Offering Trade Benefits for More Inclusive Elections: EU Trade Sanctions Against Myanmar Hit the Wrong Targets

Issue & Policy Briefs June 2, 2010, No. 32

When it comes to sanctions against Myanmar, Western public debate has crystallized broadly into two schools of thought – either in favor of sanctions, as a reflection of a moral position, or against sanctions because of their perceived lack of overall effectiveness. This policy brief suggests a more targeted and evidence-based approach. To begin with it is essential to have a clear and precise understanding of what sanctions should accomplish as well as knowledge of the actual impact of those sanctions on the ground. Equally important is to thereafter promptly dismantle any misguided measures while maintaining and reinforcing those measures that work according to the objectives. Finally, the flow of information to the international community must concern the actual impact of sanctions rather than rhetoric and propaganda.

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