Source: MIL-OSI Submissions
Source: Delegation of the European Union to New Zealand
In time to mark today’s International Human Rights Day, the European Union has adopted a new Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime.
“This is a landmark agreement, the first of its kind and it will allow the European Union to target serious human rights abuses and violations worldwide,” said EU High Representative/Vice President Josep Borrell.
The EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime targets individuals and entities responsible for or involved in serious human rights violations or abuses. It can target state and non-state actors.
Perpetrators and their associates can be banned from travelling to the EU and their assets in the EU frozen.
The critical upgrade of this Sanctions Regime is that it is not country-specific. It can tackle serious human rights violations and abuses worldwide, including those taking place cross-border. Most sanctions (including the EU’s own existing ones) focus on a specific country.
The EU can now act faster, bringing to bear the full force of its place as the world’s largest and richest single market as well as its own democratic ethos
“The EU is a global leader in the promotion and protection of human rights and will not stand by while atrocities are committed,” said EU Ambassador to New Zealand Nina Obermaier.
“The European Union will continue to work closely with New Zealand as a like-minded partner in support of human rights worldwide and we will share our experience with the implementation of our new Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime,” continued H.E. Obermaier.
Even in the 21st century, we witness serious human rights violations and abuses in several parts of the world – frequently without any consequences for the perpetrators. Acts such as genocide, crimes against humanity, torture, slavery, extrajudicial killings, sexual and gender-based violence, enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrests or detentions, and human trafficking are unacceptable.
Sanctions are part of the EU’s broader strategy on human rights. They are intended to change an actor’s behaviour and serve as a deterrent to serious human rights violations and abuses. Their application will be consistent with the EU’s comprehensive foreign policy approach. Sanctions are the EU’s actions after words alone do not bring change.