Internally displaced persons

Commission on Human Rights resolution 1996/52


The Commission on Human Rights,

Deeply disturbed by the alarmingly high numbers of internally displaced persons throughout the world who receive inadequate protection and assistance, and conscious of the serious problem this is creating for the international community,

Noting with concern that many serious situations of internal displacement do not receive sufficient attention and response,

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 to explore methods and means better to address their protection and assistance needs,

Recalling the relevant norms of international human rights instruments, of international humanitarian law and analogous refugee law,

Bearing in mind General Assembly resolutions 49/169 of 23 December 1994 and 50/195 of 22 December 1996 and, in particular, the call by the General Assembly on the Commission to consider the question of establishing an appropriate legal framework for the internally displaced, on the basis of the report of the representative of the Secretary-General,

Recognizing that the protection of internally displaced persons would be strengthened by identifying, reaffirming and consolidating specific rights for their protection,

Welcoming the call by the General Assembly for a more concerted response by the international community to the needs of internally displaced persons and the emphasis in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (A/CONF.157/23) on the need to develop global strategies to address the problem of internal displacement,

Welcoming also the cooperation established between the representative of the Secretary-General and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the United Nations Development Programme and the Department of Humanitarian Affairs of the Secretariat as well as the International Committee of the Red Cross and other relevant international and regional organizations and agencies, and taking note with appreciation in particular of the appointment by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of a rapporteur on internally displaced persons following discussions with the representative of the Secretary-General,

Recalling Economic and Social Council resolution 1995/56 of 28 July 1995 on the strengthening of the coordination of emergency humanitarian assistance of the United Nations,

Noting the finding of the representative of the Secretary-General that a central coordination mechanism to assign responsibilities in emergency situations is essential, and welcoming in this context the establishment, by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee, of the Task Force on Internally Displaced Persons,

Welcoming the decision by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee to invite the representative of the Secretary-General to participate in its relevant meetings, as well as in its Task Force, and encouraging further strengthening of this collaboration in order to promote better assistance, protection and development strategies for internally displaced persons,

Recalling its resolution 1995/57 of 3 March 1995,

1. Takes note with appreciation of the report of the representative of the Secretary-General on internally displaced persons (E/CN.4/1996/52 and Add.1 and 2);

2. Also takes note with interest of the compilation and analysis of legal norms submitted by the representative of the Secretary-General, which concludes, in particular, that present international law provides sufficient protection for most of the specific needs of the internally displaced, although important areas of insufficient legal protection exist;

3. Commends the representative of the Secretary-General for the activities undertaken so far, despite the limited resources available to him, and for the catalytic role he continues to play to raise the level of consciousness about the plight of internally displaced persons;

4. Also commends the representative of the Secretary-General for his efforts to promote a comprehensive strategy for better protection, assistance and development for internally displaced persons;

5. Encourages the representative of the Secretary-General through continuous dialogue with Governments and all intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations concerned to continue his analysis of the causes of internal displacement, the needs of those displaced, measures of prevention and ways to strengthen protection, assistance and solutions for the internally displaced, taking into account specific situations;

6. Welcomes the specific attention paid by the representative of the Secretary-General to the protection and assistance needs of women and children in accordance with the relevant objectives in the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (A/CONF.177/20) and encourages him to continue to address these needs;

7. Emphasizes the need for better implementation of existing international law applicable to internally displaced persons;

8. Requests the Secretary-General to publish the compilation and analysis of legal norms prepared by his representative and to disseminate it widely;

9. Calls upon the representative of the Secretary-General to continue, on the basis of his compilation and analysis of legal norms, to develop an appropriate framework in this regard for the protection of internally displaced persons and to report thereon to the Commission at its fifty-third session;

10. Calls upon all Governments to continue to facilitate the activities of the representative of the Secretary-General, 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 that have already done so;

11. Invites Governments to give due consideration, in dialogue with the representative of the Secretary-General, to his recommendations and suggestions and to make available information on measures taken thereon;

12. Expresses appreciation to those Governments and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations which have provided assistance and protection to internally displaced persons and have supported the work of the representative of the Secretary-General;

13. Encourages the representative of the Secretary-General and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, as well as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the United Nations Development Programme, the Department for Humanitarian Affairs of the Secretariat, the International Committee of the Red Cross and all other relevant humanitarian assistance and development organizations to strengthen their cooperation further;

14. Calls upon these organizations and agencies to develop, in cooperation with the representative of the Secretary-General, the setting up of a more comprehensive and coherent system of data collection on the situation and protection of internally displaced persons;

15. Urges these organizations to establish, in particular through the Inter-Agency Standing Committee and its Task Force on Internally Displaced Persons, frameworks of cooperation with the representative of the Secretary-General in order to provide all possible support to him in the implementation of his programme of activities, in particular by monitoring and identifying situations of internal displacement and bringing them to his attention, supporting timely intercessions and dialogue with authorities, ensuring timely and effective response by the appropriate agencies, and assisting in follow-up measures to his recommendations and suggestions;

16. Calls upon the representative of the Secretary-General 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 enhancing their support for the representative of the Secretary-General and strengthening their initiatives to facilitate, through regional approaches, assistance to and protection of internally displaced persons;

17. Welcomes the attention paid by relevant rapporteurs, working groups, experts and treaty bodies to issues of internal displacement, and calls upon them to continue to seek information on situations which have already created or could create internal displacement and to include relevant information and recommendations thereon in their reports and to make them available to the representative of the Secretary-General;

18. Calls upon the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to develop projects, in cooperation with Governments, relevant international organizations and the representative of the Secretary-General, to promote the human rights of internally displaced persons, as part of the programme of advisory services and technical cooperation;

19. Requests the Secretary-General to provide his representative, from within existing resources, with all necessary assistance to carry out his mandate effectively, and encourages the representative of the Secretary-General to continue to seek the contribution of local, national and regional institutions;

20. Decides to continue its consideration of the question at its fifty-third session.

53rd meeting, 19 April 1996
[Adopted without a vote]


HOME | SITE MAP | SEARCH | INDEX | DOCUMENTS | TREATIES | MEETINGS | PRESS | STATEMENTS



Copyright 1996-2000
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Geneva, Switzerland