Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 December 2014, 12:47 GMT

Question of human rights in Chile

Publisher UN Commission on Human Rights
Publication Date 26 February 1981
Citation / Document Symbol E/CN.4/RES/9(XXXVII)
Reference THIRTY-SEVENTH SESSION, 1981
Cite as UN Commission on Human Rights, Question of human rights in Chile, 26 February 1981, E/CN.4/RES/9(XXXVII), available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3b00f0c310.html [accessed 25 December 2014]

9 (XXXVII). Question of human rights in Chile[1]26

The Commission on Human Rights,

Conscious of its responsibility to promote and encourage respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, and determined to remain vigilant with regard to violations of human rights wherever they occur,

Recalling its resolution 11 (XXXV), of 6 March 1979, which decided to appoint a Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Chile,

Deploring that the Chilean authorities continue to refuse to co-operate with the Special Rapporteur and that they have failed to take concrete steps as outlined in its resolution 21 (XXXVI) of 29 February 1980,

Deeply concerned at the conclusions of the Special Rapporteur that the situation of the human rights in Chile has not improved but has, on the contrary, deteriorated,

Considering that the total lack of popular participation in the preparation of the new constitution and the restrictions imposed, under the state of emergency, on the freedoms of assembly, association, expression and information, do not enable the result of the plebiscite on the text of the constitution to be regarded as an authentic expression of the Chilean people's will,

Expressing deep concern that the whereabouts of the numerous persons who have disappeared are still unknown and that the Chilean authorities continue to ignore the repeated appeal of the international community reflected in various resolutions of the General Assembly and other international organs and have failed to take urgent and effective measures to investigate and clarify the fate of such persons,

Bearing in mind that the General Assembly, through resolution 35/188 of 15 December 1980, requested the Commission at its thirty-seventh session to study thoroughly the report of the Special Rapporteur and concluded on the basis of this report that its continued vigilance in respect of the human rights situation in Chile is warranted and consequently invited the Commission to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur for another year,

Convinced of the need for the Commission to give special attention to the situation of human rights in Chile by maintaining the mandate of the Special Rapporteur until the Chilean authorities have taken concrete steps for the full restoration of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

1. Commends the Special Rapporteur for his report on the situation of human rights in Chile, prepared in accordance with resolution 21 (XXXVI) of the Commission[2]27 of 29 February 1980;

2. Reiterates its indignation at the persistence and further deterioration of the human rights situation in Chile, as conclusively stated in the report, in particular concerning:

(a) The alteration of their traditional democratic legal system and its institutions by imposing a new constitution and reinforcing legislation restricting the exercise of human rights and fundamental freedoms, creating repressive State bodies and increasing the powers of the security agencies;

(b) The continuation of the state of emergency, the increase in the number of detentions often followed by disappearances, banishments and cases of torture, ill-treatment and unexplained deaths, as well as the persecution and intimidation of persons and institutions engaged in trade union and academic activities and the Catholic Church;

(c) The limitations of economic, social and cultural rights, in particular trade union rights and the right to education, as well as the extreme poverty and lack of protection, together with the threat to indigenous populations of losing their social and cultural identity.

3. Once more strongly urges the Chilean authorities to respect and promote human rights in accordance with their obligations under various international instruments and, in particular, to take the following concrete steps:

(a) Put an end to the state of emergency, under which continued human rights violations occur and restore the democratic institutions and constitutional safeguards formerly enjoyed by the Chilean people;

(b) Ensure an immediate end to torture and other forms of inhuman or degrading treatment and prosecute and punish those responsible for such practices;

(c) Restore the full enjoyment and exercise of civil and political rights, allowing the participation of the people in the administration of public affairs and fully respecting the freedom of expression, information, assembly and association, including trade union and academic freedoms;

(d) Ensure the judiciary the employ of its powers, enabling it to fulfil thoroughly and without restrictions its duty to protect detainees, in particular under habeas corpus and amparo;

(e) Allow Chilean citizens freely to enter and leave and to live in the country, and restore Chilean nationality to persons who have been deprived of it for political reasons;

(f) Respect the economic, social and cultural rights of the population in general, and of the indigenous population in particular;

(g) Abandon the practice of banishments applied to their own nationals, a practice which amounts to forced exile and which often results in the disintegration of families.

4. Expresses its deep concern at the lack of information on the numerous persons who have disappeared, which continues to be a gross and flagrant violation of human rights;

5. Once more urges the Chilean authorities to investigate and clarify the fate of persons who have disappeared for political reasons, to inform relatives of the outcome and to institute criminal proceedings against those responsible for such disappearances;

6. Calls upon the Chilean judiciary to employ fully and without restrictions its power under habeas corpus and amparo in order to protect individuals from arbitrary arrest and detention thereby preventing cases of disappearances, torture and other inhuman or degrading treatment;

7. Again urges the Chilean authorities to co-operate fully with the Special Rapporteur;

8. Concludes, on the basis of the report of the Special Rapporteur, that its continued vigilance in respect of the human rights situation in Chile is warranted;

9. Decides to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur for another year and requests him to report on further developments in the situation of human rights in Chile to the General Assembly at its thirty-sixth session and to the Commission on Human Rights at its thirty-eighth session;

10. Recommends to the Economic and Social Council to make arrangements for the provision of adequate financial resources and staff for the implementation of the present resolution;

11. Decides to consider at its thirty-eighth session as a matter of high priority the question of human rights in Chile.



[1]26 Adopted at the 1617th meeting, on 26 February 1981, by a roll-call vote of 22 to 4, with 17 abstentions. See chap. III.

[2]27 A/35/522 and E/CN.4/1428.

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