Table of Contents

Research Handbook on International Law and Terrorism

Research Handbook on International Law and Terrorism

Research Handbooks in International Law series

Edited by Ben Saul

This Handbook brings together leading scholars and practitioners to examine the prolific body of international laws governing terrorism. It exhaustively covers the global response to terrorism in transnational criminal law, the international law on the use of force, international humanitarian law, international human rights law, the law of State responsibility, the United Nations Security Council, General Assembly, UN specialised bodies, and regional organisations. It also addresses special legal issues in dealing with terrorism such as gender, religion, victims of terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, and customary law.

Chapter 19: Humanitarian action, development and terrorism

Andrej Zwitter

Subjects: law - academic, human rights, public international law, terrorism and security law, politics and public policy, human rights, terrorism and security


Terrorism thrives on the suffering of people. Underdevelopment, unemployment, poor governance, and absence of the rule of law in combination with grievances are among the factors that facilitate the radicalization of people and the recruitment of new members to terrorist organizations. These conditions are being addressed by humanitarian action and development aid through the delivery of food, shelter, education, good governance training and other elements of a sustainable livelihood that people are entitled to under international human rights standards. The current aid regime, however, is in a classic Catch-22 when it comes to long-term terrorism prevention: international obligations require the delivery of humanitarian aid to anyone in need without prejudice to political affiliation, religion, or parties of a conflict. However, counterterrorism norms prohibit, under threat of prosecution, the giving of any support to terrorist groups, whether it is through material or logistical support or expert advice.

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