International humanitarian law and policy on

Counterterrorism and sanctions

Terrorism is a live threat in today’s world – and one that causes immeasurable human suffering. The international community has worked to confront this threat through a patchwork of counterterrorism measures, including sanctions. Despite the legitimacy of those efforts, these measures have negative effects on the provision of humanitarian aid, harming intended beneficiaries and humanitarian workers and bringing counterterrorism measures into tension with international humanitarian law.

A street in ruins, littered with destroyed vehicles.

Measures to address threats

Over the past two decades, states and international organizations have increasingly relied on counterterrorism and sanctions measures to address threats to national and international peace and security. These measures present both opportunities as a legitimate foreign policy tool and challenges for humanitarian responses in contemporary crises.

From the Humanitarian Law and Policy podcast