On this edition of Parallax Views, what are the impacts of unilateral coercive measures like sanctions on countries like Iran, Syria, and Venezuela? Although sanctions have been justified as a way to punish nations for alleged human rights violations, do unilateral sanctions themselves potentially violate human rights? Should sanctions be lifted during a crisis like the one caused by COVID-19?
Questions like these have arisen especially in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Joining us to unpack the issue of unilateral coercive measures, the negative impacts of sanctions, and human rights is UN Special Rapporteur on Negative Impact of Unilateral Coercive Measures on Human Rights and Professor of International Law Dr. Alena Douhan joins us to unpack the issues around sanctions. In her role as a UN Special Rapporteur Dr. Douhan has visited Qatar and Venezuela and provides her thoughts on the negative impacts of sanctions on the civilian populations of Iran, Syria, and other countries. In this conversation we cover these matters as well as the concept of the right to development, the problem of U.S. emergency declarations as they relate to unilateral coercive measures, overcompliance with sanctions and what it causes for sanctioned nations, and the human rights issues related to the U.S.'s "Rewards for Justice" program.