OSCE trains border officials on protecting human rights in countering terrorism



Tajik border guards keep watch on a bridge over the river Piandj on the Tajik-Afghan border, 29 February 2008. (OSCE/Mikhail Evstafiev)

Protecting human rights when combating transnational terrorist threats to border security was the focus of a four-day training course for border officials that ended in Dushanbe on 19 April 2013.

The course, organized by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and the OSCE Border Management Staff College (BMSC), brought together 26 mid-level and senior border officials from 12 OSCE participating States and two Partners for Co-operation – Israel and Tunisia.

“In order to be effective and successful, any strategies and measures to counter cross-border terrorist threats should place the protection of human rights at their core,” said Lucile Sengler, ODIHR Adviser on Anti-Terrorism Issues. “Violations of human rights perpetrated in the fight against terrorism exacerbate the conditions in which terrorism is fostered, creating a vicious circle. “

“The course offered its participants an opportunity to learn more about applying human-rights based approach in their daily work and about its importance in countering terrorism,” said Julia Klaus, Director of the OSCE Border Management Staff College. “I trust the participants will be able to make good use of the comprehensive review of human rights, international rules and regulations presented during the training course, in their work on border security and management.”

The course aims to assist OSCE participating States and OSCE Partners for Co-operation in enhancing the capacities of national border officials to respect human rights when countering terrorism. The event in Dushanbe was the third training session organized jointly by ODIHR and the BMSC on human rights in counter-terrorism and border security since 2010.