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.

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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

EU designates Wagner Group & linked people/entities

The EU has imposed sanctions on the Wagner Group, a Russian private military organisation, as well as 8 people and 3 entities for their involvement in serious human rights abuses in, and the destabilisation of, Ukraine, Syria, Libya, the Central African Republic (CAR), Sudan and Mozambique. Press Release. Foreign Affairs Council Outcomes. Listed on the EU’s human rights sanctions list: …

Human RightsHuman Rights LibyaLibya RussiaRussia SyriaSyria

UK Parliament debates human rights sanctions

On 8 December 2021, the UK Parliament held a Westminster Hall debate, ‘Magnitsky Sanctions: Human Rights Abuses’. Recording. MPs discussed human rights situations in China, Iran, Sudan, Rwanda, Sri Lanka and Hong Kong, and recommended a list of people to be designated pursuant to the UK’s human rights sanctions regime. Those suggested include: Chen Quanguo, Zhu Hailun, Peng Jiarui, Sun …

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