Trade has the
potential to lift individuals and countries out of poverty, as well as contributing
to the problems and inequalities they face. At present, the international
trading system is an un-level playing field that unfairly disadvantages the
poorest countries and is pushing many of them deeper into poverty.
In Islam, trade is encouraged as it is considered to be an empowering activity.
However, there are boundaries on what can be traded, how and with whom. Above
all, social justice and equity must be the determining factors in all economic
endeavours, as social justice and equity are at the heart of Islam. As a result, in Islam there are a number of
principles that economically active people must adhere to.
of trade ethics and the current message of trade justice advocacy groups have
much in common. Both focus on empowering poor countries and communities and
eradicating the exploitation of producers in the developing world. Islamic Relief has developed three
Working towards a more just world trade system: Islamic Relief will contribute towards the
development of a more just world trade system. We will complement the existing
work of various worldwide trade justice lobbies by adding Islam-specific
messages on trade ethics to the discourse. This will involve advocacy campaigns
aimed at the general public and our donors, as well as engaging in in-depth
dialogue with key trade organisations and policy makers.
Implementation of an internal fair trade policy: Islamic Relief will progressively implement
an ethical procurement policy. This will begin at our headquarters and will
spread to other parts of the Islamic Relief family. This will begin with
securing a fair price for small producers, combating environmental degradation
and will increase to include issues such as labour rights.
worldwide ‘fair trade’ market: Fair trade products range from
bananas to coffee and are produced and bought in such a way as to guarantee
small producers in developing countries a fair wage and to encourage economic
and social development. In the long term, Islamic Relief will utilise its
successful livelihood projects to produce items that are marketable and
ethically produced and traded.
information on the impact of debt on the social and economic development of
poor countries, please refer to Islamic Relief’s international