, BITs are called Foreign Investment Protection and Promotion Agreements (FIPAs). Canada is a major promoter of these instruments. (April 2010) (PDF 163 Kb)


Investment Treaties and Extractive Industries: Implications for Human Rights and Sustainable Development.

The seminar was an opportunity to learn about alternative policy approaches being pursued in the South for regulating investment in extractives for development outcomes and how Canada's bilateral investment treaty agenda affects and interacts with those Southern approaches.

Recommended resources for the event were the following:


Evaluating Canada's 2004 Model Foreign Investment
Protection Agreement in Light of Civil Society Concerns.
For more than fifteen years, Canada has negotiated foreign investment protection agreements (FIPAs) with other governments. A series of investor-state lawsuits launched under NAFTA served to highlight the potentially broad impact of these agreements upon public policy and the right of governments to regulate inward foreign investment.  This briefing note provides a review of the changes in the new FIPA model, and assesses their implications in light of longstanding development and human rights concerns voiced by civil society organizations. (June 2006 ) (PDF 114 Kb)









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