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Commentary: EU should include corruption criteria in future human rights sanctions regime

Author: Rachel Owens, Global Witness & Sarah Gardiner, The Sentry, via Euractiv , Published on: 4 July 2019

'The case for corruption criteria in EU global human rights sanctions', 2 July 2019

In kleptocracies around the world, elites control the majority of state institutions and economic sectors and derive personal profit, often using violence and repression. Their ill-gotten gains are often stashed abroad with the help of international business partners...

In December 2018, the Netherlands formally put forward an initiative for the enactment of an EU global sanctions regime for perpetrators of serious human rights violations and abuses, regardless of their country of origin.

But while the Dutch initiative... is a welcome step..., it is unclear if it will also sanction corrupt actors.

Given the interconnected nature of corruption, conflict, and human rights violations, failure to include corruption as a criterion would largely degrade the effectiveness of an EU global human rights sanctions program...

The case of Israeli tycoon Dan Gertler is a powerful example of the importance of financial facilitators of a kleptocratic system, but also of how the EU has left itself open to exploitation... 

Gertler is widely regarded as one of former Congolese President Joseph Kabila’s most important financial facilitators and an intermediary between the Congolese state and private sector investors...

Read the full post here