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 into account 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, as well as the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons, including Diplomatic Agents, adopted by the General Assembly in its resolution 3166 (XXVIII) of 14 December 1973,

Bearing in mind the relevant Security Council resolutions condemning all cases of hostage-taking,

Recalling its previous resolutions on the subject, in particular its resolution 1992/23 of 28 February 1992, in which it condemned the taking of any person as a hostage,

Concerned that, despite the efforts of the international community, acts of hostage-taking in different forms and manifestations, including, inter alia, those committed by terrorists and armed groups, continue to take place and even have increased in many regions of the world,

Appealing for the humanitarian action of humanitarian organizations, in particular of the International Committee of the Red Cross and its delegates, to be respected, in accordance with the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and the Additional Protocols of 1977 thereto,

Recognizing that hostage-taking calls for resolute, firm and concerted efforts on the part of the international community in order, in strict conformity with international human rights standards, to bring such abhorrent practices to an end,

1. Reaffirms that hostage-taking, wherever and by whomever committed, is an illegal act aimed at the destruction of human rights and is, under any circumstances, unjustifiable;

2. Condemns all acts of hostage-taking, anywhere in the world;

3. Demands that all hostages be released immediately and without any preconditions;

4. Calls upon States to take all necessary measures, in accordance with relevant provisions of international law and international human rights standards, to prevent, combat and punish acts of hostage-taking, including by strengthening international cooperation in this field;

5. Urges all thematic special rapporteurs and working groups to continue to address, as appropriate, the consequences of hostage-taking in their forthcoming reports to the Commission;

6. Decides to remain seized of this matter.

55th meeting
26 April 1999

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


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