The CTITF Working Group on Promoting and Protecting Human Rights and the Rule of Law while Countering Terrorism was established to support efforts by Member States to ensure the promotion and protection of human rights and the rule of law in the context of countering terrorism. The Working Group supports the implementation of Pillar IV of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, as well as the mainstreaming of human rights and the rule of law into the other three pillars of the Strategy. The Working Group seeks to facilitate information exchange on human rights and rule of law capacity building and good practice examples on the promotion and protection of human rights and the rule of law in the context of counter-terrorism and identify gaps and weaknesses in counter-terrorism approaches taken by Statesand develop proposals for strengthening support to Member States on the promotion and protection of human rights and the rule of law in the context of countering terrorism at the national, regional and global levels.
United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy:
Section IV: “We resolve to undertake the following measures, reaffirming that the promotion and protection of human rights for all and the rule of law is essential to all components of the Strategy, recognizing that effective counter-terrorism measures and the protection of human rights are not conflicting goals, but complementary and mutually reinforcing, and stressing the need to promote and protect the rights of victims of terrorism…”
The activities of the Working Group includes an assessment of support and assistance currently available to Member States, as well as the facilitation of information exchange on human rights concerns and best practice examples on the protection of human rights in the context of counter-terrorism. The Working Group identifies gaps and weaknesses and develops proposals for strengthening support to Member States on the protection of human rights in the context of counter-terrorism at the national level.
Activities of the Working Group include:
In April 2013, the Working Group launched its global project called Capacity Building and Training of Law Enforcement Officials on Human Rights, the Rule of Law and the Prevention of Terrorism that seeks to train law enforcement officials in charge of counter-terrorism on human rights. As a result of two mapping and needs assessment workshops in Amman, Jordan in April 2013, and in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso in October 2013 the CTITF Working Group has been working to develop a training curriculum that will consist of seven thematic modules, including on the international legal framework, detention practices, use of force, and special investigative techniques. Training has already been undertaken in Nigeria and it is anticipated that the next trainings will be held in Tunisia, Iraq and Jordan.
Five Basic Human Rights Reference Guides that serve as reference documents to guide national action, to serve as checklists for national assessment processes and address capacity building needs of Member States in selected areas have been developed. A workshop on the issue was held in September 2008 and an outcome note of this workshop is available below.
- Reference guide on the stopping and searching of persons, March 2014
- Reference guide on security infrastructure, March 2014
- Reference guide on detention in the context of counter-terrorism, October 2014
- Reference guide on the conformity of national counter-terrorism legislation with international human rights law, October 2014
- Reference guide on the right to a fair trial and due process in the context of countering terrorism, October 2014.
In 2008, the Working Group organised an expert seminar which focused on the impact of terrorism and counter-terrorism measures on the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR). A number of concrete recommendations and suggestions were developed, and a report summarizing the discussions was produced.
In 2008, the Working Group cooperated with the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism and OHCHR in organizing an expert meeting on International Aviation Law. Discussions included the potential role of international bodies in promoting legal safeguards and preventing potential human rights violations when states engage in counter-terrorism practices that involve aircrafts, airports or air space.
The Working Group has also facilitated consultation on additional tools produced by CTITF member entities, such as the OHCHR Fact Sheet on Human Rights, Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism (a comprehensive document aimed at State authorities, NGOs, legal practitioners and individuals, which examines the complex and multifaceted links between human rights and counterterrorism) and the UNODC Handbook on Criminal Justice Responses to Terrorism.
- Report summarizing discussions from expert seminar on the impact of terrorism and counter-terrorism measures on the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR), November 2008
- Outcome note from workshop on the development of practical tools, September 2008
- Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) (co-chair)
- Executive Office of the Secretary-General - Rule of Law Unit (co-chair)
- Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF)
- Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED)
- International Maritime Organization (IMO)
- International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL)
- 1267/1988 Monitoring Team
- Office of Legal Affairs (OLA)
- Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism
- United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI)
- United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
- The Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect