Human rights and preventing and countering violent extremism
In his Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism, the UN Secretary-General noted that violent extremism is a diverse phenomenon which is neither new nor exclusive to any region, nationality or system of belief. Yet, in recent years, terrorist groups such as the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Al-Qaida and Boko Haram, have shaped public perception of the issue and how to address it. These groups’ messages of intolerance – religious, social, cultural – have had drastic consequences for many regions of the world.
Panel discussion at the Human Rights Council
On 2 October 2015, the Human Rights Council adopted resolution 30/15 on "Human rights and preventing and countering violent extremism". The Council urged States to "ensure that any measures taken to prevent and counter violent extremism comply with all their obligations under international law, in particular international human rights law, international refugee law and international humanitarian law" (paragraph 3). The Council also called upon "States and local entities involved in supporting the prevention and countering of violent extremism efforts to continue to facilitate the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including through human rights education and training, as well as due process and the rule of law" (paragraph 4). On 17 March 2016 the Human Rights Council convened a panel at its thirty-first session to discuss the human rights dimensions of preventing and countering violent extremism. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has prepared a summary report on the panel discussion (A/HRC/33/28).
Respecting human rights is key to prevent and counter violent extremism
- Statement by Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General at the Geneva Conference on Preventing Violent Extremism, 8 April 2016
- Statement by Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights at the Geneva Conference on Preventing Violent Extremism, 8 April 2016
- Statement by Peggy Hicks, Director of the Thematic Engagement, Special Procedures and Right to Development Division, at the Geneva Conference on Preventing Violent Extremism, 7 April 2016
- Statement by Kate Gilmore, Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights at the Panel discussion on the Human Rights Dimensions of Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism, 17 March 2016
- Statement by H.E. Ambassador Joachim Ruecker, President of the Human Rights Council: Policy Dialogue on “Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism: National Experiences and Best Practices” GCSP, Maison de la Paix, Geneva, 3 December 2015
Best practices and lessons learned
In its resolution 30/15, the Human Rights Council also requested "the Office of the High Commissioner to prepare a compilation report on best practices and lessons learned on how protecting and promoting human rights contribute to preventing and countering violent extremism by the thirty-third session of the Council, and encourages the Office to consult with Member States, United Nations entities and other organizations, as appropriate, to benefit from ongoing relevant work on the human rights dimensions of preventing and countering violent extremism." On 18 January 2016, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights requested input from Member States, United Nations agencies, international organizations and non-governmental organizations, which is available for consultation below, as well as the compilation report (A/HRC/33/29).
Contributions received from States
Contributions received from United Nations agencies and International Organizations
Contributions received from Non-Governmental Organizations