Using Human Rights to Counter Terrorism
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Using Human Rights to Counter Terrorism

Edited by Manfred Nowak and Anne Charbord

While providing a substantive legal analysis of the links between human rights and counter-terrorism, this book provides the tools to successfully argue that a human rights approach does not undermine the fight against terrorism. Through practical examples, it shows that a State’s lack of respect for human rights hinders its fight against terrorism and can be counter-productive. The contributing experts represent a wide breadth of experience at the national and international levels, and bring their unique approach to each cross-cutting topic.
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Chapter 5: One step forward, two steps back: The Security Council, ‘foreign terrorist fighters’, and human rights

Lisa Ginsborg


Through resolution 2178 (2014) the Security Council imposed a number of binding measures to be taken by all UN Member States to counter the threat of ‘foreign terrorist fighters’. While the resolution repeats some familiar mistakes of the post-9/11 Security Council action notably in its introduction of a legally problematic definition of ‘foreign terrorist fighters’, the resolution also shows some signs that the Security Council may have learnt, at least in part, that the complete disregard of human rights is not always helpful from a security perspective. Further, the resolution is significantly new in its focus on countering violent extremism to prevent terrorism. While important risks remain in its implementation, resolution 2178 reflects the hope that a more preventive long-term approach may also be entering the Security Council agenda, in which human rights promotion and protection are seen as a vehicle to prevent and counter terrorism.

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