July 8, 2020

The UK Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime designates 49 individuals and entities

On July 6, 2020, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) announced the first wave of designations issued by the Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime, established pursuant to the Global Human Rights Sanctions Regulations 2020 as secondary legislation under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018, to impose sanctions for human rights abuses that threaten an individual’s right to life, right to be free from slavery or servitude, and the right to be free from inhumane or degrading treatment.  The newly-formed global regime sanctioned 49 individuals and organizations for human rights abuses, targeting 25 Russian nationals involved in the death of auditor Sergei Magnitsky, 20 Saudi nationals involved in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, 2 Myanmar military generals involved in systemic violence against the Rohingya people, and 2 organizations involved in forced labor, torture and murder in North Korea’s gulags.

This is the first time that the UK has implemented human rights abuses under a UK-only sanctions regime, and unlike conventional geographic sanctions regimes that target entire countries, this regime will allow the UK to target individuals and organizations on a global scale, in an effort to prevent human rights abusers from entering the UK, channeling money through UK banks, and profiting from the UK economy.  Nevertheless, the FCO stressed that the UK will continue to utilize the UN and EU multilateral sanction regimes to address serious human rights abuses around the world.

Press Release from FOC and Foreign Secretary RaabFCO and OFSI Press Release | Global Human Rights Sanctions Regulations 2020