Time for a Course Correction on Counterterrorism and Civic Space

Published: June 2021

Shortly after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1373, initiating a period of rapid growth in the UN’s counterterrorism system. Today, the size and complexity of this system are among its defining characteristics. A second is a chronic lack of openness to human rights expert and civil society participation. Together, this has produced a system that suffers from a lack of healthy debate and has, in some cases, helped to create a “safe space” for governments to misuse the global counterterrorism measures to silence civil society in their countries.

This Just Security article, written by ICNL’s Senior Legal Advisor, Nicholas Miller, and ECNL’s Executive Director, Katerina Hadzi-Miceva Evans, lays out how and why the UN’s counterterrorism system must change. They argue the first steps must include creation of greater room for civil society participation in counterterrorism policymaking and a recognition by the UN and its member states that the UN counterterrorism system has the potential to cause human rights harms. Read the full article from Just Security here.