User guide

Types of sanctions

Provides an overview of all types of sanctions imposed by the UN in the post-Cold War period. It includes not only the various types and subtypes of sanctions, but also their variations and specific modifications, and the language used by the Security Council to authorize the different sanctions measures.

Includes the full menu of sanctions imposed by the UN, divided into the following categories:

Travel  = Limits on the travel of designated individuals.
Asset freeze  = Freezing of assets of specific individuals / corporate entities.
Diplomatic  = Limits on diplomatic relations, country's citizens, and cultural / scientific cooperation.
Arms  = Restrictions on the flow of arms to and / or from target.
Proscribed activities  = Bans on terrorist activities, nuclear dual-use goods, or weapons of mass destruction-related technology.
Commodity  = Interruptions of the flow of specific goods to and / or from target.
Transportation  = Air, land, and waterborne transportation-related restrictions.
Financial sector  = Restrictions on government assets and resources and / or the country's banks and financial institutions.

Each category of sanctions can be mandatory, conditional, or recommended (voluntary) in application. These variations are indicated throughout the "Types of sanctions" section.

Different types of sanctions vary in the degree to which they can discriminate between targets and non-targets in their political, economic, and socio-psychological impacts. In the App, we distinguish between:

Low  = Sanctions with little impact beyond their immediate targets.
Medium  = Sanctions with limited impact, targeting specific sectors of government activity or non-governmental group activity.
High  = Sanctions with significant potential to affect the broader population of the country negatively.

While the indication of the scope of impact for each individual sanctions measure is important, the combination of measures imposed at any given point in time should be considered when evaluating the overall scope of sanctions' impact.

Information about previous use of a particular type of sanction is provided in the following format:

Cases  = Includes the full list of cases and episodes where the specific type of sanction has been used by the UN.
Selected resolutions  = Provides a selection of resolutions through which the type of sanction was imposed.
Sample wording  = Lays out the specific language through which the type of sanction was imposed, as well as its variations.
Exemptions  = Provides an overview of all exemptions modifying the specific type of sanction.
Extensions  = Includes specifications for additional application of the sanctions measure.
Notes  = Presents additional information about the specific type of sanctions measure.