Governments are increasingly adopting situation-specific legislation that allows the imposition of economic sanctions on individuals or entities connected to human rights abuses. For example, the Government of Canada imposed sanctions on nine Nicaraguan officials in 2019 as a result of human rights abuses. Canada also passed the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act (Sergei Magnitsky Law) to enable it to sanction individuals in Canada, Canadian citizens and Canadian-incorporated entities connected to human rights abuses.

While these sanctions do not regulate business conduct to enhance BHR performance per se, they are punitive measures that governments can impose against individuals and entities. The possibility of sanctions deters Canadian individuals and entities from being directly or indirectly linked to human rights abuses through their business relationships. It also entices individuals and entities to proactively impose and enforce measures to prevent future human rights abuses.