Alena Douhan , UN-Sonderberichtserstatterin über negative Auswirkungen von unilateralen Sanktionen auf Menschenrechte (Nachfolgerin von Idriss Jazairi)
PM über Besuch in Venezuela vom 12.2.21

UN human rights expert urges to lift unilateral sanctions against Venezuela

CARACAS (12 February 2021) – The UN Special Rapporteur on unilateral coercive measures and human rights, Alena Douhan, today urged the United States, European Union and other states to drop sanctions imposed against Venezuela.

At the end of a two-week visit to Venezuela, Douhan said the sanctions have exacerbated pre-existing economic situations and have dramatically affected the whole population of Venezuela, especially but not only those in extreme poverty, women, children, medical workers, people with disabilities or life-threatening or chronic diseases, and the indigenous populations.

“The devastating effect of sanctions imposed is multiplied by extra-territoriality and over-compliance adversely affecting public and private sectors, Venezuela citizens, non-governmental organizations, third country national and companies”, said Douhan, -- “humanitarian exemptions are lengthy, costly, ineffective and inefficient”.

“Lack of necessary machinery, spare parts, electricity, water, fuel, gas, food and medicine, growing insufficiency of qualified workers many of whom have left the country for better economic opportunities, in particular medical personnel, engineers, teachers, professors, judges and policemen, has enormous impact over all categories of human rights, including the rights to life, to food, to health and to development”.

“Due to the complexity of the situation I sought to meet the widest range of people to listen to their experience and insights. I met government officials, diplomats, international agencies, opposition leaders, non-governmental organizations, lawyers, doctors, teachers, academics, victims of human rights violations, representatives of private business and of the church, as well as ordinary people” Douhan said.

First sanctions have been imposed against Venezuela in 2005 and have been severely strengthened since 2015 under numerous allegations, with the most severe ones being imposed by the United States.

Douhan stressed that unilateral measures are only legal if they are authorized by the UN Security Council, or used as countermeasures, or do not breach any obligation of states, and do not violate fundamental human rights. She called on the countries to observe principles and norms of international law and reminds that humanitarian concerns shall always be taken into account with due respect to mutual respect, solidarity, cooperation and multilateralism. She plans to issue a full report on her mission in September 2021.