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Dignity Rights in Asia: Humanitarian Toll of Economic Sanctions

Dignity Rights emphasizes the foundational role of human dignity in actualizing a robust and just rule of law. This panel of legal experts, academics, and activists addresses the nexus of international human rights, social justice, and economic sanctions. In the past decade, companies in the Asia Pacific region have faced higher risk of primary and secondary sanctions. This shift has occurred due to the companies’ foray into Western markets, where primary sanctions jurisdiction is most likely to exist, and the disbalanced efforts by Western governments to investigate and prosecute activities alleged to threaten their security or foreign policy objectives. Compliance with foreign sanctions is often the only commercially reasonable choice for companies that desire continued access to Western markets. This panel discusses the humanitarian impact of sanctions in the context of Iran, Yemen, and Palestine. Economic sanctions increase the poverty gap and fail to often achieve their aims. The damaging impact of sanctions on income inequality affects everyday people more than the leaders of sanctioned nations.


  • Huwaida Arraf, Attorney and Co-Founder, International Solidarity Movement
  • Sahar Aziz, Professor of Law and Chancellor’s Social Justice Scholar, Rutgers Law School
  • Fatmata Barrie, Attorney, The Barrie Law Center
  • Brian Egan, Partner, Steptoe & Johnson LLP
  • Hanieh Jodat Barnes, National Coordinator, Lift the Sanctions Campaign
  • Aisha Jumaan, President, Yemen Relief & Reconstruction Foundation


  • Nadia Ahmad, Associate Professor of Law, Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law; Council Member, ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice; Co-Chair, Environmental Justice Committee, ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice
  • Roula Allouch, Attorney, Graydon; National Board Chair, Council on American-Islamic Relations; Council Member, ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice; Co-Chair, Bullyproof Committee, ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice

Joint Sponsor: ABA Coalition on Racial and Ethnic Justice

Co-Sponsors: ABA Center for Human RightsABA Center for Public Interest LawABA Commission on Disability RightsABA Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights & ResponsibilitiesABA Commission on Homelessness & PovertyABA Commission on ImmigrationABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the ProfessionABA Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender IdentityABA Commission on Women in the ProfessionABA Council for Diversity in the Educational PipelineABA Criminal Justice SectionABA Diversity and Inclusion CenterABA Government and Public Sector Lawyers DivisionABA International Law SectionABA Law Student DivisionABA Section of Environment, Energy, and ResourcesABA Section of State and Local Government LawABA Standing Committee on the Law Library of Congress, ABA Standing Committee on Public Education, ABA Young Lawyers Division


Transcript: Dignity Rights in Asia: Humanitarian Toll of Economic Sanctions

Presentation: Aisha Jumaan

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