John Prendergast urges the U.S. to apply better sanctioning tools against authoritarian regimes

John Prendergast urges the U.S. to apply better sanctioning tools against authoritarian regimes

On May 15, 2018 John Prendergast, co-founder of The Sentry and founder of the Enough Project testified before the Home Subcommittee on Africa. He called the attention of the US government on the need for new, more efficient and smart sanctioning tools. He explains that traditional sanctions such as  withholding aid for social programs or direct foreign aid to governments are not particularly effective against corrupt and authoritarian regimes. A relatively new way of sanctioning called Networking sanctions poses direct financial pressure on the primary individuals, those who are acting on their behalf, and the entities owned or controlled by the primary targeted individuals. Both Network sanctions and anti-money laundering measures are meant to put stronger consequences on corrupt networks and leaders while supporting civil society voices.

John Prendergast urges that the U.S. Department of Treasury as well as its counterparts in the European Union and elsewhere to bring financial pressures against these networks in Sub-Saharan Africa and those around the world that support them. The treasury department currently has an important tool called the “Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act of 2016 championed by Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Senator Benjamin Cardin (D-MD). This legislation empowers the U.S. Government to place sanctions directly on corrupt public officials and their associates across the world that misappropriate state assets as well as serious human rights violators. With more effective and efficient sanctioning tools John Prendergast champions the idea that the U.S can help better international Democracy, peace and protect human rights.

To watch the hearing or read his testimony click here

By Amie Culver

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