Embedding human rights in countering extremism: reflections from the field and proposals for change

As featured in Commission for Countering Extremism

Countering extremism


Countering extremism (CE) programmes and policies have been criticised for infringing on human rights. The expanding remit of CE means that state and security agendas now infuse many more areas of ‘ordinary living’ than would previously been countenanced, with a disproportionate impact on socio-economically disadvantaged parts of society. Under such conditions extremist beliefs can inadvertently be affirmed, extremist behaviours strengthened and extremist modes of belonging and identity normalised. To help address this, this paper proposes the instigation of a rights-based approach to CE and of independent review of CE activities.