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This report contains information on provisions in place or under consideration by the United Nations (UN), the European Union, and 73 countries on the treatment of individuals who join and fight for terrorist organizations in foreign countries.  A number of countries are currently considering action following the September 2014 adoption of a UN Security Council resolution expressing concern about the threat of foreign terrorist fighters.  Many nations, as illustrated below, already have punishments applicable to such fighters, including imprisonment and/or loss of citizenship.  In a number of jurisdictions, penalties for joining terrorist organizations increase when the individual recruits others or undergoes military training with those organizations.  A unique approach is being taken in one city in Denmark, where instead of facing punishment, returning fighters are being given study or employment opportunities.  In addition to the report on these jurisdictions, two maps have been included to illustrate the findings.

Full Report (PDF, 229KB)

Part I. United Nations

Part II. European Union

Part III. Country Surveys

Map: Surveyed Countries Taking/Considering Measures on Foreign Fighters

Map: Surveyed Countries that May Limit Rights to Passports or Citizenship for Foreign Fighters

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Global Legal Research Directorate Staff
December 2014

Last Updated: 12/30/2020