Further to a motion spearheaded by the Netherlands who want a specific human rights sanctions instrument that can be deployed against any persons or entities involved in human rights violations, the EU Foreign Affairs Council has given its unanimous support to introducing the EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime.
Sanctions under the proposed regime could include asset freezes and travel bans on individuals and entities known to have committed serious human rights violations. A global human rights sanctions regime would give a more effective framework for imposing sanctions on select individuals and entities, rather than having to introduce several legislative frameworks each targeting a different country.
General human rights and anti-corruption sanctions legislation in the US and Canada has already been used to target human rights violations in countries such as Myanmar and Saudi Arabia. The regime would allow sanctions to be imposed on human rights violators and those involved in corruption without the need to generally target the country in which they are based. The regime would be similar to the US Magnitsky Act which imposes sanctions arising from corruption and human rights abuses. The current goal is to have the new EU regime in place by Summer 2019.