Universally held basic human rights must remain separate from political rights. Such basic human rights are those that are so universal that all societies, systems, nations, and ideology could, and do espouse them. Conversely, political rights are those that are dependent upon compatibility with the system of government in place and arc therefore far less likely to gamer universal support. An effective multilateral enforcement mechanism can only succeed if there are universal agreement and acceptance of the protected rights. Accordingly, at the outset of such a mechanism, only basic human rights may be enforced through trade sanctions. Once such a system is in place, more political rights may be included. In chapter II of this thesis, the author discusses a brief history of the international enforcement of human rights. Providing a brief description of human rights, which are universal in nature and therefore capable of garnering international adherence and discusses the current method of protection of human rights, specifically international and regional conventions. Chapter III examines the WTO dispute settlement system applied to conflicts involving trade-human rights conflicts and the basis of including human rights trade sanctions in the WTO. Chapter IV examines the unilateral trade sanctions by the United States, whether Federal, state or local. These sanctions are used as a weapon of choice to enforce U.S. foreign policy goals. Some of the sanctions, however, attempt to impose sanctions on third-party countries that choose to trade with target nations. Several nations have retaliated against these sanctions by enacting blocking laws that prevent their citizens and corporations from complying with the provisions of the U.S. sanctions, and penalizing them if they do comply. Chapter V examines the effectiveness of trade sanctions and identifies some instances, particularly involving small target countries and modest policy goals, where sanctions have helped alter foreign behavior. The final chapter examines the possible ways in which trade sanctions can be used in an effective way to enforce human rights.