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Photo c/o: UN Photo/ Kim Haughton

Refining United Nations Security Council Targeted Sanctions

Nadeshda Jayakody
Journal26 February 2020
This article was published on Brill | Nijhoff


The United Nations Security Council’s targeted sanctions seek to protect global peace and security. The majority of these sanctions are imposed on individuals deemed to be a terror threat and include measures such as asset freezes and travel bans. These measures can impede, inter alia, the right to private life and freedom of movement of targeted individuals. While it is accepted that certain rights can be restricted for the protection of public security, restrictions must be proportional under international human rights law. Given that UN sanctions regimes have come under scrutiny in recent years for their lack of procedural safeguards and disproportionate restrictions on fundamental rights, this article argues that proportionality based reasoning should be included in sanctions committees’ substantive decision-making processes. Other procedural safeguards should also be incorporated by UN sanctions committees. This would help ensure that sanctions are more measured and minimise impairment of human rights.


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