Nations must adopt an alternative approach to punish a country’s leadership but not the people, say the authors.
Abhinav Mehrotra, Assistant Professor, Jindal Global Law School, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India.
Biswanath Gupta, Associate Professor, Jindal Global Law School, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India.
The West has imposed severe economic sanctions against Russia, targeting banks, oil refineries, and military exports as well as Russia’s financial, energy and transportation sectors.
What are the repercussions of these economic sanctions on individual human rights? What should we learn from the ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis about imposing sanctions in a way that does not violate individual human rights?
The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action calls upon states to refrain from any unilateral measures not following international law that impede the full realization of human rights outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international human rights instruments.
Unilateral coercive measures like economic sanctions are intended to cause economic and political hardship for targeted states, therefore they make no real distinction between states and the civilian population residing in targeted states who bear the brunt of such severe socio-economic hardship, including access to food and healthcare services.
In this light, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has created distinct problems in emerging economies. Coal prices in the world are at an all-time high due to the energy crisis in Europe caused by Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.
At higher prices, poorer countries are facing difficulties buying coal. Similarly, rising oil prices are impacting the cost of basic necessities, throwing the lives of poor people into distress.
Nations must adopt an alternative approach to punish a country’s leadership but not the people. Due to globalization, any steps taken against any nation affect the entire world and developing nations in particular. While punishing any state, the first sanctions must be imposed against its leadership. The most effective sanctions include travel embargos, passport disqualifications, or confiscating the private property of oligarchs.
Published in: International Policy Digest
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