Terrorism and Human Rights
We must respond resolutely to terrorism without compromising human rights
Terrorism is an ever-growing threat to world security. Most of the worst attacks in Europe have been carried out by individuals who live, work and have their families in Europe.
The fight against terrorism has long been a priority for the Council of Europe and it has adopted a unique three-pronged approach: strengthening the legal framework, tackling the causes of terrorism and safeguarding fundamental values. Its commitment to the rule of law and human rights is essential in this battle.
One hundred countries, i.e. half of the countries in the world, now have among their nationals individuals who have joined the ranks of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
The UN has reported that there are to date 25 000 foreign fighters, with a sharp increase in the number of individuals joining IS from European countries (in particular France, the United Kingdom and Russia) and from Asia.
Faced with this phenomenon, and in the context of the implementation in Europe of UN Security Council Resolution 2178 (2014), the Council of Europe has strengthened its legal arsenal by means of an additional Protocol to its Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism (2005).
For the first time in international law, this instrument makes the preparation of acts of terrorism – at the initial stage (recruitment, training, and the preparation and financing of travel for the purposes of terrorism) - a criminal offence.
A three-year action plan to counter violent extremism and radicalisation, in particular in schools and prisons and on the Internet, was launched in May 2015. In this context, on 2 March the Committee of Ministers adopted guidelines to help member States prevent radicalisation of prisoners and probationers and rehabilitate individuals who have already been radicalised.
Secretary General statement on new guidelines for terror victims
Committee of Ministers
European Court of Human Rights
- Factsheet on Terrorism and the European Convention on Human Rights
- Guidelines on Human rights and the fight against terrorism
Commissioner for Human Rights
- Counter-terrorism strategy for 2023-2027
- Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism (CETS n° 196)
- Additional Protocol to the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism (CETS n° 217)
- Council of Europe Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime and on the Financing of Terrorism (CETS n° 198)
- European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism (CEST n° 90)
- Protocol amending the European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism (CETS n° 190)
- Students as suspects? - The challenges of counter-radicalisation policies in education in the Council of Europe member states (2018)
- Protection of victims of terrorist acts (2018)
- Prison: a breeding ground for radicalisation and violent extremism? (2018)
- Action against terrorism (2013)
- The fight against terrorism - Council of Europe standards (2007)