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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Third countries align with Belarus & human rights sanctions

In February 2021, the EU Council adopted Decision (CFSP) 2021/353, which renewed sanctions in respect of Belarus for 1 year. In March 2021, the EU adopted Decision (CFSP) 2021/372, which imposed sanctions on 4 Russian officials in response to the imprisonment of Alexei Navalny under its global human rights regime. The EU has announced that North Macedonia, Montenegro, Albania, Iceland, …

Human RightsHuman Rights BelarusBelarus

Sanctions imposed over Uyghur abuses & other human rights violations

China The UK, the EU and Canada have imposed sanctions (asset freezing measures and travel bans) under their respective global human rights sanctions regimes on 4 senior Chinese officials and a state-run security body for serious human rights violations against Uyghurs and people from other minorities in the Xinjiang region in China. They are alleged to have been responsible for …

Human RightsHuman Rights ChinaChina EritreaEritrea North KoreaNorth Korea South SudanSouth Sudan RussiaRussia LibyaLibya

EU to sanction 4 Chinese officials & 1 entity according to reports

According to reports, EU ambassadors have agreed that 4 Chinese officials and 1 entity will be amongst 11 people and entities soon to be designated under the global human rights sanctions regime. The measures will be imposed in response to human rights violations against the Uighur population and other minority ethnic groups in the Xinjiang province. The sanctions are expected …

Human RightsHuman Rights ChinaChina

UK foreign policy review & sanctions

The government in the UK has published an Integrated Review of security, defence, development and foreign policy which states that: The Government will use sanctions: To “act as a force for good in standing up for human rights around the world”, and to hold to account those involved in serious human rights violations and abuses. For “national security diplomacy” , …

Human RightsHuman Rights

Reports say EU will designate 11 officials & 4 entities under human rights sanctions

According to reports, EU officials have agreed that 11 officials and 4 entities in China, Libya, North Korea, Russia, South Sudan and Eritrea will be added to the list of those subject to global human rights sanctions (asset freeze and travel ban). The designations are expected to be approved at the meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council on 22 March …

Human RightsHuman Rights

Current Sanctions


Parent Regulation

Council Regulation (EU) 2020/1998

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/371

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/478

Parent Regulation

Council Decision (CFSP) 2020/1999

Council Decision (CFSP) 2021/372

Council Decision (CFSP) 2021/481

The Global Human Rights Sanctions Regulations 2020