Hostage-taking

Commission on Human Rights resolution 1997/28


The Commission on Human Rights,

Recalling the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which guarantees the right to life, liberty and security of person, freedom from torture or degrading treatment, freedom of movement and protection from arbitrary detention,

Taking into account the International Convention against the Taking of Hostages, adopted by the General Assembly in its resolution 34/146 of 17December 1979, which also recognizes that everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person and that the taking of hostages is an offence of grave concern to the international community, as well as the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons, including Diplomatic Agents, adopted by the General Assembly in its resolution 3166 (XXVIII) of 14 December 1973,

Bearing in mind the pertinent Security Council resolutions condemning all cases of hostage-taking, as well as the statement to the press made by its President on 19 December 1996, condemning the taking of hostages by terrorist elements,

Recalling its resolution 1996/62 and other previous resolutions on the subject, in particular its resolution 1992/23 of 28 February 1992, in which it condemned the taking of any person as hostage,

Deeply concerned that, despite the efforts of the international community, acts of hostage-taking, in different forms and manifestations, including, inter alia, those committed by terrorists and armed groups, have increased in many regions of the world,

Expressing its outrage at the continuing manifestations of brutality and violence in connection with hostage-taking, including the killing of innocent people and their use as human shields,

Especially alarmed at the taking hostage of women and children, expressing its distress at the violence committed against innocent victims, and sharing the anxiety and suffering of the families concerned,

Appealing for the humanitarian action of the International Committee of the Red Cross and its delegates to be respected, in accordance with the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the Additional Protocols thereto,

Recognizing that hostage-taking calls for resolute, firm and concerted efforts on the part of the international community in order, in strict conformity with international human rights standards, to bring such abhorrent practices to an end,

1. Reaffirms that hostage-taking, wherever and by whomever committed, is an illegal act aimed at the destruction of human rights and is, under any circumstances, unjustifiable;

2. Strongly condemns all acts of hostage-taking, anywhere in the world;

3. Demands that all hostages be released immediately and without any preconditions;

4. Calls upon States to take all necessary measures, in accordance with relevant provisions of international law and international human rights standards, to prevent, combat and punish acts of hostage-taking, including by strengthening international cooperation in this field;

5. Invites relevant non-governmental organizations to join States in condemning acts of hostage-taking;

6. Urges all thematic special rapporteurs and working groups to address, as appropriate, the consequences of hostage-taking in their forthcoming reports to the Commission;

7. Decides to consider this question at its fifty-fourth session under the same agenda item.

57th meeting
11 April 1997

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



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