What Are Sanctions and Human Rights?

Serious human rights violations around the world have grave consequences, and also, according to the European Union's decision last month, when the new EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime came into force and according to this enactment, serious human rights violations around the world, regardless of where they occur or who is responsible and more flexibility to target those responsible for their violations.

Human Rights Violations and Abuses

Human rights recognize moral norms or moral standards that are understood as essential fundamental rights of every human being. There are many human rights, such as the right to a fair trial, protection of physical integrity, protection against enslavement, freedom of expression, and the right to education. The protection of human rights for countries is definitely one of the most important aspects of development. Some countries have laws on human rights violations, for example, the Global Magnitsky Act, which authorizes the US to punish individuals perceived as human rights criminals, was published by the government in 2012. With this law, the United States has the power to allow those who violate human rights to freeze their assets.

Apart from this, there is a law for the European Union to prevent human rights violations. A new law on human rights has been enacted in the EU, which will give the EU more flexibility to target those responsible for serious human rights violations and violations worldwide, regardless of where they occur or who is responsible. In addition, the EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime is expected to consist of measures such as freezing assets and travel bans. This new regime in the EU will not replace the existing geographic sanctions regimes that some countries already address human rights violations and violations, examples of which are Syria, Belarus, or Venezuela. It strongly demonstrates the EU's commitment to upholding human rights, democracy, the rule of law, and principles of international law worldwide within the scope of the recommendations developed. EU sanctions help to achieve key EU objectives such as strengthening international security, peacekeeping, as well as promoting human rights, supporting democracy and international law.

Operational Difficulties

The increasing number of human rights sanctions regimes around the world pose some challenges in the business world. Organizations need to invest in some systems to meet the regulatory requirements in all jurisdictions for which they are responsible. Because some regulations are complex and companies that do not understand sanction meaning in these regulations, they may be exposed to serious legal risks, including fines and even imprisonment. Even violations resulting from corporate mistakes can result in severe penalties, as seen in a large number of sanctions against financial institutions in the United States. At this point, sanction meaning in the regulations should be well known.

In addition, human rights sanctions are fragmented and politicized in nature, so companies can find themselves in scenarios where compliance with one country's sanctions regime may result in penalties from another. Therefore, as companies plan ahead, regional and global senior executives must work closely together to ensure they understand the risks they face in their respective regions. 

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