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Human rights and forensic science.

Publisher UN Commission on Human Rights
Author UN Commission on Human Rights (49th sess. : 1993 : Geneva)
Publication Date 5 March 1993
Citation / Document Symbol E/CN.4/RES/1993/33
Reference 49
Cite as UN Commission on Human Rights, Human rights and forensic science., 5 March 1993, E/CN.4/RES/1993/33, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3b00f09a1c.html [accessed 21 September 2014]

1993/33. Human rights and forensic science

The commission on Human Rights,

Recalling its resolution 1992/24 of 28 February 1992,

Welcoming the report of the Secretary-General on human rights and forensic science (E/CN.4/1993/20), submitted pursuant to its resolution 1992/24,

Welcoming also the consultations conducted by the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances with certain organizations and individuals in the field of forensic science and human rights and the elaboration by the Working Group of a preliminary scheme for establishing a standing team of forensic experts,

Noting that the need by Governments, intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations for forensic scientific expertise in investigating deaths and clarifying disappearances has been emphasized in the reports of the Working Group and of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, as well as those of various country rapporteurs,

Noting also that forensic science can help to reunite children of disappeared persons forcefully separated from their parents with their surviving relatives,

Noting further that forensic medicine is an important tool in detecting evidence of torture,

Noting that in many of the countries concerned, sufficient expertise in forensic science and related fields to investigate human rights violations effectively is not available,

Recognizing that training of local teams in responsible exhumation and identification procedures is a prerequisite for the effective investigation of human rights violations,

Aware that a number of Governments have requested the Secretary-General to provide technical assistance in this regard,

Also aware that several special rapporteurs have welcomed efforts towards the institution of a standing team of forensic experts to assist them in carrying out their human rights mandates,

Recalling the Principles on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra-legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions, adopted by the Economic and Social Council in its resolution 1989/65 of 24 May 1989,

Considering the proposed model autopsy protocol prepared under United Nations auspices contained in the Manual on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra-legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.91.IV.1),

1. Invites States to take measures to introduce into their rules and practices the international standards set forth in the Principles on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra-legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions, as well as the model autopsy protocol set forth in the Manual on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra-legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions;

2. Requests the Secretary-General to consult with Governments, relevant United Nations bodies, professional organizations of forensic experts, the organizations mentioned in his report and other interested institutions with a view to identifying individual experts who might be asked to join forensic teams or to provide advice or assistance to thematic or country mechanisms, advisory services and technical assistance programmes;

3. Also requests the Secretary-General to establish, on the basis of these consultations and on the basis of continuing efforts on the part of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances to render active assistance, a list of forensic experts and experts in related fields who could be requested to help international mechanisms in the field of human rights, Governments and the Centre for Human Rights in providing technical and advisory services, advice in regard to the monitoring of human rights violations and training of local teams and/or assistance in the reunification of families of the disappeared;

4. Further requests the Secretary-General to make this list available to the special rapporteurs and experts of the United Nations human rights mechanisms so that they may request these experts to assist them in evaluating documents and other evidence and to accompany them on country visits;

5. Requests the Secretary-General to provide appropriate resources, within existing overall United Nations resources, to fund the activities of the Centre for Human Rights in implementing the present resolution;

6. Also requests the Secretary-General to report to the Commission at its fiftieth session on progress made in this matter and to make such recommendations as he may consider appropriate;

7. Decides to consider the question at its fiftieth session under the agenda item "Question of the human rights of all persons subjected to any form of detention or imprisonment".

57th meeting
5 March 1993
[Adopted without a vote. See chap. X.]

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