Global Human Rights Sanctions Regulations 2020 - Motion to Approve

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:16 pm on 29th July 2020.

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Photo of Lord Bhatia Lord Bhatia Non-affiliated 6:16 pm, 29th July 2020

My Lords, this SI is intended to detail and provide accountability for activities which, if carried out by or on behalf of a state, would amount to a serious violation of human rights by that state. It will rightly allow the Secretary of State to impose asset freezing and travel bans on persons involved in such conduct. The Government rightly seek to champion human rights. We are hearing from the media that there have been increasing violations of human rights in China, Burma, Bangladesh and other countries. We are informed that the Government have made representations to all such countries that have breached human rights conventions.

I wish to focus on the suffering of women and children when human rights are breached. There are regular reports of rape by soldiers and other predators. Children are abducted for slavery and sex abuse. The Government must make representations, through the UN and other countries, to Governments who have breached human rights. Asset freezing, trade sanctions and travel bans should be brought into effect. The Government need to go much further to ensure that we achieve a robust and fit-for-purpose independent sanctions regime. Finally, a register must be opened in the US to register individuals who have committed these crimes, so that those individuals can be brought to justice through the International Court of Justice.