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

About the mandate

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.

Learn more about the mandate of the Special Rapporteur

Current mandate holder

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

Professor Alena Douhan (Belarus) took up her functions on 25 March 2020. She is a professor of International Law, the Director of the Peace Research Center at the Belarusian State University (Belarus) and Associated member of the Institute for International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict at Ruhr University Bochum. Her teaching 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. She has authored over 150 books and articles on various aspects of international law.

Read Prof. Alena Douhan’s full biography

Latest reports

Notion, types and qualification: this report, submitted at the 48th session (September 2021) of the Human Rights Council, provides an overview and assessment of the notion, characteristics and legal status of unilateral sanctions.. She addresses the issue of terminology pertinent to the mandate and the legality of various forms of sanctions imposed by States and international organizations without or beyond the authorization of the Security Council, as concerns, inter alia, general international law, international economic law, human rights law and international humanitarian law. The report further covers the legal grounds, the particularities and the legality of sanctions imposed on individuals and non-State entities. The report also contains a discussion of the extraterritorial effects of unilateral sanctions, which raise particular concerns for the Special Rapporteur owing to the increasing number of reported cases of human rights violations. View report page | View documents A/HRC/48/59 and A/HRC/48/59/CORR.1

Targets of unilateral coercive measures: this report, submitted at the 2021 76th session (October 2021) of the General Assembly, provides an overview and assessment of the notion and categories of targets of unilateral coercive measures (direct or indirect, primary or secondary, intended or unintended or specific or non-selective, among other categories). In her report, she addresses the issue of the human rights impact that unilateral coercive measures have on those targets. She also discusses those targets in connection with the extraterritorial effects of unilateral coercive measures, which raise special concerns for the Special Rapporteur owing to the increasing number of reported cases of human rights violations. provides an overview and assessment of the notion and categories of targets of unilateral coercive measures (direct or indirect, primary or secondary, intended or unintended or specific or non-selective, among other categories). View report page | View document A/76/174/REV.1

Latest country reports

Mission to the Bolivar Republic of Venezuela (1-12 February 2021)
View document A/HRC/48/59/Add.2

Mission to Qatar (1-12 November 2020)
View document A/HRC/48/59/Add.1


Latest News


More press releases and statements

Call for input

Sanctions Research Platform
Deadline: 2 May 2022

Activities

On 22 December 2021, the Special Rapporteur gave an interview for ODVV Interview: The impact of unilateral sanctions on health sector is life-threatening https://www.odvv.org/blog-3440-ODVV-Interview-The-impact-of-unilateral-sanctions-on-health-sector-is-life-threatening

On 14 December 2021, The Special Rapporteur gave an interview for China Daily - Global Weekly, regarding Women's rights in the Middle East https://www.chinadailyhk.com/article/252124#Middle-East-women-bear-social-brunt-of-sanctions-exacerbated-by-conflicts

On 09 December 2021, The SR participated as a speaker during the third international conference "Future of Peace and Human Rights in West Asia," hosted by FODASUN   

On 08 December, the SR delivered a statement for the Hernan Santa Cruz Regional Dialogue for Latin America and the Caribbean: Promotion of Economic, Social, and Cultural and Environmental Rights: Implications for Development, Sustainability and Peace in the COVID-19 Era, held in Costa Rica.

From 02-03 December 2021, The Special Rapporteur participated as a speaker during the Conference on Secondary Sanctions on the International Legal Order, hosted by the Ghent Rolin-Jaequemyns International Law Institute (GRILI) and the Utrecht Centre for Regulation and Enforcement in Europe (RENFORCE) 

On 26 November 2021 The Special Rapporteur hosted a stakeholder consultation on the subject of “Unilateral Coercive Measures and their Impacts on People living in Vulnerable Situations,” held in Geneva, Switzerland.

View all activities

Videos

Panel Discussion on Unilateral Coercive Measures - 7th Meeting, 48th Regular Session Human Rights Council
16 September 2021
Call to action: Watch on UN Web TV

SR on unilateral coercive measures - 6th Meeting, 48th Regular Session Human Rights Council
15 September 2021
Call to action: Watch on UN Web TV

Former mandate holders

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



Special Procedures
Special Rapporteur on unilateral coercive measures
Recent thematic reports
Contact information

Prof. Alena Douhan
Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of the unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights
OHCHR-UNOG
8-14 Avenue de la Paix
1211 Geneve 10
Switzerland

Email: ohchr-ucm@un.org

Contact information