How Could Prison Products Come into the International Market? Analysis of the Consistency between WTO and ILO Rules


  • Xixue Shang Vrije Universiteit Brussel
  • Guido Van Limberghen Vrije Universiteit Brussel



Global market, ILO, Prison product, WTO/GATT.


Nowadays, in many countries, a increasing number of private companies resort to prison labor. In fact, inmates work more and more for private undertakings both inside and outside prison. In consideration of private companies generally engaged in international trade, prison labor thus participate in global supply chains. Then under such circumstances, there is a developing trend that prison economy is being marketed internationally. Nevertheless, there are some institutional barriers in international trade policies, such as WTO rules, which in principle prohibit prison labor product coming into international market. This research aims to discuss the possibility of exports of prison products in international trade market within WTO/GATT framework. In terms of prisoners’ labor rights protection, by exploring the consistency of WTO rule with ILO standard, the research intends to find the possibility of prison labor product being accepted by the international market. Feasibility analysis is developed in the research to propose constructive suggestion for an open question in the international law.

Author Biographies

Xixue Shang, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Faculty of Criminology and LawRank 101-150

Guido Van Limberghen, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Faculty of Criminology and LawRank 101-150


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