Sanctions violate human rights and should be lifted, says UN Human Rights Council
The United Nations Human Rights Council voted to condemn sanctions, stating that they violate human rights and should be lifted.
Despite repeated denunciations by international legal institutions, the United States and European Union have imposed unilateral sanctions on dozens of countries, representing more than one-quarter of the global population
These Western sanctions are illegal under international law, because they have not been endorsed by the Security Council.
The UN refers to these illegal sanctions as “unilateral coercive measures.”
In a meeting on March 31, more than half of the 47 members of the Human Rights Council voted to condemn these sanctions.
The resolution (A/HRC/49/L.6
), titled “The negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights,” was passed with 27 votes in favor (57%), 14 votes against (30%), and six abstentions (13%).
Most of the countries that voted in support of the resolution are from the Global South, whereas almost all of the states that opposed the measure are from the Global North.
The 27 countries that voted in support of the resolution, thereby condemning sanctions, were the following: Argentina, Benin, Bolivia, China, Cote d’Ivoire, Cuba, Eritrea, Gabon, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Kazakstan, Libya, Malawi, Malaysia, Mauritania, Namibia, Nepal, Pakistan, Qatar, Russian Federation, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, and Venezuela.
The 14 nations that voted against the resolution were: Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Montenegro, Netherlands, Poland, Republic of Korea, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and United States.
The six states that abstained were: Armenia, Brazil, Cameroon, Gambia, Mexico, and Paraguay.
The resolution states that it “urges all States to stop adopting, maintaining or implementing unilateral coercive measures not in accordance with international law, international humanitarian law, [or] the Charter of the United Nations.”
The resolution also “strongly urges all States to refrain from imposing unilateral coercive measures, also urges the removal of such measures, as they are contrary to the Charter and norms and principles governing peaceful relations among States at all levels, and recalls that such measures prevent the full realization of economic and social development of nations while also affecting the full realization of human rights.”
According to the Human Rights Council, unliteral sanctions violate the International Bill of Human Rights.
The resolution emphasized that these sanctions are particularly destructive for poor people, women, children, the elderly, the disabled, and the environment.
The council “expresse[d] its grave concern that, in some countries, the socioeconomic conditions of family members, particularly women and children, are adversely affected by unilateral coercive measures, imposed and maintained contrary to international law and the Charter, that create obstacles to trade relations among States, restrict movement through various means of transport, impede the full realization of social and economic development and hinder the well-being of the population in the affected countries, with particular consequences for women, children, including adolescents, the elderly and persons with disabilities.”
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