Internally displaced persons

Commission on Human Rights resolution 1998/50



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,

Recalling its previous relevant resolutions, in particular resolution 1997/39 of 11 April 1997, as well as those of the General Assembly, and the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (A/CONF.157/23) regarding the need to develop global strategies to address the problem of internal displacement,

Conscious of the human rights and 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, international humanitarian law and analogous refugee law, and recognizing that the protection of internally displaced persons would be strengthened by identifying, reaffirming and consolidating specific rights for their protection,

Noting the progress made so far by the representative of the Secretary­General on internally displaced persons in developing a legal framework, in particular the compilation and analysis of legal norms and the development of guiding principles; analysing institutional arrangements; undertaking dialogue with Governments; and issuing a series of reports on particular country situations together with proposals for remedial measures,

Welcoming the cooperation established between the representative of the Secretary­General and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the United Nations Development Programme, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the United Nations Children's Fund, the World Food Programme and the World Health Organization, as well as the International Organization for Migration, the International Committee of the Red Cross and other relevant international and regional organizations and agencies,

Welcoming also the decision by the Inter­Agency Standing Committee to extend a standing invitation to the representative of the Secretary­General on internally displaced persons to participate in its meetings, and encouraging further strengthening of this collaboration in order to promote better assistance, protection and development strategies for internally displaced persons,

1. Takes note of the report of the representative of the Secretary­General on internally displaced persons (E/CN.4/1998/53), including the study on legal aspects relating to protection against arbitrary displacement (E/CN.4/1998/53/Add.1) and the guiding principles on internal displacement (E/CN.4/1998/53/Add.2) presented by the representative;

2. Expresses its appreciation to the representative of the Secretary­General 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;

3. Also expresses its appreciation to those Governments and intergovernmental and non­governmental organizations which have provided assistance and protection to internally displaced persons and have supported the work of the representative of the Secretary­General, urges them to continue to do so and calls upon others to provide support for the efforts of the representative;

4. Encourages the representative of the Secretary­General through continuous dialogue with Governments and all intergovernmental and non­governmental 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;

5. Notes with interest the decision of the Inter­Agency Standing Committee welcoming the guiding principles and encouraging its members to share them with their Executive Boards;

6. Notes the stated intention of the representative of the Secretary­General to make use of the guiding principles in his dialogue with Governments and intergovernmental and non­governmental organizations and requests him to report to the Commission on his efforts and on the views expressed to him;

7. Welcomes the specific attention paid by the representative of the Secretary­General to the special assistance, protection and development needs of internally displaced women and children and encourages him to continue to draw attention to these needs;

8. Thanks Governments which have invited the representative of the Secretary­General to visit their countries and invites them to give due consideration, in their dialogue with the representative, to his recommendations and suggestions and to make available information on measures taken thereon;

9. Calls upon all Governments to facilitate the activities of the representative of the Secretary­General, in particular those Governments with situations of internal displacement which have not yet extended invitations or responded positively to requests for information from the representative;

10. Commends the representative of the Secretary­General for his efforts to promote a comprehensive strategy that focuses on prevention, as well as better protection, assistance and development for internally displaced persons;

11. Encourages the representative of the Secretary­General and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, as well as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the Emergency Relief Coordinator and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Children's Fund, the World Food Programme, the World Health Organization, the International Organization for Migration, the International Committee of the Red Cross and all other relevant humanitarian assistance and development organizations further to enhance their collaboration by developing frameworks of cooperation to promote protection, assistance and development for internally displaced persons, inter alia by appointing focal points within their organizations for these matters;

12. Urges these organizations, especially through the Inter­Agency Standing Committee, to continue to focus on problems relating to protection, assistance and solutions for internally displaced persons, including through the setting up of a more comprehensive and coherent system of collecting data on their situation, and to strengthen their collaboration with the representative of the Secretary­General;

13. Welcomes the initiatives undertaken by regional organizations, such as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Organization of African Unity and the Organization of American States, to address the assistance, protection and development needs of internally displaced persons, and encourages them to strengthen these activities and their cooperation with the representative of the Secretary­General;

14. Also 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 make them available to the representative of the Secretary­General;

15. Calls upon the High Commissioner for Human Rights to continue to develop projects, in cooperation with Governments, relevant international organizations and the representative of the Secretary­General, to promote the human rights of internally displaced persons, as part of the programme of advisory services and technical cooperation, and to include in her report to the Commission information on their implementation;

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

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

18. Decides to continue its consideration of the question of internal displacement at its fifty­fifth session.

52nd meeting
17 April 1998

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


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