After the launch of CT PHARE – Counter-Terrorism Platform for Human Rights Engagement in March 2023, the new global facility has implemented its second Capacity Building Activity on human rights-based decision-making model (DMM) in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region with the objective to raise awareness on human rights obligations in counter-terrorism operations. CT PHARE is generously funded by the service for Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI) of the European Commission.
From the 11th to 14th July in Malta, the CT PHARE team welcomed more than 30 high-level practitioners from criminal justice practitioners – Judiciary, Prosecutors, Law Enforcement and Security Agencies –, from Algeria, Bahrain, Chad, Djibouti, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia. It was also an honour to welcome Dr. Mohamed Slama, Director of the Office of the Secretary General of the Arab Interior Ministers’ Council (AIMC).
This four-day activity consisted of working sessions, lessons learned and interactive discussions to improve participants’ understanding and application of the Human Rights-Based DMM in counter-terrorism interventions and crisis management. It explored international conventions, codes, directives, ethical decision-making and case law on specific areas of law enforcement, which are critical to counter-terrorism practitioners.
The expected outcomes of the activity were:
Increased understanding among participants on how to apply the DMM in their daily work. The five-stage model continuously puts human rights at the core of all decision-making in the planning and delivery of counter-terrorism operations, investigations and adjudicating of terrorism cases.
Formulation of a set of recommendations to assist with the development of an IIJ Tool Kit for counter-terrorism practitioners on the use of Human Rights-Based DMM in counter-terrorism operations.
CT PHARE will conduct in early 2024 two additional similar activities to include countries from the African Union and Southeast Asia region to expose criminal justice counter-terrorism practitioners to the DMM methodology whereby increasing their awareness of accountability at all levels in counter-terrorism operations. CT PHARE’s intention is that the Tool Kit will be of assistance to regional bodies such as the AIMC, the African Union through the African Center for the Study and Research on Terrorism (ACSRT) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
During interviews conducted with several of the participants, they all appreciated the opportunity given to them to be part of an event where so many different MENA countries were invited. "Being surrounded by experts from all over the Arab world is truly fascinating, this event will help us build bridges with our neighbouring countries and enable us to work together on the long-term" an expert commented.