In many ways the Bush administration's "war on terror" weakened states' respect for their human rights obligations, and the UN Security Council's initial response to 9/11 seemed to follow the Bush administration's lead. In keeping with its historical lack of engagement with human rights questions, the SC in 2001-2003 did little to ensure that the counter-terrorism measures it demanded of states would take their obligations under human rights and humanitarian law into account. However, starting in 2002, a backlash against the perceived excesses wrought by the SC’s counter-terrorism measures gained momentum. Other UN bodies, as well as NGOs, regional intergovernmental institutions, and national and international courts increasingly asserted that human rights and security are mutually reinforcing. The emerging norm of mutual reinforcement gradually began to be institutionalized by the SC, which over time directed its Counter-Terrorism Committee (established Oct., 2001) to incorporate human rights concerns more robustly into its monitoring regime, country visits, technical assistance, and communications. This paper analyzes three stages in the development of CTC's human rights program: Talking, First Steps, and (perhaps) Walking. It analyzes the incorporation of human rights into CTC’s Preliminary Implementation Assessment matrix, a document that forms the basis of the committee’s work with individual states. It also documents the development of the committee's joint work with other UN human rights bodies, donor states, and NGOs. CTC's work with states is rooted in dialogue rather than sanctions, and relies on confidentiality rather than transparency. Yet even this relatively weak form of engagement with human rights is a rather impressive change from the past. The paper asserts that the SC's evolving approach to counter-terrorism has bound the UN's security and human rights missions more closely together than ever before.
Michael Galchinsky. 2012. ""A Sea Change in Security: How the War on Terror Strengthened Human Rights"" The Selected Works of Michael Galchinsky. Available at: http://works.bepress.com/michael_galchinsky/2 Also available at: http://digitalarchive.gsu.edu/english_facpub/1/