On 7 December 2020, the European Union (EU) puts into effect its new global human rights sanctions regime in Council Regulation (EU) 2020/1998 and Council Decision (CFSP) 2020/1999. For the first time, the EU is equipping itself with a framework that will allow targeting of individuals, entities and bodies – including state and non-state actors – responsible for, involved in or associated with serious human rights violations and abuses worldwide, no matter where they occurred.
Such restrictive measures will provide for a travel ban to individuals and freezing of funds applying to both individuals and entities. In addition, persons and entities in the EU will be forbidden from making funds available to those listed, either directly or indirectly. The EU global human rights sanctions regime is not country-specific. It can tackle serious human rights violations and abuses worldwide, including those taking place cross-border. It complements geographical sanctions regimes addressing human rights violations and abuses.
This decision emphasises that the promotion and protection of human rights remain a cornerstone and priority of EU external action and reflects the EU’s determination to address serious human rights violations and abuses.