Contemporary forms of slavery

Commission on Human Rights resolution 1997/20


The Commission on Human Rights,

Gravely concerned at modern manifestations of slavery, the slave trade and slavery-like practices,

Recalling its previous resolutions on the subject, especially resolution1996/61 of 23April1996, and taking note of the resolutions of the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities on the subject, including resolutions1996/12 of 23August 1996 and 1996/18 of29August1996,

Bearing in mind that the Slavery Convention of 1926, the Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade and Institutions and Practices Similar to Slavery of 1956 and the Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others of 1949, as well as article4 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and article8 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights provide, interalia, that no one shall be held in slavery or servitude,

1. Welcomes the work of the Working Group on Contemporary Forms of Slavery and takes note of its recommendations (see E/CN.4/Sub.2/1996/24 and Corr.1);

2. Expresses its grave concern at manifestations of contemporary forms of slavery, interalia those reported to the Working Group;

3. Requests the Secretary-General to invite eligible States that have not yet ratified or acceded to the conventions on slavery to consider doing so as soon as possible;

4. Calls upon States:

(a) To consider taking appropriate action for the protection of groups of persons particularly vulnerable to slavery and slavery-like practices, such as children and women, including migrant women;

(b) To consider adopting legal and administrative measures for the protection, rehabilitation and reintegration of victims of contemporary forms of slavery;

(c) To consider ratifying, if they have not yet done so, the pertinent international instruments, including the Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (Convention No.29) and the Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (Convention No.138) of the International Labour Organization;

5. Requests the Secretary-General:

(a) To continue the examination of the reliability of allegations regarding the removal of organs and tissues of children and adults for commercial purposes and to include an analysis of this question in an updated report to be submitted to the Commission at its fifty-fifth session, in order to enable the Commission to decide whether continued attention to this question is required;

(b) To transmit to Governments an appeal for contributions to the UnitedNations Voluntary Trust Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery;

(c) To designate the High Commissioner/Centre for Human Rights as the focal point for the coordination of activities in the UnitedNations system for the suppression of contemporary forms of slavery;

6. Decides to resume consideration of this question at its fifty-fifth session.

56th meeting
11 April 1997

[Adopted without a vote. See chap. XVI.]


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