A/HRC/40/52/Add.5: Visit to Belgium - Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism
08 May 2019
The Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, conducted an official visit to Belgium from 24 to 31 May 2018 to assess counter-terrorism laws, policies and practices, measured against the country’s international human rights obligations.
The Special Rapporteur commends the measured, intentional and deliberative approach shown by the Government in responding to the terrorist threat. She affirms that Belgium has much good practice to share, and its commitment to human rights is an essential dimension of its leadership in addressing terrorism.
Despite many positive observations, the Special Rapporteur notes several key human rights challenges and makes a number of recommendations, including, inter alia, on the need to set up an independent, adequately resourced, overarching expert oversight body to undertake review of the overall operation of counter-terrorism and national security powers, laws and policies; the importance of establishing an independent national human rights institution; the elimination of persistent barriers to the realization of victims’ human rights; policies and programmes aimed at preventing violent extremism; practices of subjecting persons deprived of their liberty to individual security regimes or measures, placing them in “D-Rad:Ex” (deradicalization) wings or flagging them for showing signs of radicalization, as well as implementing specialized and individually tailored disengagement and reintegration programmes in prisons; oversight and human rights-compliant management of databases, citizenship stripping and national security expulsions; and the human rights-compliant management of returnees, including children.
Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism