Some articles covering the effects of unilateral sanctions.
Report Finds US Sanctions on Venezuela Are Responsible for Tens of Thousands of Deaths
This Year Will Be Much Worse, Authors Say, If Sanctions Continue
For Immediate Release: April 25, 2019
Contact: Karen Conner, (202) 293-5380 x117, email@example.com
Washington, DC ― A new paper from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), by economists Mark Weisbrot and Jeffrey Sachs, finds that economic sanctions implemented by the Trump administration since August 2017 have caused tens of thousands of deaths and are rapidly worsening the humanitarian crisis.
“The sanctions are depriving Venezuelans of lifesaving medicines, medical equipment, food, and other essential imports,” said Mark Weisbrot, Co-Director of CEPR and coauthor of the report. “This is illegal under US and international law, and treaties that the US has signed. Congress should move to stop it.”
The paper notes that the recognition by the Trump administration of a parallel government in January created a whole new set of financial and trade sanctions that are devastating to the economy and population. These new restrictions make it much more difficult to even pay for medicines and other essential imports with the limited foreign exchange that is available.
The authors also explain how the sanctions prevent an economic recovery from the country’s severe economic depression and hyperinflation.
“Venezuela’s economic crisis is routinely blamed all on Venezuela,” said Jeffrey Sachs, coauthor of the paper. “But it is much more than that. American sanctions are deliberately aiming to wreck Venezuela’s economy and thereby lead to regime change. It’s a fruitless, heartless, illegal, and failed policy, causing grave harm to the Venezuelan people.”
Among the results of broad economic sanctions implemented by the Trump administration since August 2017:
- An estimated more than 40,000 deaths from 2017 to 2018;
- The sanctions have reduced the availability of food and medicine, and increased disease and mortality;
- The August 2017 sanctions contributed to a sharp decline in oil production that caused great harm to the civilian population;
- The US sanctions implemented since January, if they continue will almost certainly result in tens of thousands more avoidable deaths;
- This is based on an estimated 80,000 people with HIV who have not had antiretroviral treatment since 2017, 16,000 people who need dialysis, 16,000 people with cancer, and 4 million with diabetes and hypertension (many of whom cannot obtain insulin or cardiovascular medicine);
- Since the sanctions that began in January 2019, oil production has fallen by 431,000 barrels per day or 36.4 percent. This will greatly accelerate the humanitarian crisis, but the projected 67 percent decline in oil production for the year, if the sanctions continue, would cause vastly more loss of human life.
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UN expert warns against harsh effects of sanctions and blockades on civilians
Published on 13 Sep 2018 —View Original
GENEVA (13 September 2018) – Sanctions must not degenerate into blockades which expose innocent people to the ravages of economic war in peacetime without the protection of the Geneva Conventions aimed at safeguarding civilians in war time, says Idriss Jazairy, the UN Special Rapporteur on the effect of sanctions on human rights.
“While sanctions have usually led to countries, or groups of countries, refusing to trade with the targeted State, the imposition of blockades has the additional sting of preventing trade with other willing trade partners,” said Mr. Jazairy in a presentation to the Human Rights Council in Geneva.
The Special Rapporteur told the Council there was a clear risk that Iran, Syria, Gaza and possibly Venezuela were having to cope with a blockade situation.
“There is a need for differences between States to be resolved through peaceful means as advocated by the UN Charter, while avoiding exposing innocent civilians to collective punishment,” he said.
The Special Rapporteur expressed concern about the increasing resort to unilateral sanctions, and in particular the banning of business or trade with companies and corporations from third party countries not involved in imposing the measures.
Mr. Jazairy also reported on his mission to Brussels for talks with European Union officials. While welcoming efforts made by the EU to ensure its restrictive measures have due process and human rights protections, the Special Rapporteur urged the EU to consider ways of limiting the extra-territorial effect of “secondary sanctions” which go beyond the targeted country.
With regard to Syria, the Special Rapporteur concluded that however grave the human rights situation is in the country, the imposition of further suffering on innocent civilians through unilateral sanctions only further worsens their situation. He said he would focus on making humanitarian exceptions to internationally imposed measures effective, until States lift all sanctions that are harming human rights.
Mr. Idriss Jazairy was appointed by the Human Rights Council as the first Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of the unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights. He took office in May 2015. Mr. Jazairy has extensive experience in the fields of international relations and human rights with the Algerian Foreign Ministry, the UN human rights system and international NGOs. He holds a M.A. (Oxford) in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, and an M.P.A. (Harvard). He also graduated from the Ecole nationale d’Administration (France). Mr. Jazairy is the author of books and of a large number of articles in the international press on development, human rights and current affairs.
The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.
For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts please contact: Mr. Jeremy Laurence, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+41 22 917 9383 / firstname.lastname@example.org)
This year is the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN on 10 December 1948. The Universal Declaration – translated into a world record 500 languages – is rooted in the principle that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” It remains relevant to everyone, every day. In honour of the 70th anniversary of this extraordinarily influential document, and to prevent its vital principles from being eroded, we are urging people everywhere to Stand Up for Human Rights: www.standup4humanrights.org.
The health impact of economic sanctions.
This article has been cited by other articles in PMC.
Embargoes and sanctions are tools of foreign policy. They can induce a decline in economic activity in addition to reducing imports and untoward health effects can supervene, especially among older persons and those with chronic illnesses. Often, violations of the rights of life, health, social services, and protection of human dignity occur among innocent civilians in embargoed nations. This paper examines the effects of embargoes and sanctions against several nations, and calls for studies to determine ways in which economic warfare might be guided by the rule of humanitarian international law, to reduce the effects on civilians. It suggests that the ability to trade in exempted goods and services should be improved, perhaps by establishing uniform criteria and definitions for exemptions, operational criteria under which sanctions committees might function, and methods for monitoring the impact of sanctions on civilian populations in targeted states, particularly with regard to water purity, food availability, and infectious-disease control. Prospective studies are advocated, to generate the data needed to provide better information and monitoring capacity than presently exists.
Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (1.5M), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.
Civilians suffering due to sanctions must be spared ‘collective punishment’ urges UN rights expert
8 November 2018
Innocent civilians must not be exposed to “collective punishment” in disputes between two States, a United Nations human rights expert has said, calling for greater protection for ordinary people affected by punitive sanctions imposed by one country on another.
Idriss Jazairy, the UN Special Rapporteur on effects of sanctions on human rights, said that measures that seek to block a country’s trade altogether, amount to economic warfare against civilians, with devastating consequences.
“Under economic sanctions, people also die but from lack of food and medicine, rather than from explosive devices,” said the UN rights expert in a news release on Thursday.
This form of warfare that relies on starvation and disease “deserves the same concern” on the part of the international community as any other conflict, he added, noting protections guaranteed under the Fourth Geneva Convention, which applies during times of war.
Under economic sanctions, people also die but from lack of food and medicine, rather than from explosive devices – UN rights expert Idriss Jazairy
Referring to Iran, Mr. Jazairy said that while US sanctions – fully re-imposed earlier this week – included humanitarian exemptions, aid is currently frozen as businesses await more clarification from the US Government. There are reports that the SWIFT mechanism of bank-to-bank money transfer could make such exemptions inoperative.
Import of food, medicine and other necessities must be protected and not subjected to lengthy and complex approval processes, he reiterated. “I am deeply concerned that it is the poor who are bearing the brunt of these actions,” Mr. Jazairy continued, adding that Iran’s currency, the rial, had lost more than 70 per cent of its value in the past year, and food prices had risen by half.
“More people are losing their jobs as the economy suffers,” he said.
Ready to assist US and Iran ensure humanitarian aid
Mr. Jazairy went on to note that while States’ right to disagree with each other should be respected, civilians must not be harmed or used as means of “political pressure” on a targeted Government.
“This is illegal under international human rights law,” he said, adding that he is ready to “serve as facilitator” to assist the US and Iran “in finding concrete ways to ensure that urgently needed humanitarian exemptions whose observance is unchallenged by the source country, are made effective and workable.”
UN Special Rapporteurs and independent experts are appointed by the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a specific human rights theme or a country situation. The positions are honorary, and the experts are not UN staff, nor are they paid for their work.
I don’t know if there is a way to use this. Lots of video. If not this we need something else with Alfred de Zayas’ report on Venezuela. Beware of copyright infringement.