Because terrorism can negatively impact human rights, countries are obligated to protect the rights of their citizens through effective counterterrorism measures. At the same time, countries must ensure that these measures comply with international human rights law.
Unfortunately, the reality is that human rights are often sidelined when counterterrorism policies are crafted. Unintended consequences of these laws can restrict freedom of association, expression and peaceful assembly, among other basic rights. In repressive regimes, counterterrorism laws and policies are often used as an excuse for restrictive measures against civil society. Civil society must be diligent in pushing back against restrictive policies and ensure that adequate Humanitarian Safeguards are in place.