New Congressional Resolution Urges Use of Sanctions and Other Financial Tools Against Enablers of Atrocities

Human Rights First applauds Senators Feingold (D-WI) and Collins (R-ME) for introducing a new resolution focused on enhancing U.S. capacity to prevent and mitigate mass atrocities, including by tackling third-party actors that enable these crimes.

The resolution (S.Con.Res.71), introduced on August 5, recognizes the U.S. national interest in preventing and mitigating genocide and other mass atrocities against civilians, and outlines recommendations for the President and other top U.S. officials toward achieving a whole-of-government approach to this end. Among the specific recommendations is a call upon “the Secretary of the Treasury, working in consultation with the Secretary of State, to review how sanctions and other financial tools could be used against state and commercial actors to be found directly supporting or enabling genocides and mass atrocities.” This marks an important recognition of the role played by third parties in providing critical resources to the perpetrators of atrocities, and of the possibility of tackling these enablers using sanctions and other existing policy tools.

While the resolution is nonbinding, it makes a significant––and bipartisan––statement and it represents an important step toward strengthening the U.S. government’s ability to prevent and halt the world’s worst crimes. The resolution has now been referred to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

For more information on the importance of tackling the enablers of mass atrocities, see our fact sheet.
For information on how policy makers can establish an effective early warning system to help prevent mass atrocities, see this briefing paper released earlier this summer by Human Rights First and 13 partner organizations.

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Published on August 10, 2010

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