Sanctions and Human Rights: towards a European framework to address human rights violations and abuses worldwide

20-10-2020
Human Rights
Human Rights
Copyright: EEAS

As announced by the President Ursula von der Leyen at the State of the European Union, the European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy have put forward a Joint Proposal for a Council Regulation concerning implementation of restrictive measures (sanctions) against serious human rights violations and abuses worldwide.

The Joint Proposal for a Council Regulation is one of the legal acts required by Council to proceed with the establishment of the new horizontal sanctions regime. It complements the Council Decision that is being proposed by High Representative Josep Borrell and that – once adopted by the Council – will establish the EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime.

Once in force, the new EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime will provide the EU with greater flexibility to target those responsible for serious human rights violations and abuses worldwide, no matter where they occur or who is responsible. It is expected that the EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime will consist of measures such as asset freezes and travel bans. On the latter, the Joint Proposal would also give, for the first time, the Commission oversight on the implementation of the travel bans.

The new regime will not replace existing geographic sanctions regimes, some of which already address human rights violations and abuses, for example in Syria, Belarus or Venezuela.

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Press release