1995/88. Human rights and mass exoduses

The Commission on Human Rights,

Deeply disturbed by the escalating scale and magnitude of exoduses of refugees and displacements of population in many regions of the world and by the human suffering of millions of refugees and displaced persons,

Recalling its previous relevant resolutions, as well as those of the General Assembly, and the conclusions of the World Conference on Human Rights, which recognized that gross violations of human rights, including in armed conflicts, are among the multiple and complex factors leading to displacement of people,

Recalling also that the World Conference on Human Rights recognized that, in view of the complexities of the global refugee crisis and in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, relevant international instruments and international solidarity, and in the spirit of burden-sharing, a comprehensive approach by the international community was needed in coordination and cooperation with the countries concerned and relevant organizations, and bearing in mind the mandate of the High Commissioner for Refugees, including the development of strategies to address root causes and the effects of movements of refugees and displaced persons and the strengthening of emergency preparedness and response mechanisms,

Noting that the Secretary-General, in his report entitled "An Agenda for Peace" (A/47/277-S/24111), identified the protection of human rights as an important element of peace, security and economic well-being and in his report on the strengthening of the coordination of humanitarian emergency assistance of the United Nations (A/47/595) stated that humanitarian assistance was essential but must be complemented by measures to address the root causes of complex emergencies and that the establishment of inter-agency consultations on early warning served the purposes of both prevention and preparedness,

Welcoming the continuation of inter-agency consultations on early warning, pursuant to the decision of the Administrative Committee on Coordination, with the purpose of serving both the prevention of and preparedness for emergencies,

Recognizing that the human rights machinery of the United Nations, including the mechanisms of the Commission on Human Rights and the human rights treaty bodies, acting within their mandates, has important capabilities to address human rights violations which cause movements of refugees and displaced persons or prevent durable solutions to their plight,

Convinced that the activities of these mechanisms with a view, inter alia, to preventing mass exoduses and the strengthening of emergency preparedness and response mechanisms should be encouraged and further developed and coordinated, with priority being given to the systematization of early warning information collection,

Welcoming the contribution to the deliberations of the Executive Committee of the Programme of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees made by the High Commissioner for Human Rights,

Recognizing that women and children constitute approximately 80 per cent of most refugee populations and that, in addition to the problems and needs they share with all refugees, women and girls in such circumstances are vulnerable to gender-based discrimination and gender-specific violence and exploitation,

Welcoming the continuing efforts of the High Commissioner for Refugees to meet the protection and assistance needs of refugees worldwide,

1. Takes note with interest of the report of the Secretary-General on human rights and mass exoduses (E/CN.4/1995/49), which is an important contribution to efforts to develop a comprehensive approach to the question of human rights and mass exoduses;

2. Welcomes the endorsement by the General Assembly, in its resolution 41/70 of 3 December 1986, of the call upon all States to promote human rights and fundamental freedoms and to refrain from denying these to individuals in their population because of nationality, ethnicity, race, religion or language;

3. Strongly deplores ethnic and other forms of intolerance as one of the major causes of forced migratory movements, and urges States to take all necessary steps to ensure respect for human rights, especially the rights of persons belonging to minorities;

4. Invites again all Governments and intergovernmental and humanitarian organizations concerned to intensify their cooperation and assistance in worldwide efforts to address the serious problems resulting from mass exoduses of refugees and displaced persons, and the causes of such exoduses;

5. Urges all bodies involved in inter-agency consultations on early warning to cooperate fully in and to devote the necessary resources to the successful operation of the consultations;

6. Invites the special rapporteurs, special representatives and working groups of the Commission, the United Nations human rights treaty bodies, acting within their mandates, to seek information, where appropriate, on problems resulting in mass exoduses of populations or impeding their voluntary return home and, where appropriate, to include such information, together with recommendations thereon, in their reports, and to bring such information to the attention of the High Commissioner for Human Rights for appropriate action in fulfilment of his mandate;

7. Requests all United Nations bodies, including the United Nations human rights treaty bodies, acting within their mandates, the specialized agencies and governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, to cooperate fully with all mechanisms of the Commission and, in particular, to provide them with all relevant information in their possession on the human rights situations creating or affecting refugees and displaced persons;

8. Requests the High Commissioner for Human Rights, in the exercise of his mandate, as set out in General Assembly resolution 48/141 of 20 December 1993, for preventing the continuation of human rights violations throughout the world and for coordinating human rights activities throughout the United Nations system, to pay attention to situations which cause or threaten to cause mass exoduses, and to address effectively such situations through emergency preparedness and response mechanisms, including information-sharing, the provision of technical advice, expertise and cooperation;

9. Urges the Secretary-General to attach a high priority and allocate the necessary resources to the consolidation and strengthening of the system for undertaking early warning activities in the humanitarian area for the purpose of ensuring, inter alia, that effective action is taken to identify all human rights abuses which contribute to mass outflows of persons, and to invite comments on this issue;

10. Welcomes with appreciation the contributions of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to the deliberations of international human rights bodies and mechanisms, and invites her to address the Commission at its fifty-second session;

11. Encourages States that have not already done so to consider acceding to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its Protocol of 1967, and other relevant regional refugee instruments and relevant international human rights instruments;

12. Encourages the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to intensify its actions, in consultation with concerned Governments as appropriate, with regard to the interim report of the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women which addresses the situation of women and children refugees;

13. Requests the Secretary-General to invite Governments, intergovernmental organizations, specialized agencies and non-governmental organizations to provide information, and to prepare, within existing resources, and submit to the Commission at its fifty-second session an update of his report, including information on and recommendations and conclusions emerging from the action taken pursuant to the present resolution;

14. Decides to continue its consideration of the question at its fifty-second session under the agenda item entitled "Further promotion and encouragement of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the question of the programme and methods of work of the Commission", under the sub-item entitled "Human rights, mass exoduses and the displaced".
62nd meeting
8 March 1995
[Adopted without a vote. See chap. XI. E/CN.4/1995/176]


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