Human Rights

Providing training to law enforcement and security officials of Member States to enhance their knowledge, understanding, and implementation of international human rights frameworks and upholding the rule of law in the context of their counter-terrorism efforts.

Human rights and law enforcement

In the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy adopted by the UN General Assembly, Member States reaffirmed that the promotion and protection of human rights for all and the rule of law is essential to all components of the Strategy. In the fourth pillar of the Global Strategy’s Plan of Action (A/RES/60/288), Member States reaffirmed that General Assembly resolution 60/158 provides the fundamental framework for the "protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism". Also, the UN Security Council’s relevant resolutions on terrorism and counter-terrorism, including resolutions 1456 (2003), 1624 (2005), 1805 (2008), 2129 (2013), 2178 (2014), 395 (2017) and 2396 (2017), emphasize that all of Member States’ counter-terrorism measures must comply with their obligations under international law, in particular, international human rights law, international humanitarian law, and international refugee law.


This global, multi-year project on Training and Capacity Building of Law Enforcement Officials on Human Rights, the Rule of Law and the Prevention of Terrorism (“Global Project”) aims to improve Member States’ capacity to prevent, respond to, and investigate terrorism threats based on international human rights law and the rule of law and to support them in their efforts to implement measures under Pillar IV of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. The project’s legislative framework is based on international human rights instruments, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the core treaties, as well as Security Council and General Assembly resolutions.


The project is divided into four phases, each one interlinked with the other to provide a platform that seeks the longer-term impact and greater sustainability of the training:

  • Phase I and II: Modular development of five thematic modules, and the implementation of approximately five-day training course mid to senior-rank law enforcement and security officers and national trainers engaged in counter-terrorism work
  • Phase III: Training-of-trainer for each participating Member State for trainers and change agents who were previously trained under Phase I or II
  • Phase IV: Evaluation of the project to identify any emerging good practice that could be included in the training of other Member States, as well as any blocks to progress


A project methodology, a training curriculum and a full range of training materials (in English, Arabic and French) were developed for this Global Project with reference to the OHCHR training methodology and other relevant material. The training curriculum contains five thematic modules:

  • The International Legal Framework
  • The Use of Force within Human Rights Constraints
  • Human Rights Compliant Detention Practices
  • Human Rights Compliant Interview Practices
  • The Use of Special Investigation Techniques


The project takes an “All-of-UN” approach to implementation in coordination with relevant entities of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Coordination Compact (“Global Compact”). Implementation is through the UN Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT) and the Global Compact Working Group on Promoting and Protecting Human Rights, the Rule of Law and Fundamental Freedoms and Supporting the Victims of Terrorism, which is chaired by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). Field-level implementation is managed by expert consultants and OHCHR staff with UNCCT human rights programme manager providing oversight from New York.


Phases I and II of the project have been delivered in Iraq, Jordan and Tunisia in the MENA region, and Cameroon, Nigeria and Mali, in the Sahel region. piloted in the MENA Region (Iraq, Jordan and Tunisia) and Africa (Mali, Cameroon and Nigeria). Phase III, the training-of-trainers course which is critical to project sustainability and impact, was launched in November 2019 with a joint workshop in Amman, Jordan for the three MENA countries (Jordan, Iraq and Tunisia). Similar training-of-trainer course for Cameroon, Mali and Nigeria, and the Phase IV evaluation for all six countries, are scheduled for the first quarter of 2020.

UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy

The UN General Assembly adopted by consensus the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy on 8 September 2006. The strategy is a unique global instrument to enhance national, regional and international efforts to counter terrorism. The General Assembly reviews the Strategy every two years, making it a living document attuned to Member States’ counter-terrorism priorities.

UNCCT 2020 Annual Report

2019 Annual Report on the Fourth Year of the UNCCT 5-Year Programme

2020 was the last year of the UNCCT Five-Year Programme (2016-2020). As detailed in this report, the Centre made impressive progress in achieving the objectives set out by the 5-Year Programme, with more than 91 per cent of planned activities either completed or being implemented.

Previous Annual reports: [2019] [2018]  [2017]