Sanctions: Human Rights

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 19th September 2018.

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Photo of Andrew Mitchell Andrew Mitchell Conservative, Sutton Coldfield

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, when the Government plans to impose sanctions for gross human rights violations under the (a) Criminal Finances Act 2017 and (b) Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018.

Photo of Mark Field Mark Field Minister of State

The UK currently implements sanctions through the EU and will continue to do so until we leave. The Criminal Finances Act 2017 introduced a provision which allows property obtained as a result of gross human rights abuse to be subject to the civil recovery provisions in the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. The use of this power is for the operational agencies to decide.

Although not yet commenced, the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 will allow us to take a range of actions against those suspected of gross human rights violations, which includes asset-freezes and travel bans. The use of this power is again for the operational agencies to decide.

We are currently in the process of establishing procedures and frameworks to adopt sanctions under the Sanctions Act. While it is therefore too early to make decisions about specific individual listings, the Prime Minister has made clear that we are looking to carry over all EU sanctions in force at the time of our departure from the EU.

The names of individuals sanctioned by the UK under the Act, including those sanctioned because of gross human rights violations, will be published on the appropriate government website (gov.uk).

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