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Human rights defenders Commission on

Human Rights resolution 2002/70


The Commission on Human Rights,

Recalling its resolution 53/144 of 9 December 1998 by which the Assembly adopted by consensus the Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, annexed to that resolution,

Reiterating the importance of the Declaration and stressing the importance of its wide dissemination,

Recalling its resolution 2001/64 of 25 April 2001,

Noting with deep concern that, in many countries, persons and organizations engaged in promoting and defending human rights and fundamental freedoms are facing threats, harassment and insecurity as a result of those activities,

Gravely concerned at the human rights violations committed against persons engaged in promoting and defending human rights and fundamental freedoms around the world,

Recalling that human rights defenders are entitled to equal protection of the law, and deeply concerned about any abuse of civil or criminal proceedings against them because of their activities for the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Concerned at the considerable number of communications received by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on human rights defenders that, together with the reports submitted by some of the special procedure mechanisms, indicate the serious nature of the risks faced by human rights defenders and the particular consequences for women human rights defenders,

Noting with deep concern that, in a number of countries in all regions of the world, impunity for threats, attacks and acts of intimidation against human rights defenders persists and that this impacts negatively on the work and safety of human rights defenders,

Emphasizing the important role that individuals, non-governmental organizations and groups play in the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including in combating impunity,

Welcoming the cooperation between the Special Representative and other special procedures of the Commission,

Welcoming also regional initiatives for the promotion and protection of human rights and the cooperation between international and regional mechanisms for the protection of human rights defenders, and encouraging further development in this regard,

Recalling that the primary responsibility for promoting and protecting human rights rests with the State, and noting with deep concern that the activities of some non-State actors pose a major threat to the security of human rights defenders,

Emphasizing the need for strong and effective measures for the protection of human rights defenders,

1. Calls upon all States to promote and give full effect to the Declaration;

2. Welcomes the reports of the Special Representative (E/CN.4/2001/94, A/56/341 and E/CN.4/2002/106 and Add.1-2);

3. Condemns all human rights violations committed against persons engaged in promoting and defending human rights and fundamental freedoms around the world, and urges States to take all appropriate action, consistent with the Declaration and all other relevant human rights instruments, to eliminate such human rights violations;

4. Calls upon all States to take all necessary measures to ensure the protection of human rights defenders;

5. Emphasizes the importance of combating impunity and in this regard urges States to take appropriate measures to address the question of impunity for threats, attacks and acts of intimidation against human rights defenders;

6. Urges all Governments to cooperate with and assist the Special Representative in the performance of her tasks and to furnish all information for the fulfilment of her mandate upon request;

7. Urges those Governments that have not yet responded to the communications transmitted to them by the Special Representative to answer without further delay;

8. Invites Governments to consider translating the Declaration into national languages and encourages them to disseminate it widely;

9. Requests all concerned United Nations agencies and organizations within their mandates to provide all possible assistance and support to the Special Representative in the implementation of her programme of activities;

10. Requests the Secretary-General to provide all necessary human and financial resources for the effective fulfilment of the mandate of the Special Representative;

11. Decides to consider this question at its fifty-ninth session, under the same agenda item.


56th meeting
25 April 2002
[Adopted without a vote.
E/2002/23- E/CN.4/2002/200, see chap. XVII.]


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