Out-Law News 1 min. read
10 Mar 2023, 12:12 pm
Action announced by the EU and UK highlights the role that sanctions can play in tackling gender inequality globally, an expert has said.
Rebecca Devaney of Pinsent Masons, who specialises in export controls and sanctions, was commenting after the EU and the UK between them designated 17 individuals and organisations under existing sanctions regimes.
The move means nine individuals and three organisations will have their assets frozen in the EU, while four individuals and one entity will have their assets frozen in the UK. UK and EU persons and entities will also be prohibited from making funds or economic resources available, either directly or indirectly, to the individuals and entities that have been designated. The individuals designated will also be the subject of a travel ban.
The sanctions were imposed in time for International Women’s Day on 8 March 2023.
Associate, Pinsent Masons
Human rights abuses and gender-based violence can often be symptomatic of armed conflicts. They can be used as a deliberate method of warfare and are prohibited by international law
Devaney said: “The UK’s package targets four individuals and one entity involved in human rights abuses, including military figures who have overseen rape and other forms of gender-based violence in conflicts in Syria, South Sudan and the Central African Republic. The government institution in Iran responsible for enforcing mandatory dress codes for women in Iran with unreasonable force has also been designated.”
“The UK designations have been made under various country sanctions regimes. These designations follow 18 previous designations in December 2022 targeting individuals involved in violations and abuses of human rights – six were perpetrators responsible for conflict-related sexual violence and related crimes. The designations also form part of the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office’s women and girls strategy, which sets out plans to tackle gender inequality across the globe,” she said.
“The EU has made its designations under its human rights sanctions regime and it has targeted individuals from Afghanistan, Myanmar, Russia, and South Sudan, as well as the Syrian Republican Guard, Qarchak Prison in Iran and the Myanmar Office of the Chief of Military Security Affairs. The designations go to the EU’s determination to enhance its role in addressing serious human rights violations and abuses worldwide,” Devaney said.
The Council of Ministers said the strategic use of sanctions can increase pressure to prevent further violations and abuses and helps draw attention to the violations and abuses and those responsible.
Devaney said: “Human rights abuses and gender-based violence can often be symptomatic of armed conflicts. They can be used as a deliberate method of warfare and are prohibited by international law. These human rights designations demonstrate the use of sanctions as a tool to tackle gender inequality and to hold the perpetrators of gender-based violence to account.”