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Laws and regulations

Published: 02 December 2011

Sanctions are political instruments in the foreign and security policies of the United Nations, the European Union and national governments.

They are enforcement instruments employed in response to violations of international law or human rights, or to encourage policy changes where legal or democratic principles are not adhered to.

Sanctions also are a strong weapon in the fight against terrorism. While freezing terrorists’ assets does not make it impossible to prepare terrorist attacks, a freeze does make make it more difficult to do so. The most commonly declared sanctions are:

  • arms embargoes and trade restrictions
  • financial sanctions
  • travel and visa restrictions.

The information on these pages is limited to financial sanctions, which come in two major categories:

  • orders to freeze assets
  • bans or restrictions on providing financial services.

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