Key findings of empirical study on counterterrorism by HLS PILAC - watch the session recording

On 12 May, PHAP organized an online session with Naz K. Modirzadeh and Jessica S. Burniske from the Harvard Law School Program on International Law and Armed Conflict (PILAC), focusing on their recently published pilot empirical study on the impact of counterterrorism laws on humanitarian action as part of the Counterterrorism and Humanitarian Engagement (CHE) Project.

Jessica Burniske presented some of the main findings of this survey-based study, which had gathered responses from humanitarian actors across the sector. The study shows that despite general awareness of counterterrorism laws, members of the humanitarian community still reported a great deal of uncertainty and a lack of clarity on the topic. The results indicated that counterterrorism measures currently do have a real and tangible impact, often causing a “chilling effect” on humanitarian assistance.

The presentation was followed by a discussion of the results of the study with Naz Modirzadeh, focusing on key policy considerations for humanitarian organizations, especially regarding their relations with donors and aspects related to the internal management of counterterrorism laws and policies.

The opening presentations were followed by an engaging Q&A with the participants about the study. Among other things, this discussion highlighted that further research on specific issues is needed, in particular on the issue of costs of compliance with counterterrorism regulations.

If you missed this session, you can now find the audio and video recordings of the event at


Advanced Practitioner Series

This event was the first session of a new series of online events targeting legal practitioners as well as humanitarian practitioners in the PHAP membership seeking a more advanced understanding of laws and policies related to or affecting humanitarian assistance and the protection of civilians in armed conflict.