Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism

Ms. Fionnuala D. Ní Aoláin, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while counter-terrorism © Minnesota Picture
Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while counter-terrorism, Ms. Fionnuala Ní Aoláin
© Minnesota Picture

The Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism is an independent expert appointed by the UN Human Rights Council. The mandate holder has been invited to gather, request, receive and exchange information on alleged violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, and to report regularly to the Human Rights Council and General Assembly about inter alia identified good policies and practices, as well as existing and emerging challenges and present recommendations on ways and means to overcome them. 

Historical background

In April 2005, the Commission on Human Rights, in resolution 2005/80, created a mandate of 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 1/102).

Subsequently, the mandate was extended by the Human Rights Council for a period of three years by resolution 6/28 on 14 December 2007. Further extensions for the same period were done by resolution 15/15 on 30 September 2010 and resolution 22/8 on 21 March 2013.

On 23 March 2016, the Human Rights Council extended the mandate of the Special Rapporteur for a further period of three years (resolution 31/3).

Fionnuala Ní Aoláin has been appointed by the Human Rights Council as the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism. She began to discharge her mandate as of 1st August 2017.

Mandate

The Special Rapporteur is mandated by HRC resolution 15/15:

a) To make concrete recommendations on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, including, at the request of States, for the provision of advisory services or technical assistance on such matters;

b) To gather, request, receive and exchange information and communications from and with all relevant sources, including Governments, the individuals concerned and their families, representatives and organizations, including through country visits, with the consent of the State concerned, on alleged violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism;

c) To integrate a gender perspective throughout the work of his/her mandate;

d) To identify, exchange and promote best practices on measures to counter terrorism that respect human rights and fundamental freedoms;

e) To work in close coordination with other relevant bodies and mechanisms of the United Nations, and in particular with other special procedures of the Council, in order to strengthen the work for the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while avoiding unnecessary duplication of efforts;

f) To develop a regular dialogue and discuss possible areas of cooperation with Governments and all relevant actors, including relevant United Nations bodies, specialized agencies and programmes, with, inter alia, the Counter-Terrorism Committee of the Security Council, including its Executive Directorate, the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Terrorism Prevention Branch of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and treaty bodies, as well as non-governmental organizations and other regional or subregional international institutions, while respecting the scope of his/her mandate and fully respecting the respective mandates of the above-mentioned bodies and with a view to avoiding duplication of effort;

g) To report regularly to the Council and to the General Assembly.

Working methods

In the discharge of the mandate, the Special Rapporteur:

a) Transmits urgent appeals and letters of allegation to Member States on alleged violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism (See submitting information to the special procedures).

b) Undertakes fact-finding country visits.

c) Submits annual reports to the Human Rights Council and General Assembly.

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