Economic sanctions are a discretionary tool of international relations governed by various legal regimes. These trade and financial countermeasures generally seek to bring illegal situations to an end. Over decades, economic sanctions have been targeted to avoid the violation of civilians’ human rights. The article provides examples of extraterritorial human rights obligations (ETOs) to respect and protect human rights in the context of economic sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council, as well as other related actions, including lawfully questionable unilateral measures. The article concludes with a repertoire of guidance arising from technical and normative bodies of the UN for responsible states and international organizations, to ensure that such economic sanctions are both effective and legitimate by their avoidance of human rights violations. These tools also serve the practitioner, the monitor and the defender to put economic sanctions to this critical test.
by Joseph Schechla, in The Routledge Handbook on Extraterritorial Human Rights Obligations.