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UN rights expert to assess impact of unilateral sanctions imposed by the European Union

European sanctions

16 June 2017

GENEVA (16 June 2017) – United Nations Special Rapporteur Idriss Jazairy will carry out his first official visit to the European Union from 19 to 22 June, travelling to Brussels to gather first-hand information on the negative impact on human rights of unilateral coercive measures imposed by EU members on other States.

“I want to examine, in the spirit of co-operation and dialogue, whether and to what extent the adoption, maintenance or implementation of sanctions hinders the full realization of the human rights of individuals,” said the expert, who will meet representatives of the European Commission, European Parliament and European External Action Service.

“I will focus in particular on any negative impact that EU sanctions may have on the enjoyment of all human rights, including the right to life and development as identified in my reports to the Human Rights Council,” stressed Mr. Jazairy, who will also make recommendations on how any negative effects can be mitigated or eliminated.   

The UN Human Rights Council established the Special Rapporteur’s mandate in September 2014, following concern by the UN human rights system and the international community about the negative impact of unilateral sanctions on the human rights of the civilian population.

Mr. Jazairy will submit a report on his visit to the EU to the Human Rights Council in September 2017.


Mr. Idriss Jazairy
was appointed by the Human Rights Council as the first Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of the unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights. He took office in May 2015. Mr. Jazairy has extensive experience in the fields of international relations and human rights with the Algerian Foreign Ministry, the UN human rights system and international NGOs. He holds a M.A. (Oxford) in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, and an M.P.A. (Harvard). He also graduated from the École Nationale d’Administration (France). Mr. Jazairy is the author of books and of a large number of articles in the international press on development, human rights and current affairs.
The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

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