Effective counter-terrorism policies are based on "strict observance of human rights standards," says Special Rapporteur Ben Emmerson

Ben Emmerson, the newly appointed Special Rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism, last week briefed the Counter-Terrorism Committee on his future work and outlined areas of common interest.

At the Committee’s meeting of 20 October 2011, Mr. Emmerson told members that he would focus during his tenure on the rights of victims of terrorism and the prevention of terrorism.  

Ben Emmerson, far left, addresses the CTC.

Ben Emmerson (left), Special Rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism, addresses the CTC.

The Special Rapporteur said that, although there are some differences in view among States on this issue, he believes States have a legal obligation towards victims of terrorism and their families. For example, they should provide health support and psychosocial assistance. He added that solidarity with victims is one of the areas of common interest between the Counter-Terrorism Committee and his mandate.

Prevention is a second area of convergence. “It is now widely accepted that by promoting and protecting all human rights…Member States are also actively preventing terrorism,” Mr. Emmerson said.

The Security Council and the General Assembly have emphasized the importance of tackling the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism, including human rights violations and other grievances, as part of comprehensive national strategies to counter terrorism. Mr. Emmerson said that effective counter-terrorism policies are based on “strict observance of human rights standards.”

As specified in the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and Security Council resolutions, any measures taken by States should also comply with all their obligations under international law, in particular international human rights, refugee, and humanitarian law.

The Special Rapporteur indicated that he looks forward to continue the cooperation with the Security Council, its Counter-Terrorism Committee and other relevant UN bodies.

Mr. Emmerson took up his duties on 1 August 2011. He was appointed Special Rapporteur by the Human Rights Council.

This page was last updated on: 26-Oct-2011 3:40 PM EST