1995/57. Internally displaced persons

The Commission on Human Rights,

Deeply disturbed by the steadily increasing number of internally displaced persons throughout the world and conscious of the serious problem this is creating for the international community,

Recognizing that internally displaced persons are in need of protection and of relief assistance, and recognizing the need for States and the international community to explore methods and means better to address the protection and assistance needs of internally displaced persons,

Conscious of the human rights as well as the humanitarian dimensions of the problem of internally displaced persons and the responsibilities this poses for States and the international community,

Recalling in this connection resolution 1994/24 of 26 August 1994 of the Subcommission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities on the right to freedom of movement,

Bearing in mind General Assembly resolution 49/169 of 23 December 1994, noting that the involuntary displacement of persons within their own countries remains a problem of grave humanitarian concern and that the many and varied underlying causes of involuntary internal displacement and of refugee movements are similar in numerous cases, and recognizing that actions by the international community, in consultation and coordination with the State concerned, on behalf of the internally displaced may contribute to the easing of tensions and the resolution of problems resulting in displacement, and constitute important components of a comprehensive approach to the prevention and solution of refugee problems,

Also bearing in mind the General Assembly noting that, in a number of instances, the internally displaced are present alongside refugees, returnees or a vulnerable local population in situations where it is neither reasonable nor feasible to treat the categories differently in responding to their needs for assistance and protection,

Welcoming the call by the General Assembly for a more concerted response by the international community to the needs of internally displaced persons while emphasizing that activities on their behalf must not undermine the institution of asylum,

Aware of the need to address the root causes of internal displacement,

Aware in particular of the need for the development of global strategies to address this problem, and recalling in this respect the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (A/CONF.157/23), in which the World Conference on Human Rights called for a comprehensive approach by the international community with regard to refugees and displaced persons,

Welcoming the cooperation established between the representative of the Secretary-General and the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the United Nations Development Programme, the Department of Humanitarian Affairs of the Secretariat and other relevant intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, including through the Partnership in Action process, and encouraging them to continue actively to pursue their consultations on this issue,

Welcoming also the regional initiatives being undertaken in response to problems of internal displacement, and recalling in particular the San Josť Declaration on Refugees and Displaced Persons and the recommendations of the Seminar on Refugees and Forced Population Movements in Africa, held in Addis Ababa in September 1994,

Conscious of the need for the United Nations system to gather comprehensive information on the issue of the protection of the human rights of and assistance to internally displaced persons,

Welcoming the conclusions of the Executive Committee of the Programme of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees on the question of internally displaced persons (A/AC.96/839, para. 20), in particular its acknowledgement of the work of the representative of the Secretary-General and of his efforts to compile existing international standards in respect of the treatment of the internally displaced,

Recalling General Assembly resolution 48/135 of 20 December 1993, in which the Assembly invited the representative to present suggestions and recommendations with regard to ways and means, including the institutional aspects, of providing effective protection of and assistance to internally displaced persons,

Bearing in mind the support for the work of the representative of the Secretary-General expressed in a number of international and regional declarations, specifically the San Josť Declaration on Refugees and Displaced Persons which called for an extension of his mandate,

1. Takes note with appreciation of the report of the representative of the Secretary-General on internally displaced persons (E/CN.4/1995/50 and Add.1-4);

2. Commends the representative of the Secretary-General for the activities so far undertaken, despite the limited resources available to him, and for his proposed programme of activities;

3. Welcomes the catalytic role the representative is playing to raise the level of consciousness about the plight of the internally displaced;

4. Encourages the representative, through dialogue with Governments and all intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations concerned, in accordance with his mandate, to continue his review of the need for protection of and assistance to internally displaced persons, including his compilation and analysis of existing rules and norms, the root causes of internal displacement, prevention and long-term solutions, taking into account specific situations;

5. Also encourages the representative to continue to pay specific attention in his review to the protection and assistance needs of women and children;

6. Calls upon all Governments to continue to facilitate the activities of the representative, encourages them to give serious consideration to inviting him to visit their countries, so as to enable him to study and analyse more fully the issues involved, and thanks those Governments which have already done so;

7. Invites Governments to give due consideration, in dialogue with the representative, to the recommendations and suggestions made to them by the representative, in accordance with his mandate, and to inform him of measures taken thereon;

8. Welcomes the cooperation established between the representative of the Secretary-General and the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and encourages them to strengthen this cooperation further;

9. Calls upon the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Department of Humanitarian Affairs, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Children's Fund, the United Nations Development Fund for Women, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Organization for Migration and all other humanitarian agencies involved to continue to cooperate with the representative, to provide him with relevant information and to assist him in fulfilling his mandate, and encourages the representative of the Secretary-General to continue to cooperate and coordinate with them;

10. Calls upon the representative and regional intergovernmental organizations, such as the Organization of African Unity, the Organization of American States and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, to intensify their cooperation with a view to encouraging their undertaking initiatives to facilitate assistance to and protection of internally displaced persons, and requests the representative to report on these efforts and on areas of his cooperation with them;

11. Calls upon relevant rapporteurs, working groups, experts and the High Commissioner for Human Rights, through his field activities, in accordance with their mandates, to seek information on situations which have already created or could lead to internal displacement and to include relevant information and recommendations thereon in their reports;

12. Encourages the representative of the Secretary-General to pursue the setting up of a more coherent system of data collection on issues related to the situation and protection of internally displaced persons;

13. Also encourages the representative to continue to seek the contribution of local, national and regional academic institutions;

14. Decides to extend for a further three years the mandate of the representative;

15. Requests the Secretary-General to provide, within existing resources, all the necessary human and financial assistance to his representative to fulfil his mandate effectively;

16. Requests the representative to continue to submit annual reports on his activities to the Commission on Human Rights and to the General Assembly;

17. Decides to continue its consideration of the question at its fifty-second session.
53rd meeting
3 March 1995
[Adopted without a vote. See chap. XI. E/CN.4/1995/176]


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