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 account of the International Convention against the Taking of Hostages, adopted by the General Assembly in its resolution 34/146 of 17 December 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, Recalling its resolutions 27 (XXXVII) of 11 March 1981, 1986/49 of 12 March 1986, 1987/28 of 10 March 1987, 1988/38 of 8 March 1988, 1989/26 of 6 March 1989, 1990/36 of 6 March 1990 and 1991/40 of 5 March 1991, in which it condemned the taking of any person as hostage, Bearing in mind, inter alia, Security Council resolutions 579 (1985) of 18 December 1985, 618 (1988) of 29 July 1988, 638 (1989) of 31 July 1989 and 674 (1990) of 29 October 1990, as well as the statement made by the President of the Security Council on 28 January 1987 (S/18641), again condemning all cases of hostage-taking, Welcoming the role played by the Secretary-General and the efforts made by the parties concerned in the recent release of hostages in 1991, and urging the immediate release of the remaining hostages, Alarmed, nevertheless, by the number of cases of hostage-taking throughout the world, some of which have been going on for a long time, and by the odious practice they constitute, Expressing its distress at these unacceptable displays of violence towards innocent victims and at the anxiety and suffering of the families concerned,

1. Affirms that the taking of hostages constitutes a grave violation of human rights, exposing the hostages to privation, hardship and anguish, and endangering their health and life;

2. Strongly condemns the taking of any person as hostage, whoever is responsible and whatever the circumstances or motives are, whether or not the hostage is chosen at random and whatever his or her nationality;

3. Demands that all hostages be released immediately;

4. Appeals for the humanitarian action of the International Committee of the Red Cross and its delegates to be respected in all circumstances;

5. Calls upon States to take any measures necessary to prevent and punish the taking of hostages and to put an immediate end to cases of abduction and unlawful restraint on their territory;

6. Requests the Secretary-General, whenever so requested by a State, to continue to employ all the means at his disposal in order to secure the immediate release of persons held hostage;

7. Decides to remain seized of the question at its forty-ninth session.

47th meeting
28 February 1992
[Adopted without a vote. See chap. X.]

This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.