International Sanctions

International Sanctions

International sanctions restrict trade and economic relations between individuals, organizations, or countries. Diplomatic, transportation, and communication restrictions are also among the international sanctions restrictions. International sanctions are imposed for a variety of reasons. Diplomatic disputes, security issues, human rights violations, international terrorism, and widespread mass destruction of weapons are all reasons for international sanctions.

Type of Sanctions

International sanctions have emerged as a critical component of modern international relations. They are coercive measures used against states, non-state entities, or individuals who endanger international peace and security. The goals are to change an agent’s behavior, reduce its maneuverability or weaken its position, and publicly condemn those agents who pose a threat to international peace and security. Sanctions are primarily preventive in nature and should be proportionate. They are used as a substitute for the use of armed force.

To avoid negative effects on third parties, sanctions are targeted at specific individuals or entities as much as possible and must always be by International Law and human rights. Economic-commercial measures (such as the arms embargo), financial measures, or individual sanctions such as entry prohibitions or asset freezing are examples.


Economic sanctions are commercial and financial restrictions imposed on individuals, groups, or countries. The goal of economic sanctions imposed as a result of various disputes is for the country to resolve the disputes. Economic sanctions include trade bans, transaction restrictions, tax regulations, and other decisions.

The sanctions imposed by governments apply to both citizens and businesses operating in the country. Companies operating in the country are not permitted to conduct business with sanctioned companies. As a result, businesses must be aware of embargoes and avoid taking the wrong steps. Companies that violate sanctions face criminal charges. As a result, businesses should take a variety of measures in this area.


Diplomatic sanctions are intended to express dissatisfaction in bilateral relations while avoiding harm to political and economic ties. Diplomatic sanctions use a variety of political measures to send a message to the other government. Some diplomatic sanctions include the cancellation or limitation of diplomatic visits.


The Secretary of Homeland Security previously notified the Secretary of State, by Section 243(d) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), that multiple governments have denied or unreasonably delayed accepting their nationals ordered removed from the United States. As a result, the Secretary of State has directed consular officers in these countries to impose visa restrictions on specific categories of visa applicants, as determined by each country. These sanctions have remained in effect or will remain in effect until the Secretary of Homeland Security notifies the Secretary of State that removal cooperation has improved to an acceptable level.

Previously, visa sanctions were imposed on the following countries: Guyana in 2001, The Gambia in 2016, Cambodia, Eritrea, Guinea, and Sierra Leone in 2017, Burma and Laos in 2018, Cuba, Ghana, and Pakistan in 2019, and Burundi, China, and Ethiopia in 2020. Burundi, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guyana, Guinea, and The Gambia have since had their visa restrictions lifted, while Laos and Sierra Leone have had theirs reduced.


Military sanctions come in a variety of forms. Military strikes, an arms embargo, and a military equipment embargo are examples of military sanctions.