This workshop discussion paper by Global Center Analyst, Matthew Schwartz, was presented on 5-6 November 2014 in Doha at the International Conference on Security and Human Rights in the Arab region hosted by the National Human Rights Committee of Qatar with the support of the Arab Council of Interior Ministers, the General Secretariat of the League of Arab States, the Arab Network for National Human Rights Institutions, and the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The paper was prepared to help foster constructive dialogue between national security agencies and human rights organizations and offers perspectives on linkages across national, community, and individual security, and their common interdependence with the promotion and protection of human rights. It also provides examples of practical measures that can strengthen the governance, accountability, and public service-orientation of the justice and security sector to more effectively promote and protect human rights across the criminal justice chain in collaboration with civil society and local communities.

The conference in Doha brought together over 400 representatives of international, regional, and local governmental and civil society organizations working in the field of security and human rights, officials from national justice and security sectors, foreign ministries, national human rights organizations, as well as representatives from the League of Arab States and the United Nations. The recurring theme of conference discussions was the fundamental interdependence of human rights and security, and of human security and national security. Enhanced dialogue between communities, civil society, and governments grounded in a common commitment to this ideal is a positive step toward achieving regional peace, security, freedom, and development.

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