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Summary of the Human Rights Council panel discussion on the issue of human rights of victims of terrorism (A/HRC/19/38)

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Human Rights Council
Nineteenth session
Agenda items 2 and 3
Annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner
for Human Rights and reports of the Office of the
High Commissioner and the Secretary-General

Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil,
political, economic, social and cultural rights,
including the right to development

I. Introduction

  1. On 1 June 2011, at its seventeenth session, the Human Rights Council, pursuant to its decision 16/116, held a panel discussion on the issue of the human rights of victims of terrorism, taking into account, inter alia, the recommendations of the Symposium on Supporting Victims of Terrorism, convened by the Secretary-General on 9 September 2008, in New York. In its decision, the Council requested the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to liaise with the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism and all concerned parties and stakeholders, including relevant United Nations bodies and agencies, with a view to ensuring their participation in the panel discussion.

  2. The panel discussion was aimed at enhancing the understanding of issues regarding the human rights of victims of terrorism and offered an opportunity to exchange information on relevant efforts made at the international, regional and national levels, and to share good practices with a view to increasing the capacity of States to respond to the needs for protection of the rights of victims of terrorism and their families, while taking into account their international human rights obligations.

  3. The panel discussion was moderated by the President of the Human Rights Council and opened by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. The panellists were the Political Affairs Officer at the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force,
    Department of Political Affairs, Anne Wu; the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, Martin Scheinin; the President of the Foundation for Victims of Terrorism of Spain, Maite Pagazaurtundúa; Rianne M. Letschert, Professor at the International Victimology Institute in Tilbourg (Netherlands); the Chief of the Specialized Terrorism Prevention Unit of the Terrorism Prevention Branch of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Mauro Miedico; and former Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences and current member of the Committee on the Prevention of Torture of the Council of Europe, Yakin Ertürk. The present summary was prepared by OHCHR, as requested by the Council in decision 16/116.