Biden admin discusses most effective way to defend human rights around the world using economic sanctions

U.S. Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Adewale ‘Wally’ Adeyemo met virtually Thursday with over two dozen NGOs focused on human rights and anti-corruption as part of a review of U.S. economic and financial sanctions.

The Deputy Secretary thanked the organizations for their support of the Global Magnitsky sanctions program, which aims to “protect and promote human rights and combat corruption around the world.”

While the implementation of economic sanctions come with costs and benefits, the Department of the Treasury is largely responsible for deciding the extent and manner in which they should be imposed.

As the Department of the Treasury deliberates about the most effective way to utilize economic sanctions to promote human rights around the world, the Deputy Secretary asserted that NGOs play an integral role in this process.

According to a press release, the organizations contribute information that is used to “shed light on corruption and human rights abuses seen on the ground.”

Short of military intervention, economic sanctions are one of the most impactful steps that the United States can take to promote democratic values and condemn human rights violations abroad.

“Through the sanctions review, the Deputy Secretary said he seeks to have the ability to use this important economic and financial tool in a way that reflects America’s values abroad and protects the domestic financial system,” said the Thursday press release.

Noah Pitcher is a global politics correspondent for Today News Africa covering the U.S. government, United Nations, African Union, and other actors involved in international developments, political controversies, and humanitarian issues.

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