Australia should adopt Magnitsky-style legislation to sanction human rights violators

Australia should introduce and adopt legislation that targets individuals responsible for serious human rights violations and acts of corruption worldwide, FIDH said today.

In a submission made today to the Australian Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defense and Trade – Human Rights Sub-committee, FIDH argues that the enactment of such legislation by Australia would strengthen human rights protections particularly in regard to ongoing rights abuses in Cambodia. Targeted sanctions legislation could also be used to provide protection and support to Cambodian nationals in Australia.

Legislation that introduces targeted sanctions to address human rights abuses has already been adopted in the US, with the enactment of the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act; in Canada, with the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act (also known as Sergei Magnitsky Law); and in the UK, with the “Magnitsky amendment” to the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act.

Adopting Magnitsky-style legislation would bring Australia into alignment with these jurisdictions and would improve Cambodia’s civil society organizations’ access to sanctioning mechanisms for human rights violations and acts of corruption.

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