Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism


The Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism is one of the thematic special procedures overseen by the United Nations Human Rights Council. The Special Rapporteur assists States in countering terrorism by making recommendations on ways to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms while engaging in counter-terrorism efforts; conducts country visits in order to collect information about the status of human rights and receives information about alleged violations; identifies, exchanges, and promotes best practices on measures to counter terrorism while respecting human rights; and, engages in dialogue with governments and other relevant actors, such as the Counter-Terrorism Committee of the UN Security Council, about possible areas for cooperation.

The Special Rapporteur must apply a gender perspective throughout the work of his or her mandate.


The mandate of the Special Rapporteur lasts for a period of three years. The UN Commission on Human Rights established the Special Rapporteurship in 2005 with Resolution 2005/80. The Human Rights Council extended the mandate in 2010 with Resolution 15/15 and in 2013 with Resolution 22/8. The mandate is filled by one highly qualified individual.

In fulfilling the mandate, the Special Rapporteur undertakes country visits, engages in dialogue with relevant stakeholders, and submits activity reports to the UN General Assembly and Human Rights Council.

Country Visits

One important function of the Special Rapporteur is to conduct country visits, which it does on the basis of an invitation from the country concerned. Country visits provide the Special Rapporteur an opportunity to receive information from the government of the country concerned, as well as from civil society groups, intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations, individuals, and other relevant actors. These fact-finding efforts enable the Special Rapporteur to gain a firsthand understanding of the human rights situation under counter-terrorism efforts.

The Special Rapporteur undertakes one to two visits per year, to States that have extended an invitation. View the list of previous country visits and the Special Rapporteur’s subsequent reports here.

More than 100 countries have extended standing invitations to country visits by all thematic special procedures. View the list of countries that have extended standing invitations here.

Dialogue with Governments, Civil Society, and Other Actors 

The Special Rapporteur engages in regular dialogue with governments, UN bodies, specialized agencies and programmes, nongovernmental organizations, and other relevant actors about possible areas of cooperation in countering terrorism while protecting human rights. In particular, the Special Rapporteur discusses counter-terrorism issues with the Counter-Terrorism Committee of the Security Council, the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, the Terrorism Prevention Branch of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. While engaging in this dialogue, the Special Rapporteur endeavors to avoid duplicating efforts undertaken by other actors.

Reports to the UN General Assembly and Human Rights Council

The Special Rapporteur reports annually to the Human Rights Council and the UN General Assembly on all of its activities relating to its mandate. These reports are available on the Special Rapporteur’s Annual Reports webpage.


The Special Rapporteur may be contacted by email at: [email protected].