By Maya Lester KC & Michael O’Kane

Sanctions Profile: Human Rights

At a glance

In December 2020, the EU adopted Council Regulation (EU) 2020/1998 and Council Decision (CFSP) 2020/1999 to establish a new sanctions regime to address serious human rights abuses worldwide.

In July 2020, the UK adopted the Global Human Rights Sanctions Regulations 2020 under the Sanctions and Money Laundering Act 2018 to deter and provide accountability for activities which if carried out by or on behalf of a State, would amount to a serious violation of certain human rights.

In November 2021, the European Parliament published a comparative briefing on US, Canadian, UK and EU human rights sanctions. This is available here and in the EU Guidance section of this site.

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UK amends DPRK, human rights, Myanmar and Russia listing

The UK has amended 44 entries under the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (1), Global Human Rights (4), Myanmar (36 entries) and Russia (1) financial sanctions regimes.  

Human RightsHuman Rights Burma / MyanmarBurma / Myanmar RussiaRussia North KoreaNorth Korea

House of Commons debate on human rights and anti-corruption sanctions

A Backbench Business Committee debate on ‘Human Rights Abuses and Corruption: UK Sanctions’ was held in the House of Commons yesterday (21 July 2022). See Debate Pack. During the debate: It was noted that, to date, the UK has sanctioned 20% of the people / entities designated by the US and that the number of human rights and anti-corruption designations …

Human RightsHuman Rights CorruptionCorruption

European Parliament calls for EU anti-corruption sanctions

The European Parliament (EP) has adopted a Text recommending that the EU Council should propose introducing corruption sanctions (as the UK has done). The idea is to target “economic and financial enablers of human rights abusers detaining assets and properties in the EU”. The Parliament suggests this could be done either by extending the EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime …

CorruptionCorruption Human RightsHuman Rights

US & EU sanctions regimes renewed & third countries align with EU sanctions

In recent weeks, the following sanctions regimes have been renewed: The EU extended its Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) sanctions regime until 12 December 2022 Council Decision (CFSP) 2021/2181 (Press Release). The EU renewed its Russia sanctions regime for 6 months, until 31 July 2022 Council Decision (CFSP) 2022/52 (Press Release). The US renewed its regime in respect of …

Democratic Republic of the CongoDemocratic Republic of the Congo RussiaRussia Human RightsHuman Rights CorruptionCorruption BelarusBelarus SyriaSyria Guinea-BissauGuinea-Bissau MaliMali BurundiBurundi

UK imposes human rights sanctions on 2 accused of Litvinenko killing

The UK has designated former Russian military personnel Dmitry Vadimovich Kovtun and Andrey Konstantinovich Lugovoy (also a Russian MP) pursuant the Global Human Rights Sanctions Regulations. Notice. Mr Kovtun and Mr Lugovoy were found to be responsible for the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko in November 2006 by the Litvinenko Inquiry. They are both also subject to an Anti-Terrorism, Crime and …

Human RightsHuman Rights

Current Sanctions



Council Regulation (EU) 2020/1998

Parent Regulation

Council Regulation (EU) 2020/1998

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/371

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/478

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/2151

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/2195


Council Decision (CFSP) 2020/1999

Parent Regulation

Council Decision (CFSP) 2020/1999

Council Decision (CFSP) 2021/372

Council Decision (CFSP) 2021/481

Council Decision (CFSP) 2021/2160

Council Decision (CFSP) 2021/2197

The Global Human Rights Sanctions Regulations 2020

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