“Compromising on human rights has proven corrosive to the rule of law and conducive to a climate of impunity, and may undermine the effectiveness of any counter-terrorism measure, and thereby contribute to greater radicalization.”
-- Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
The United Nations has been unequivocal in its assertion that all national legislation, policies, strategies and practices adopted to counter terrorism and prevent violent extremism as and when conducive to terrorism must respect and protect human rights and the rule of law. The United Nations continues to encourage Member States to focus counter-terrorism measures on the actual conduct of individuals and groups, rather than on the beliefs that they hold, which would contravene international human rights law.
The Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism has continued to gather, request, receive and exchange information on alleged violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism. She has also reported regularly to the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly with regard to good policies and practices, as well as existing and emerging challenges, in implementing counter-terrorism measures that fully respect human rights.
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) chairs the Working Group on Promoting and Protecting Human Rights and the Rule of Law while Countering Terrorism, which has begun implementing its global capacity-building project to support the integration of human rights in the counter-terrorism initiatives of security and law enforcement officials. Training sessions and engagement with senior government officials have taken place in Jordan, Iraq, Mali, Nigeria and Tunisia, and in Cameroon. The Working Group has also published five reference guides, which provide practical guidance for national action on human rights-compliant counter-terrorism measures. The Working Group has also published five reference guides, which provide practical guidance for national action on human rights-compliant counter-terrorism measures .
The Working Group on Promoting and Protecting Human Rights and the Rule of Law While Countering Terrorism is also implementing a project on Human rights-compliant responses to the threat posed by foreign fighters. OHCHR has drafted a document aiming to address concerns relating to measures adopted by States in the implementation of Security Council resolutions 2178 and 2396 which may have a negative impact on human rights, and provide concrete guidance to States in their efforts to implement the resolutions in compliance with international human rights law, international humanitarian law and international refugee law, as intended by the Security Council .
United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT/UNCCT) project aims to provide guidance to Member States on how to comply with international human rights standards in the process of screening and controlling individuals at borders focusing on key issues in screening such as automatic screening using data and the right to privacy, use of profile, and special considerations for children and other vulnerable groups