Norway to align itself with the new EU sanctions regime against serious human rights violations

‘The new EU sanctions regime will be an important tool for targeting individuals responsible for or involved in serious human rights violations all over the world,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide.

The EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime (EUGHRSR) provides a framework for listing of individuals who are responsible for, involved in or associated with genocide, crimes against humanity, torture, slavery, extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrests or detentions. It also applies to the perpetrators of human trafficking, sexual and gender-based violence, and violations of the right to freedom of assembly, freedom of speech and freedom of religion or belief when such violations are widespread and systematic. The EUGHRSR is largely in line with Norway’s definition of what constitutes the most serious human rights violations, and it will supplement existing sanctions regimes that apply to specific countries.

‘Sanctions and restrictive measures are most effective when imposed by like-minded countries working closely together and when the measures have broad international support. Norway’s decision to align itself with the regime is in line with its clearly articulated human rights policies and its cooperation with the EU. By participating as a third country, we are helping to increase the effectiveness and standing of the measures,’ said Ms Eriksen Søreide.

‘The Norwegian Government’s political platform points to the importance of developing a joint European sanctions regime targeting individuals who are responsible for serious human rights violations and abuses. We therefore welcome the fact that the regime has now been adopted by the EU and that Norway can align itself with it,’ said Liberal Party leader Guri Melby.

‘It is an important step forward that we now have the means to respond forcefully to serious human rights violations and abuses together with other countries and that the regime also includes human trafficking, sexual and gender-based violence and violations of the right to freedom of assembly, freedom of speech and freedom of religion or belief,’ said Christian Democratic Party leader Kjell Ingolf Ropstad.

Currently there are no individuals or entities listed under the EUGHRSR. When there are listings, Norway will assess them on an individual basis.

EU decisions on listings are taken by consensus in the Council of the European Union. Individuals who are listed are subject to travel bans preventing them from entering or travelling through the EU. Furthermore, banks and financial institutions are required to freeze their assets, and there is a prohibition against making funds and economic resources available to them. Both state and non-state actors may be listed.

When Norway’s new sanctions act enters into force, Norway will be able to implement restrictive measures that completely correspond to EU measures.Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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