As free trade agreements proliferate, the relationship between trade and human rights continues to attract attention across academic disciplines. The linkages between human rights and liberal trade rules have been the subject of debate for some time. Since most countries tend to afford constitutional protection to both human rights and freedom of trade, there appears to be an inescapable connection between the two regimes. In theory, at least, economic growth should improve human rights standards and conditionality can be one way through which human rights compliance is achieved. However, in practice, States often pursue economic objectives that conflict with their human rights obligations. This article explores the linkages and potential conflicts between human rights and trade in the context of regional trade agreements, with a focus on the interim Economic Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the Southern African Development Community Group.