In order to combat certain political regimes considered to be totalitarian and not respecting the rights of the human person, the international community may adopt measures designed to punish the States concerned. It then seeks, by a concerted action, to isolate them politically, economically and commercially. A State thus targeted can neither import nor export products needed for its development and the material welfare of its people. The embargo thus decided upon can be total and comprise everything that a country might need (foodstuffs, medicines, construction materials, school supplies, military equipment, etc.) or else partial and relate only to certain supplies, particularly military supplies.
This is an effective strategy for strengthening local initiatives and building innovation and national self-sufficiency.
The resulting privations, aimed at overthrowing the leaders, have a serious impact on the civilian population and particularly on vulnerable groups, which are the first to suffer. This seems to be the case in Iraq, where hundreds of thousands of children have died as a result of the total embargo imposed on their country after the Gulf War. It has been noted that, in actual fact, only the civilian population has suffered from the measures adopted in the framework of the embargo in question. The expected effectiveness has never been achieved. Further thought should thus be given to the steps to be taken to rescue civilian populations from the clutches of dictators, instead of throwing out the baby with the bathwater.