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Special Rapporteur on Promotion and Protection of Human Rights while Countering Terrorism- Specific work on victims of terrorism

In April 2005, the Commission on Human Rights, in resolution 2005/80, decided to appoint, for a period of three years, a Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism. Like other Special Procedures, this mandate was assumed by the Human Rights Council (General Assembly resolution 60/251), and extended for one year, subject to the review to be undertaken by the Council (Human Rights Council decision 2006/102). The mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism (the “Special Rapporteur”) was extended by the Human Rights Council for a period of three years by resolution 15/15 on 30 September 2010 and further extended for another period of three years by resolution 22/8 on 21 March 2013. The Special Rapporteur addresses the role of promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism through country-specific work, including country visits, and in thematic reports submitted to the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly. The current Special Rapporteur has put a special focus of his work on victims of terrorism. He dedicated his first report to the Human Rights Council in 2012 on “Framework principles for securing the human rights of victims of terrorism” (A/HRC/20/14). In the report, the Special Rapporteur describes the legally binding and internationally recognized human rights of victims of terrorism, and elaborates on the corresponding international obligations of States to secure those rights. He puts an emphasis on the legal obligation of States to protect the right to life, States’ adjectival obligation to conduct an independent and impartial investigation, the right of victims of terrorism to form representative organizations and States responsibility to provide reparation to victims of terrorism. The Special Rapporteur recommends in the report that States move towards enshrining those rights and obligations in a specific international instrument. The current Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism is Mr. Ben Emmerson, Q.C. (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland), who has assumed his mandate on 1 August 2011. The first Special Rapporteur (1 August 2005 - 31 July 2011) was Mr. Martin Scheinin (Finland).