Berschinski Testifies Before European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights
Washington, D.C.—Today, in a hearing before the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights, Human Rights First Senior Vice President for Policy Rob Berschinski outlined recommendations for Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to consider as they work to advance implementation of the EU’s newly enacted Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime. The testimony came is a session held jointly with the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs.
Berschinski’s prepared remarks entitled, “A U.S. Perspective on the EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime,” focused on lessons gleaned from Human Rights First’s experience coordinating civil society inputs to the U.S. government concerning targeted human rights and anti-corruption sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act of 2016.
During his remarks, Berschinski urged MEPs to use their platform to generate sufficient political will for use of the new sanctions tool, while urging action in the most pressing cases. Additionally, he urged that care be taken to minimize selective use of sanctions authority; that future designations address the financial enablers of systemic human rights violations; that MEPs work closely with civil society on recommended sanctions designations; that jurisdictions with “Global Magnitsky-like” sanctions programs including the United States, United Kingdom, European Union and Canada, increase human rights sanctions-related information sharing and multilateral action; and that the EU continue to work toward a global sanctions regime that addresses acts of corruption.
For four years, Human Rights First has organized a global coalition of human rights and anti-corruption NGOs that have worked together to bring credible information to the attention of the United States and other governments on potential sanctions designees under the Global Magnitsky Act and other U.S. sanctions programs.
Berschinski’s full remarks can be read here.