Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights: Striking the Right Balance
Please join the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for a hearing on counter-terrorism measures and their impact on human rights.
In response to the 9/11 attacks, the United States and the international community have undertaken a broad range of counter-terrorism initiatives, including the adoption of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy pursuant to General Assembly Resolution 60/288 in September 2006. Although the Strategy’s Plan of Action clearly recognized that protection and promotion of human rights and rule of law were essential to its success, and this was reaffirmed in the seventh review in 2021, many governments have since adopted counter-terrorism measures that depart from their obligations under international law, including international human rights law. Several countries, among them key partners of the United States, have invoked the fight against terrorism to justify restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression and association or to criminalize the exercise of those rights, including through the application of anti-terrorism financing laws. Among those affected are civil society actors, human rights defenders and religious minorities.
Witnesses will examine the use of counter-terrorism measures by governments around the world and offer recommendations for consideration by Congress to ensure that the fight against terrorism is fully aligned with respect for human rights.
This hearing will be virtual. Pursuant to H. Res. 965, Members of Congress and witnesses will participate remotely via Cisco WebEx. Members of the public and the media may view the hearing by live webcast on the Commission website. The hearing will also be available for viewing on channel 51 of the House Digital Channel service. For any questions, please contact Kimberly Stanton (for Co-Chair McGovern) or Piero Tozzi (for Co-Chair Smith).
Member of Congress
Member of Congress
- Rep. James P. McGovern, Co-Chair, TLHRC
- Rep. Christopher H. Smith, Co-Chair, TLHRC
- Fionnuala Ni Aolain, U.N. Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism
- Tom Parker, Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer, Terrorism Prevention Branch, U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime
- Lana Baydas, Ph.D., Senior Program Manager, American Bar Association Center for Human Rights
- Bahey eldin Hassan, Director, Cairo Institute for Human Rights
- Anietie Ewang, Researcher, Africa Division, Human Rights Watch
- Ambika Satkunanathan, Open Society Fellow and former commissioner, Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka
- Adrian Zenz, Ph.D., Senior Fellow in China Studies, Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation
- Jocelyn Nieva, Senior Legal Advisor, Latin America and the Caribbean, International Center for Not-for-Profit Law
Submitted for the Record
- Tom Parker, Response to Question for the Record Submitted by Rep. James P. McGovern
- Sarah Leah Whitson, Executive Director, Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN), Statement Submitted for the Record
- Husain Abdulla, Executive Director, Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain, Statement Submitted for the Record
- Freedom House, Statement Submitted for the Record
- UN General Assembly, Human Rights Council, "Impact of measures to address terrorism and violent extremism on civic space and the rights of civil society actors and human rights defenders," A/HRC/40/52, March 1, 2019
- Tom Parker, "Chapter 34: Prevention of Human Rights Violations and Violations of International Humanitarian Law while Fighting Terrorism," Handbook of Terrorism Prevention and Preparedness, November 2020
- International Center for Not-For-Profit Law, Mapping of Terrorism Financing Risk in Non-Profit Organizations in Member Countries of the Financial Action Task Force of Latin America: A Non-Profit Organization Sector Regional Report, January 2021
- Dr. Joseph Braml, "Anti-Terrorism, Laws and Power: An Inventory of the G20 States 20 Years after 9/11," September 2021
- United Nations Special Procedures communication to Brazil, June 15, 2021
- United Nations Special Procedures communication to China, November 1, 2019
- United Nations Development Programme, "Journey to Extremism in Africa: Drivers, Incentives and the Tipping Point for Recruitment," September 7, 2017
- Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, "Fact Sheet No. 32, Human Rights, Terrorism and Counter-terrorism," July 2008