The Australian Centre for International Justice (ACIJ) has recommended that the Australian Government introduce a new human rights targeted sanctions regime.
The submission was made to the Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade which is holding an ‘Inquiry into whether Australia should enact legislation to use targeted sanctions to address human rights abuses’.
The ACIJ recommends that any sanctions determination process ensures that the criminal prosecution of perpetrators of human rights violations should be Australia’s primary objective to combating impunity for serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, but in circumstances where prosecution it is not likely, targeted sanctions can be a powerful tool for accountability.
The ACIJ also recommends that a sanctions determination process ensures contribution of civil society and non-government organisations; an independent committee to provide recommendations, monitoring and guidance; that the criteria of conduct applying targeted sanctions includes serious violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law and acts of significant corruption.
The introduction of a new Australian human rights sanctions regime represents a unique opportunity for Australia to protect and promote human rights globally, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, by targeting human rights abusers and corrupt actors, and promoting accountability.