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Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of the unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights

Introduction

Ms. Alena Douhan, Special Rapporteur on unilateral coercive measures
Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of the unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights, Ms. Alena Douhan.

In several resolutions and declarations adopted by United Nations entities, human rights bodies, including the Commission on Human Rights, increasing concerns were expressed about the negative impact of sanction, including unilateral coercive measures, on the enjoyment of human rights, particularly their negative impact on the human rights of the civilian population of targeted. The Human Rights Council has followed this trend.

On 26 September 2014, the Human Rights Council adopted resolution 27/21 and Corr.1 on human rights and unilateral coercive measures. The resolution stresses that unilateral coercive measures and legislation are contrary to international law, international humanitarian law, the Charter and the norms and principles governing peaceful relations among States, and highlights that on long-term, these measures may result in social problems and raise humanitarian concerns in the States targeted. Highlighting the deep-rooted problems and grievances within the international system and in order to ensure multilateralism, mutual respect and the peaceful settlement of disputes, the Human Rights Council decided to create the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights.

In March 2020, the Human Rights Council appointed Ms. Alena Douhan as the Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of the unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights pursuant to resolutions 27/21 and 36/10. She took office on 25 March 2020.

Ms. Douhan has extensive experience in the fields of international law and human rights as a Professor of international law at the Belarusian State University (Minsk), a visiting Professor at the the Institute for International Law of Peace and Armed conflict, (Bochum, Germany) and the Director of the Peace Research Centre. She received her PhD at the Belarusian State University in 2005 and obtained Dr. hab. in International Law and European Law in 2015 (Belarus). Ms. Douhan’s academic and research interests are in the fields of international law, sanctions and human rights law, international security law, law of international organizations, international dispute settlement, and international environmental law.

More information about Ms. Douhan

Working methods

In the discharge of the mandate, the Special Rapporteur:

a) Transmits urgent appeals and letters of allegation to Member States or non-state actors on alleged violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms while imposing unilateral sanctions or other measures of foreign policy against another country or targeted individuals or entities connected to that country in the absence or beyond the UN Security Council resolution (See submitting information to the special procedures).

b) Undertakes fact-finding country visits.

c) Submits annual reports to the Human Rights Council and General Assembly.

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More press releases and statements

Call for input

Call for submissions: UCM-Study on the notion, characteristics, legal status and targets of unilateral sanctions
Deadline: 1 February 2021

UCM visit to Qatar: Call for submissions by 30 September 2020

UCM-Study on impact of unilateral sanctions on human rights during the state of emergency amid COVID-19 pandemic
Closed. Submissions now online

Highlights

On 25 November, the Special Rapporteur briefed the UN Security Council at the Virtual Arria meeting on “End Unilateral Coercive Measures Now”

On 28 October, the Special Rapporteur was interviewed by Afshin Rattansi for the Going Underground, Russia Today’s TV show

On 16 October, the Special Rapporteur on unilateral coercive measures and human rights had her first interactive dialogue (1:23:34) with the General Assembly’s 3rd Committee, during which she presented to her first thematic report  (A/75/209) to General Assembly that offers an overview and assessment of the impact of unilateral sanctions on the enjoyment of human rights in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On 14 October, the Special Rapporteur was a main speaker and lecturer at the webinar on the protection of human rights by UN Special Procedures in the context of unilateral sanctions organized by the Iranian Center for International Criminal Law.

On 22 September, the Special Rapporteur had her first interactive dialogue with the Human Rights Council, during which she presented to her first thematic report (A/HRC/45/7).

More Highlights

Special Rapporteur

Ms. Alena Douhan (Belarus)
25 March 2020 - present

Former Special Rapporteur

Mr. Idriss Jazairy (Algeria)
1 May 2015 - 9 December 2019


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Contact

Ms. Alena Douhan
Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of the unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights
Palais des Nations CH-1211 Geneva 10
Email : ucm@ohchr.org

Sharof Azizov
Human Rights Officer
Office 5-05, Avenue Giuseppe Motta 48, 1202 Genève, Switzerland
Email : sazizov@ohchr.org