Project Topics

SANCTIONS AND THEIR IMPACT ON HUMAN RIGHTS

CHAPTER ONE
1.       INTRODUCTION
1.1.         Background of the Study
Sanctions are actions taken unilaterally or jointly against a State considered to be a threat for world peace and security. Sanctions have been applied in different forms since the time immemorial; however, the first case of sanctions as a foreign policy tool was recorded in 432 BC during the time of Pericles used by Athenian government against Megara, the incident which eventually led to Peloponnesian war.1Since then, sanctions have been used at various times to compel states to respect international law and to yield to the demands of the sanctioning states. Particularly, after the end of Cold War, they appeared to be better alternative to war which are frequently used by States.2
Traditionally, sanctioning countries3 (more generally the international community) have tended to impose comprehensive type of sanctions that include restraining economic, cultural, political and diplomatic links with states that deemed to possess objectionable behavior. However, comprehensive sanctions often produce results that run counter to other norms, like the protection of vulnerable groups of the people and the promotion of basic human rights that are embedded in the United Nations Charter and human rights treaties.4It is accepted that sanctions and any other international measures should serve the good will of the people and should respect international norms and treaties. As long as sanctions run counter to international norms and the will of the people, it is impossible to speak of it as effective. The purpose of sanctions should be to compel the transgressor state to conform to the law and to make it respect and promote the dignity and rights of the people either by rewarding it for improvements it shows or punishing that government separately from the people if the government is unwilling or reluctant to respect the international norms and the dignity of the people.