Question of enforced or involuntary disappearances, G.A. res. 51/94, 51 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No. 49) at 238, U.N. Doc. A/51/49 (Vol. I) (1996).

      The General Assembly,
      Guided by the purposes and principles set forth in the Charter of the
United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International
Covenants on Human Rights and the other relevant international human rights
      Recalling its resolution 33/173 of 20 December 1978 concerning
disappeared persons and its resolutions 46/125 of 17 December 1991, 47/132 of
18 December 1992 and 49/193 of 23 December 1994 on the question of enforced or
involuntary disappearances,
      Recalling also its resolution 47/133 of 18 December 1992 proclaiming the
Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance as a
body of principles for all States,
      Expressing concern that, according to the Working Group on Enforced or
Involuntary Disappearances, the practice of a number of States can run counter
to the Declaration,
      Deeply concerned, in particular, by the intensification of enforced
disappearances in various regions of the world and by the growing number of
reports concerning harassment, ill-treatment and intimidation of witnesses of
disappearances or relatives of persons who have disappeared,
      Convinced that further efforts are needed to promote wider awareness of
and respect for the Declaration, and taking note in this regard of the report
of the Secretary-General,
      Bearing in mind Commission on Human Rights resolution 1996/30 of 19
April 1996,
      1.    Reaffirms that any act of enforced disappearance is an offence to
human dignity and a grave and flagrant violation of the human rights and
fundamental freedoms proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
and reaffirmed and developed in other international instruments in this field,
as well as a violation of the rules of international law;
      2.    Reiterates its invitation to all Governments to take appropriate
legislative or other steps to prevent and suppress the practice of enforced
disappearances, in keeping with the Declaration on the Protection of All
Persons from Enforced Disappearance, and to take action to that end at the
national and regional levels and in cooperation with the United Nations,
including through technical assistance;
      3.    Calls upon Governments to take steps to ensure that, when a state
of emergency is introduced, the protection of human rights is ensured, in
particular as regards the prevention of enforced disappearances;
      4.    Reminds Governments of the need to ensure that their competent
authorities conduct prompt and impartial inquiries in all circumstances,
whenever there is reason to believe that an enforced disappearance has
occurred in territory under their jurisdiction, and that, if allegations are
confirmed, perpetrators should be prosecuted;
      5.    Once again urges the Governments concerned to take steps to
protect the families of disappeared persons against any intimidation or
ill-treatment to which they might be subjected;
      6.    Encourages States, as some have already done, to provide concrete
information on measures taken to give effect to the Declaration, as well as
obstacles encountered;
      7.    Requests all States to consider the possibility of disseminating
the text of the Declaration in their respective national languages and to
facilitate its dissemination in the national and local languages;
      8.    Notes the action taken by non-governmental organizations to
encourage implementation of the Declaration, and invites them to continue to
facilitate its dissemination and to contribute to the work of the
Subcommission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities;
      9.    Expresses its appreciation to the Working Group on Enforced or
Involuntary Disappearances for its humanitarian work;
      10.   Requests the Working Group, in the continued exercise of its
mandate, to take into account the provisions of the Declaration and to modify
its working methods, if necessary;
      11.   Recalls that the primary role of the Working Group, as described
in its reports, is to act as a channel of communication between the families
of disappeared persons and the Governments concerned, with a view to ensuring
that sufficiently documented and clearly identified individual cases are
investigated, and to ascertain whether such information falls under its
mandate and contains the required elements, and invites the Group to continue
to seek the views and comments of all concerned, including Member States, in
preparing its report;
      12.   Invites the Working Group to identify obstacles to the realization
of the provisions of the Declaration, to recommend ways of overcoming those
obstacles and, in this regard, to continue a dialogue with Governments and
relevant intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations;
      13.   Further encourages the Working Group to continue to consider the
question of impunity, in close collaboration with the rapporteur appointed by
the Subcommission and with due regard for the relevant provisions of the
      14.   Requests the Working Group to pay the utmost attention to cases of
children subjected to enforced disappearance and children of disappeared
persons and to cooperate closely with the Governments concerned to search for
and identify those children;
      15.   Appeals to the Governments concerned, in particular those which
have not yet replied to the communications transmitted by the Working Group,
to cooperate fully with it and, in particular, to reply promptly to its
requests for information so that, while respecting its working methods based
on discretion, it may perform its strictly humanitarian role;
      16.   Encourages the Governments concerned to give serious consideration
to inviting the Working Group to visit their countries so as to enable the
Group to fulfil its mandate even more effectively;
      17.   Expresses its profound thanks to the many Governments that have
cooperated with the Working Group and replied to its requests for information,
and to the Governments that have invited the Group to visit their countries,
asks them to give all necessary attention to the recommendations of the Group,
and invites them to inform the Group of any action they take on those
      18.   Calls upon the Commission on Human Rights to continue to study
this question as a matter of priority and to take any steps it may deem
necessary to the pursuit of the task of the Working Group and to the follow-up
of its recommendations when it considers the report to be submitted by the
Working Group to the Commission at its fifty-third session;
      19.   Renews its requests to the Secretary-General to continue to
provide the Working Group with all the facilities it requires to perform its
functions, especially for carrying out missions and following them up;
      20.   Requests the Secretary-General to keep it informed of the steps he
takes to secure the widespread dissemination and promotion of the Declaration;
      21.   Also requests the Secretary-General to submit to it at its fifty-
third session a report on the steps taken to implement the present resolution;
      22.   Decides to consider the question of enforced disappearances, and
in particular the implementation of the Declaration, at its fifty-third
session under the sub-item entitled "Human rights questions, including
alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights
and fundamental freedoms".



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