The Impact of Economic Sanctions on Health and Well-being

There is now substantive cumulative evidence that trade embargoes cause severe civilian hardship and profound social and economic dislocation. Their impact goes beyond humanitarian crisis to induce serious economic recession and social impoverishment. In short, sanctions reverse development gains, and their effects cannot be mitigated by humanitarian assistance alone.
There is no specific legal instrument to regulate sanctions but minimally they should respect basic principles in international humanitarian law, such as distinction and proportionality.
This paper reviews the evidence of the impact of sanctions against Cuba, Haiti and Iraq, specifically on health and health services.