After the cold war during the decades of development of democracies the role of sanctions as instruments of international relations has raised significantly. Through the evolution of the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union the use of sanctions has also crystallized. Otherwise it remains always a question whether sanctions are justified? Are they effective? Is the application of sanctions the best way against human rights violation? Or sanctions are accompanied by human rights violation themselves? In my work I am looking for answers for these questions, focusing on the relation of sanctions and human rights. In my paper firstly I introduce the evolution of the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union and the development of EU sanction policy. I outline the legal basis of the sanctions and present the different types of restrictive measures and their relations to the United Nations' principles. Through case studies regarding Belarus, Sudan, Burma and Zimbabwe I present the use of different sanctions in order to ensure the respect of human rights. I also analyse whether these sanctions themselves violate to a certain extent human rights causing harm for the civil population or not. Finally, I give an overview about other soft measures of the European Union concerning the promotion of human rights.