Crimes against Humanity: Sanctions

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 21st February 2022.

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Photo of The Earl of Dundee The Earl of Dundee Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether it is their policy to seek to impose sanctions on armed groups or others who are identified as having committed or participated in crimes against humanity, including the targeted destruction of cultural property and heritage sites.

Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The Syria (United Nations Sanctions) (Cultural Property) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020 impose trade sanctions for the purpose of giving effect to the United Kingdom's obligations under United Nations Security Council Resolution 2199 (2015) ('UNSCR 2199'). UNSCR 2199 includes an obligation to take steps to prevent the trade in Syrian cultural property and other items of archaeological, historical, cultural, rare scientific and religious importance illegally removed from Syria since 15 March 2011, thereby allowing for their eventual safe return to the Syrian people.

The Iraq (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020 impose trade prohibitions relating to illegally removed cultural property.

The UK's Global Human Rights sanctions regime gives the UK a powerful tool to hold to account those involved in serious human rights violations or abuses, by imposing targeted asset freezes and travel bans. The rights included are: an individual's right to life; right not to be subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; and right to be free from slavery, not to be held in servitude or required to perform forced or compulsory labour. Since establishing the Global Human Rights sanctions regime in July 2020, we have imposed sanctions on 81 individuals and entities involved in serious human rights violations from Russia, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Pakistan, Myanmar, North Korea, Belarus, The Gambia, Ukraine and China.

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