Launched one year ago on 6 July 2020, the UK’s Global Human Rights Sanctions regime gave the UK Foreign Secretary the ability to sanction persons implicated in human rights abuses anywhere across the globe. The first anniversary of the UK Global Human Rights Sanctions regime provides an opportunity to examine how the UK government has used its new tool for tackling human rights abuses, as detailed in this paper. A data-driven analysis shows 78 designations arising from 11 situations of human rights violations. There was a notable skew towards designations for violations of the right to life and prohibition on torture, with fewer designations for forced labour. Six entities were sanctioned, including military holding companies and public security bureaus. Individuals designated ranged from politicians and military officials to family members of perpetrators and prison doctors.