Webinar: Implementation of a Human Rights-Based Approach to Border Management in the Fight against Terrorism: Challenges vs Opportunities

In collaboration with:

Comprehensive and integrated border management strategies are paramount for the effective and timely identification of suspected or known terrorists and foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs), members of transnational criminal organizations, and other serious criminals attempting to cross international borders. The issue has been reiterated by the General Assembly during the Seventh Review of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (A/RES/75/291), with renewed concerns over the continued threat posed by FTFs and the importance of international and regional cooperation to prevent terrorist movement.

Recognizing the nexus between organized crime and terrorism is also key for effectively countering and preventing terrorist activity and movement. In resolution 2482 (2019), the UN Security Council called upon Member States to “better understand the nature and scope of the linkages that may exist between terrorism and organized crime”, including trafficking in persons, acts of sexual and gender-based violence, money laundering, trafficking of dual-use materials and the illicit trade in natural resources.

While enhanced and coordinated border controls are at the core of preventing and countering terrorism, all counter-terrorism measures, including at borders, must be compliant with human rights law, humanitarian law, and refugee law. As recently highlighted by the UN General Assembly, “respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law are complementary and mutually reinforcing with effective counter-terrorism measures and are an essential part of a successful counter-terrorism effort”

This webinar series aims to explore the various ways in which border practices, in particular within the counter-terrorism context, can impact the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms of people on the move, and the importance and advantages coming from incorporating rights-based and gender-responsive approaches to all areas of preventing and countering terrorism and violent extremism.

While the first webinar will focus on general human rights implications of border management in the context of counter-terrorism, and a discussion of key considerations regarding the protection of human rights at international borders in the context of counter-terrorism.

It will explore the potential impacts of border security and management practices on the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms of individuals crossing borders and address the ways in which border officials can be better equipped to apply a rights-based approach to their daily interaction with individuals crossing borders. The importance of integrated border management strategies will also be addressed during the discussions, as well as the role of border communities in supporting the development of human rights-based and gender-responsive screening practices and border strategies.


  • Rocco Messina, Head Border Security and Management Unit, United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT)


  • Flavia Saldanha Kroetz, Programme Management Officer, Border Security and Management Unit, United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre
  • Mona Koehler-Schindler, Associate Human Rights Officer on Anti-Terrorism Issues, OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights
  • Irving Vidal, Senior Border Management Advisor, DCAF – Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance