ICJ highlights rights of victims of terrorism to UN delegations

The ICJ has highlighted the human rights of victims of terrorism in a presentation to States’ delegations to the UN in New York.

On 3 December 2019, ICJ Senior Legal Adviser Matt Pollard presented ICJ’s compilation, Human Rights of Victims of Terrorism, at an event organized by the Permanent Missions of Spain and Afghanistan and the UN Office on Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), with participation by the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism.

In the presentation, the ICJ recognised the achievements of Spain and Afghanistan in establishing a Group of Friends of Victims of Terrorism, and in achieving consensus for a ground-breaking General Assembly resolution in June, and UNOCT’s ongoing work including the UN victims of terrorism support portal.

The ICJ also emphasised key elements such as: the essential role of victims’ associations and other civil society actors; the need to move beyond expressions of solidary to implement concrete measures of assistance; and the need for a human-rights based approach to victims of terrorism.

Among key issues, the ICJ highlighted: effective, rapid and simple access to assistance; access to justice and the truth; recognition and remembrance; avoiding exploitation and re-traumatization; preventing further attacks or violence, while respecting the rule of law and human rights; ensuring involvement of victims’ representatives in designing, implementing and assessing measures for victims; and the importance of international cooperation.

The presentation also looked forward to next steps towards concrete realization of the human rights of victims of terrorism, including through State’s responses to the call in the General Assembly resolution to develop and implement National Action Plans.

For more information contact matt.pollard(a)icj.org

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