International Human Rights Documents

Preamble
Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable
rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice
and peace in the world,
Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous
acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world
in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom
from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common
people,
Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last
resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be
protected by the rule of law,
Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between
nations,
Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their
faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person
and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote
social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,
Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in cooperation
with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of
human rights and fundamental freedoms,
Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the
greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,
Now, therefore,
The General Assembly,
Proclaims this Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a common standard of
achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and
every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by
teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by
progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and
effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States
themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.
Article I
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are
endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a
spirit of brotherhood.
Article 2
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration,
without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion,
political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political,
jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person
belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other
limitation of sovereignty.
Article 3
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and the security of person.
Article 4
No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be
prohibited in all their forms.
Article 5
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment
or punishment.
Article 6
Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
Article 7
All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal
protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any
discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such
discrimination.
Article 8
Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals
for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.
Article 9
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.
Article 10
Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent
and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any
criminal charge against him.
Article 11
1. Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed
innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he
has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
2. No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or
omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or
international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier
penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal
offence was committed.
Article 12
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home
or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has
the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
Article 13
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the
borders of each State.
2. Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to
return to his country.
Article 14
1. Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from
persecution.
2. This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely
arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and
principles of the United Nations.
Article 15
1. Everyone has the right to a nationality.
2. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to
change his nationality.
Article 16
1. Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality
or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled
to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
2. Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the
intending spouses.
3. The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is
entitled to protection by society and the State.
Article 17
1. Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with
others.
2. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.
Article 18
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right
includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in
community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in
teaching, practice, worship and observance.
Article 19
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes
freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart
information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
Article 20
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
2. No one may be compelled to belong to an association.
Article 21
1. Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country,
directly or through freely chosen representatives.
2. Everyone has the right to equal access to public service in his country.
3. The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government;
this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall
be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by
equivalent free voting procedures.
Article 22
Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled
to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in
accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic,
social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development
of his personality.
Article 23
1. Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and
favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
2. Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal
work.
3. Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration
ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity,
and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
4. Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of
his interests.
Article 24
Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of
working hours and periodic holidays with pay.
Article 25
1. Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and
well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing
and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security
in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or
other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
2. Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All
children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social
protection.
Article 26
1. Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the
elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be
compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made
generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all
on the basis of merit.
2. Education shall be directed to the full development of the human
personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and
fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and
friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further
the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
3. Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be
given to their children.
Article 27
1. Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the
community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and
its benefits.
2. Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests
resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the
author.
Article 28
Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and
freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.
Article 29
1. Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full
development of his personality is possible.
2. In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only
to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of
securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others
and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the
general welfare in a democratic society.
3. These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the
purposes and principles of the United Nations.
Article 30
Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or
person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the
destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.

Adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General Assembly resolution 2200A (XXI) of 16 December 1966, entry into force 23 March 1976, in accordance with Article 49
Preamble
The States Parties to the present Covenant,
Considering that, in accordance with the principles proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations, recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
Recognizing that these rights derive from the inherent dignity of the human person,
Recognizing that, in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the ideal of free human beings enjoying civil and political freedom and freedom from fear and want can only be achieved if conditions are created whereby everyone may enjoy his civil and political rights, as well as his economic, social and cultural rights,
Considering the obligation of States under the Charter of the United Nations to promote universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and freedoms,
Realizing that the individual, having duties to other individuals and to the community to which he belongs, is under a responsibility to strive for the promotion and observance of the rights recognized in the present Covenant,
Agree upon the following articles:
PART I
Article 1
1. All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.
2. All peoples may, for their own ends, freely dispose of their natural wealth and resources without prejudice to any obligations arising out of international economic co-operation, based upon the principle of mutual benefit, and international law. In no case may a people be deprived of its own means of subsistence.
3. The States Parties to the present Covenant, including those having responsibility for the administration of Non-Self-Governing and Trust Territories, shall promote the realization of the right of self-determination, and shall respect that right, in conformity with the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations.
PART II
Article 2
1. Each State Party to the present Covenant undertakes to respect and to ensure to all individuals within its territory and subject to its jurisdiction the rights recognized in the present Covenant, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
2. Where not already provided for by existing legislative or other measures, each State Party to the present Covenant undertakes to take the necessary steps, in accordance with its constitutional processes and with the provisions of the present Covenant, to adopt such laws or other measures as may be necessary to give effect to the rights recognized in the present Covenant.
3. Each State Party to the present Covenant undertakes:
(a) To ensure that any person whose rights or freedoms as herein recognized are violated shall have an effective remedy, notwithstanding that the violation has been committed by persons acting in an official capacity;
(b) To ensure that any person claiming such a remedy shall have his right thereto determined by competent judicial, administrative or legislative authorities, or by any other competent authority provided for by the legal system of the State, and to develop the possibilities of judicial remedy;
(c) To ensure that the competent authorities shall enforce such remedies when granted.
Article 3
The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to ensure the equal right of men and women to the enjoyment of all civil and political rights set forth in the present Covenant.
Article 4
1 . In time of public emergency which threatens the life of the nation and the existence of which is officially proclaimed, the States Parties to the present Covenant may take measures derogating from their obligations under the present Covenant to the extent strictly required by the exigencies of the situation, provided that such measures are not inconsistent with their other obligations under international law and do not involve discrimination solely on the ground of race, colour, sex, language, religion or social origin.
2. No derogation from articles 6, 7, 8 (paragraphs I and 2), 11, 15, 16 and 18 may be made under this provision.
3. Any State Party to the present Covenant availing itself of the right of derogation shall immediately inform the other States Parties to the present Covenant, through the intermediary of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, of the provisions from which it has derogated and of the reasons by which it was actuated. A further communication shall be made, through the same intermediary, on the date on which it terminates such derogation.
Article 5
1. Nothing in the present Covenant may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms recognized herein or at their limitation to a greater extent than is provided for in the present Covenant.
2. There shall be no restriction upon or derogation from any of the fundamental human rights recognized or existing in any State Party to the present Covenant pursuant to law, conventions, regulations or custom on the pretext that the present Covenant does not recognize such rights or that it recognizes them to a lesser extent.
PART III
Article 6
1. Every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life.
2. In countries which have not abolished the death penalty, sentence of death may be imposed only for the most serious crimes in accordance with the law in force at the time of the commission of the crime and not contrary to the provisions of the present Covenant and to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. This penalty can only be carried out pursuant to a final judgement rendered by a competent court.
3. When deprivation of life constitutes the crime of genocide, it is understood that nothing in this article shall authorize any State Party to the present Covenant to derogate in any way from any obligation assumed under the provisions of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
4. Anyone sentenced to death shall have the right to seek pardon or commutation of the sentence. Amnesty, pardon or commutation of the sentence of death may be granted in all cases.
5. Sentence of death shall not be imposed for crimes committed by persons below eighteen years of age and shall not be carried out on pregnant women.
6. Nothing in this article shall be invoked to delay or to prevent the abolition of capital punishment by any State Party to the present Covenant.
Article 7
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. In particular, no one shall be subjected without his free consent to medical or scientific experimentation.
Article 8
1. No one shall be held in slavery; slavery and the slave-trade in all their forms shall be prohibited.
2. No one shall be held in servitude.
3. (a) No one shall be required to perform forced or compulsory labour;
(b) Paragraph 3 (a) shall not be held to preclude, in countries where imprisonment with hard labour may be imposed as a punishment for a crime, the performance of hard labour in pursuance of a sentence to such punishment by a competent court;
(c) For the purpose of this paragraph the term "forced or compulsory labour" shall not include:
(i) Any work or service, not referred to in subparagraph (b), normally required of a person who is under detention in consequence of a lawful order of a court, or of a person during conditional release from such detention;
(ii) Any service of a military character and, in countries where conscientious objection is recognized, any national service required by law of conscientious objectors;
(iii) Any service exacted in cases of emergency or calamity threatening the life or well-being of the community;
(iv) Any work or service which forms part of normal civil obligations.
Article 9
1. Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention. No one shall be deprived of his liberty except on such grounds and in accordance with such procedure as are established by law.
2. Anyone who is arrested shall be informed, at the time of arrest, of the reasons for his arrest and shall be promptly informed of any charges against him.
3. Anyone arrested or detained on a criminal charge shall be brought promptly before a judge or other officer authorized by law to exercise judicial power and shall be entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to release. It shall not be the general rule that persons awaiting trial shall be detained in custody, but release may be subject to guarantees to appear for trial, at any other stage of the judicial proceedings, and, should occasion arise, for execution of the judgement.
4. Anyone who is deprived of his liberty by arrest or detention shall be entitled to take proceedings before a court, in order that that court may decide without delay on the lawfulness of his detention and order his release if the detention is not lawful.
5. Anyone who has been the victim of unlawful arrest or detention shall have an enforceable right to compensation.
Article 10
1. All persons deprived of their liberty shall be treated with humanity and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person.
2.
(a) Accused persons shall, save in exceptional circumstances, be segregated from convicted persons and shall be subject to separate treatment appropriate to their status as unconvicted persons;
(b) Accused juvenile persons shall be separated from adults and brought as speedily as possible for adjudication.
3. The penitentiary system shall comprise treatment of prisoners the essential aim of which shall be their reformation and social rehabilitation. Juvenile offenders shall be segregated from adults and be accorded treatment appropriate to their age and legal status.
Article 11
No one shall be imprisoned merely on the ground of inability to fulfil a contractual obligation. Article 12
1. Everyone lawfully within the territory of a State shall, within that territory, have the right to liberty of movement and freedom to choose his residence.
2. Everyone shall be free to leave any country, including his own.
3. The above-mentioned rights shall not be subject to any restrictions except those which are provided by law, are necessary to protect national security, public order (ordre public), public health or morals or the rights and freedoms of others, and are consistent with the other rights recognized in the present Covenant.
4. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of the right to enter his own country.
Article 13
An alien lawfully in the territory of a State Party to the present Covenant may be expelled therefrom only in pursuance of a decision reached in accordance with law and shall, except where compelling reasons of national security otherwise require, be allowed to submit the reasons against his expulsion and to have his case reviewed by, and be represented for the purpose before, the competent authority or a person or persons especially designated by the competent authority.
Article 14
1. All persons shall be equal before the courts and tribunals. In the determination of any criminal charge against him, or of his rights and obligations in a suit at law, everyone shall be entitled to a fair and public hearing by a competent, independent and impartial tribunal established by law. The press and the public may be excluded from all or part of a trial for reasons of morals, public order (ordre public) or national security in a democratic society, or when the interest of the private lives of the parties so requires, or to the extent strictly necessary in the opinion of the court in special circumstances where publicity would prejudice the interests of justice; but any judgement rendered in a criminal case or in a suit at law shall be made public except where the interest of juvenile persons otherwise requires or the proceedings concern matrimonial disputes or the guardianship of children.
2. Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall have the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law.
3. In the determination of any criminal charge against him, everyone shall be entitled to the following minimum guarantees, in full equality: (a) To be informed promptly and in detail in a language which he understands of the nature and cause of the charge against him;
(b) To have adequate time and facilities for the preparation of his defence and to communicate with counsel of his own choosing;
(c) To be tried without undue delay;
(d) To be tried in his presence, and to defend himself in person or through legal assistance of his own choosing; to be informed, if he does not have legal assistance, of this right; and to have legal assistance assigned to him, in any case where the interests of justice so require, and without payment by him in any such case if he does not have sufficient means to pay for it;
(e) To examine, or have examined, the witnesses against him and to obtain the attendance and examination of witnesses on his behalf under the same conditions as witnesses against him;
(f) To have the free assistance of an interpreter if he cannot understand or speak the language used in court;
(g) Not to be compelled to testify against himself or to confess guilt.
4. In the case of juvenile persons, the procedure shall be such as will take account of their age and the desirability of promoting their rehabilitation. 5. Everyone convicted of a crime shall have the right to his conviction and sentence being reviewed by a higher tribunal according to law.
6. When a person has by a final decision been convicted of a criminal offence and when subsequently his conviction has been reversed or he has been pardoned on the ground that a new or newly discovered fact shows conclusively that there has been a miscarriage of justice, the person who has suffered punishment as a result of such conviction shall be compensated according to law, unless it is proved that the non-disclosure of the unknown fact in time is wholly or partly attributable to him.
7. No one shall be liable to be tried or punished again for an offence for which he has already been finally convicted or acquitted in accordance with the law and penal procedure of each country.
Article 15
1 . No one shall be held guilty of any criminal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a criminal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time when the criminal offence was committed. If, subsequent to the commission of the offence, provision is made by law for the imposition of the lighter penalty, the offender shall benefit thereby.
2. Nothing in this article shall prejudice the trial and punishment of any person for any act or omission which, at the time when it was committed, was criminal according to the general principles of law recognized by the community of nations.
Article 16
Everyone shall have the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
Article 17
1. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his honour and reputation.
2. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
Article 18
1. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice, and freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching.
2. No one shall be subject to coercion which would impair his freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice.
3. Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs may be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health, or morals or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.
4. The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to have respect for the liberty of parents and, when applicable, legal guardians to ensure the religious and moral education of their children in conformity with their own convictions.
Article 19
1. Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference.
2. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.
3. The exercise of the rights provided for in paragraph 2 of this article carries with it special duties and responsibilities. It may therefore be subject to certain restrictions, but these shall only be such as are provided by law and are necessary:
(a) For respect of the rights or reputations of others;
(b) For the protection of national security or of public order (ordre public), or of public health or morals.
Article 20
1. Any propaganda for war shall be prohibited by law.
2. Any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law.
Article 21
The right of peaceful assembly shall be recognized. No restrictions may be placed on the exercise of this right other than those imposed in conformity with the law and which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, public order (ordre public), the protection of public health or morals or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.
Article 22
1. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of association with others, including the right to form and join trade unions for the protection of his interests.
2. No restrictions may be placed on the exercise of this right other than those which are prescribed by law and which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, public order (ordre public), the protection of public health or morals or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others. This article shall not prevent the imposition of lawful restrictions on members of the armed forces and of the police in their exercise of this right.
3. Nothing in this article shall authorize States Parties to the International Labour Organisation Convention of 1948 concerning Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize to take legislative measures which would prejudice, or to apply the law in such a manner as to prejudice, the guarantees provided for in that Convention.
Article 23
1. The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.
2. The right of men and women of marriageable age to marry and to found a family shall be recognized.
3. No marriage shall be entered into without the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
4. States Parties to the present Covenant shall take appropriate steps to ensure equality of rights and responsibilities of spouses as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution. In the case of dissolution, provision shall be made for the necessary protection of any children.
Article 24
1. Every child shall have, without any discrimination as to race, colour, sex, language, religion, national or social origin, property or birth, the right to such measures of protection as are required by his status as a minor, on the part of his family, society and the State.
2. Every child shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have a name.
3. Every child has the right to acquire a nationality.
Article 25
Every citizen shall have the right and the opportunity, without any of the distinctions mentioned in article 2 and without unreasonable restrictions:
(a) To take part in the conduct of public affairs, directly or through freely chosen representatives;
(b) To vote and to be elected at genuine periodic elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret ballot, guaranteeing the free expression of the will of the electors;
(c) To have access, on general terms of equality, to public service in his country.
Article 26
All persons are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection of the law. In this respect, the law shall prohibit any discrimination and guarantee to all
persons equal and effective protection against discrimination on any ground such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
Article 27
In those States in which ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities exist, persons belonging to such minorities shall not be denied the right, in community with the other members of their group, to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practise their own religion, or to use their own language.
PART IV
Article 28
1. There shall be established a Human Rights Committee (hereafter referred to in the present Covenant as the Committee). It shall consist of eighteen members and shall carry out the functions hereinafter provided.
2. The Committee shall be composed of nationals of the States Parties to the present Covenant who shall be persons of high moral character and recognized competence in the field of human rights, consideration being given to the usefulness of the participation of some persons having legal experience.
3. The members of the Committee shall be elected and shall serve in their personal capacity.
Article 29
1. The members of the Committee shall be elected by secret ballot from a list of persons possessing the qualifications prescribed in article 28 and nominated for the purpose by the States Parties to the present Covenant.
2. Each State Party to the present Covenant may nominate not more than two persons. These persons shall be nationals of the nominating State.
3. A person shall be eligible for renomination.
Article 30
1. The initial election shall be held no later than six months after the date of the entry into force of the present Covenant.
2. At least four months before the date of each election to the Committee, other than an election to fill a vacancy declared in accordance with article 34, the Secretary-General of the United Nations shall address a written invitation to the States Parties to the present Covenant to submit their nominations for membership of the Committee within three months.
3. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall prepare a list in alphabetical order of all the persons thus nominated, with an indication of the States Parties which have nominated them, and shall submit it to the States Parties to the present Covenant no later than one month before the date of each election.
4. Elections of the members of the Committee shall be held at a meeting of the States Parties to the present Covenant convened by the Secretary General of the United Nations at the Headquarters of the United Nations. At that meeting, for which two thirds of the States Parties to the present Covenant shall constitute a quorum, the persons elected to the Committee shall be those nominees who obtain the largest number of votes and an absolute majority of the votes of the representatives of States Parties present and voting.
Article 31
1. The Committee may not include more than one national of the same State.
2. In the election of the Committee, consideration shall be given to equitable geographical distribution of membership and to the representation of the different forms of civilization and of the principal legal systems.
Article 32
1. The members of the Committee shall be elected for a term of four years. They shall be eligible for re-election if renominated. However, the terms of nine of the members elected at the first election shall expire at the end of two years; immediately after the first election, the names of these nine members shall be chosen by lot by the Chairman of the meeting referred to in article 30, paragraph 4. 2. Elections at the expiry of office shall be held in accordance with the preceding articles of this part of the present Covenant.
Article 33
1. If, in the unanimous opinion of the other members, a member of the Committee has ceased to carry out his functions for any cause other than absence of a temporary character, the Chairman of the Committee shall notify the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who shall then declare the seat of that member to be vacant.
2. In the event of the death or the resignation of a member of the Committee, the Chairman shall immediately notify the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who shall declare the seat vacant from the date of death or the date on which the resignation takes effect.
Article 34
1. When a vacancy is declared in accordance with article 33 and if the term of office of the member to be replaced does not expire within six months of the declaration of the vacancy, the Secretary-General of the United Nations shall notify each of the States Parties to the present Covenant, which may within two months submit nominations in accordance with article 29 for the purpose of filling the vacancy.
2. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall prepare a list in alphabetical order of the persons thus nominated and shall submit it to the States Parties to the present Covenant. The
election to fill the vacancy shall then take place in accordance with the relevant provisions of this part of the present Covenant.
3. A member of the Committee elected to fill a vacancy declared in accordance with article 33 shall hold office for the remainder of the term of the member who vacated the seat on the Committee under the provisions of that article.
Article 35
The members of the Committee shall, with the approval of the General Assembly of the United Nations, receive emoluments from United Nations resources on such terms and conditions as the General Assembly may decide, having regard to the importance of the Committee's responsibilities.
Article 36
The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall provide the necessary staff and facilities for the effective performance of the functions of the Committee under the present Covenant.
Article 37
1. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall convene the initial meeting of the Committee at the Headquarters of the United Nations.
2. After its initial meeting, the Committee shall meet at such times as shall be provided in its rules of procedure.
3. The Committee shall normally meet at the Headquarters of the United Nations or at the United Nations Office at Geneva.
Article 38
Every member of the Committee shall, before taking up his duties, make a solemn declaration in open committee that he will perform his functions impartially and conscientiously.
Article 39
1. The Committee shall elect its officers for a term of two years. They may be re-elected.
2. The Committee shall establish its own rules of procedure, but these rules shall provide, inter alia, that:
(a) Twelve members shall constitute a quorum;
(b) Decisions of the Committee shall be made by a majority vote of the members present.
Article 40
1. The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to submit reports on the measures they have adopted which give effect to the rights recognized herein and on the progress made in the enjoyment of those rights: (a) Within one year of the entry into force of the present Covenant for the States Parties concerned;
(b) Thereafter whenever the Committee so requests.
2. All reports shall be submitted to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who shall transmit them to the Committee for consideration. Reports shall indicate the factors and difficulties, if any, affecting the implementation of the present Covenant.
3. The Secretary-General of the United Nations may, after consultation with the Committee, transmit to the specialized agencies concerned copies of such parts of the reports as may fall within their field of competence.
4. The Committee shall study the reports submitted by the States Parties to the present Covenant. It shall transmit its reports, and such general comments as it may consider appropriate, to the States Parties. The Committee may also transmit to the Economic and Social Council these comments along with the copies of the reports it has received from States Parties to the present Covenant.
5. The States Parties to the present Covenant may submit to the Committee observations on any comments that may be made in accordance with paragraph 4 of this article.
Article 41
1. A State Party to the present Covenant may at any time declare under this article that it recognizes the competence of the Committee to receive and consider communications to the effect that a State Party claims that another State Party is not fulfilling its obligations under the present Covenant. Communications under this article may be received and considered only if submitted by a State Party which has made a declaration recognizing in regard to itself the competence of the Committee. No communication shall be received by the Committee if it concerns a State Party which has not made such a declaration. Communications received under this article shall be dealt with in accordance with the following procedure:
(a) If a State Party to the present Covenant considers that another State Party is not giving effect to the provisions of the present Covenant, it may, by written communication, bring the matter to the attention of that State Party. Within three months after the receipt of the communication the receiving State shall afford the State which sent the communication an explanation, or any other statement in writing clarifying the matter which should include, to the extent possible and pertinent, reference to domestic procedures and remedies taken, pending, or available in the matter;
(b) If the matter is not adjusted to the satisfaction of both States Parties concerned within six months after the receipt by the receiving State of the initial communication, either State shall have the right to refer the matter to the Committee, by notice given to the Committee and to the other State;
(c) The Committee shall deal with a matter referred to it only after it has ascertained that all available domestic remedies have been invoked and exhausted in the matter, in conformity with the generally recognized principles of international law. This shall not be the rule where the application of the remedies is unreasonably prolonged;
(d) The Committee shall hold closed meetings when examining communications under this article;
(e) Subject to the provisions of subparagraph (c), the Committee shall make available its good offices to the States Parties concerned with a view to a friendly solution of the matter on the basis of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms as recognized in the present Covenant;
(f) In any matter referred to it, the Committee may call upon the States Parties concerned, referred to in subparagraph (b), to supply any relevant information;
(g) The States Parties concerned, referred to in subparagraph (b), shall have the right to be represented when the matter is being considered in the Committee and to make submissions orally and/or in writing;
(h) The Committee shall, within twelve months after the date of receipt of notice under subparagraph (b), submit a report:
(i) If a solution within the terms of subparagraph (e) is reached, the Committee shall confine its report to a brief statement of the facts and of the solution reached;
(ii) If a solution within the terms of subparagraph (e) is not reached, the Committee shall confine its report to a brief statement of the facts; the written submissions and record of the oral submissions made by the States Parties concerned shall be attached to the report. In every matter, the report shall be communicated to the States Parties concerned.
2. The provisions of this article shall come into force when ten States Parties to the present Covenant have made declarations under paragraph I of this article. Such declarations shall be deposited by the States Parties with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who shall transmit copies thereof to the other States Parties. A declaration may be withdrawn at any time by notification to the Secretary-General. Such a withdrawal shall not prejudice the consideration of any matter which is the subject of a communication already transmitted under this article; no further communication by any State Party shall be received after the notification of withdrawal of the declaration has been received by the Secretary-General, unless the State Party concerned has made a new declaration.
Article 42
1.
(a) If a matter referred to the Committee in accordance with article 41 is not resolved to the satisfaction of the States Parties concerned, the Committee may, with the prior consent of the States Parties concerned, appoint an ad hoc Conciliation Commission (hereinafter referred to as the Commission). The good offices of the Commission shall be made available to the States Parties concerned with a view to an amicable solution of the matter on the basis of respect for the present Covenant;
(b) The Commission shall consist of five persons acceptable to the States Parties concerned. If the States Parties concerned fail to reach agreement within three months on all or part of the composition of the Commission, the members of the Commission concerning whom no agreement has been reached shall be elected by secret ballot by a two-thirds majority vote of the Committee from among its members.
2. The members of the Commission shall serve in their personal capacity. They shall not be nationals of the States Parties concerned, or of a State not Party to the present Covenant, or of a State Party which has not made a declaration under article 41.
3. The Commission shall elect its own Chairman and adopt its own rules of procedure.
4. The meetings of the Commission shall normally be held at the Headquarters of the United Nations or at the United Nations Office at Geneva. However, they may be held at such other convenient places as the Commission may determine in consultation with the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the States Parties concerned.
5. The secretariat provided in accordance with article 36 shall also service the commissions appointed under this article.
6. The information received and collated by the Committee shall be made available to the Commission and the Commission may call upon the States Parties concerned to supply any other relevant information.
7. When the Commission has fully considered the matter, but in any event not later than twelve months after having been seized of the matter, it shall submit to the Chairman of the Committee a report for communication to the States Parties concerned:
(a) If the Commission is unable to complete its consideration of the matter within twelve months, it shall confine its report to a brief statement of the status of its consideration of the matter;
(b) If an amicable solution to the matter on tie basis of respect for human rights as recognized in the present Covenant is reached, the Commission shall confine its report to a brief statement of the facts and of the solution reached;
(c) If a solution within the terms of subparagraph (b) is not reached, the Commission's report shall embody its findings on all questions of fact relevant to the issues between the States Parties concerned, and its views on the possibilities of an amicable solution of the matter. This report shall also contain the written submissions and a record of the oral submissions made by the States Parties concerned;
(d) If the Commission's report is submitted under subparagraph (c), the States Parties concerned shall, within three months of the receipt of the report, notify the Chairman of the Committee whether or not they accept the contents of the report of the Commission.
8. The provisions of this article are without prejudice to the responsibilities of the Committee under article 41.
9. The States Parties concerned shall share equally all the expenses of the members of the Commission in accordance with estimates to be provided by the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
10. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall be empowered to pay the expenses of the members of the Commission, if necessary, before reimbursement by the States Parties concerned, in accordance with paragraph 9 of this article.
Article 43
The members of the Committee, and of the ad hoc conciliation commissions which may be appointed under article 42, shall be entitled to the facilities, privileges and immunities of experts on mission for the United Nations as laid down in the relevant sections of the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations.
Article 44
The provisions for the implementation of the present Covenant shall apply without prejudice to the procedures prescribed in the field of human rights by or under the constituent instruments and the conventions of the United Nations and of the specialized agencies and shall not prevent the States Parties to the present Covenant from having recourse to other procedures for settling a dispute in accordance with general or special international agreements in force between them.
Article 45
The Committee shall submit to the General Assembly of the United Nations, through the Economic and Social Council, an annual report on its activities.
PART V
Article 46
Nothing in the present Covenant shall be interpreted as impairing the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations and of the constitutions of the specialized agencies which define the respective responsibilities of the various organs of the United Nations and of the specialized agencies in regard to the matters dealt with in the present Covenant.
Article 47
Nothing in the present Covenant shall be interpreted as impairing the inherent right of all peoples to enjoy and utilize fully and freely their natural wealth and resources.
PART VI
Article 48
1. The present Covenant is open for signature by any State Member of the United Nations or member of any of its specialized agencies, by any State Party to the Statute of the International Court of Justice, and by any other State which has been invited by the General Assembly of the United Nations to become a Party to the present Covenant.
2. The present Covenant is subject to ratification. Instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
3. The present Covenant shall be open to accession by any State referred to in paragraph 1 of this article.
4. Accession shall be effected by the deposit of an instrument of accession with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
5. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall inform all States which have signed this Covenant or acceded to it of the deposit of each instrument of ratification or accession.
Article 49
1. The present Covenant shall enter into force three months after the date of the deposit with the Secretary-General of the United Nations of the thirty-fifth instrument of ratification or instrument of accession.
2. For each State ratifying the present Covenant or acceding to it after the deposit of the thirty-fifth instrument of ratification or instrument of accession, the present Covenant shall enter into force three months after the date of the deposit of its own instrument of ratification or instrument of accession.
Article 50
The provisions of the present Covenant shall extend to all parts of federal States without any limitations or exceptions.
Article 51
1. Any State Party to the present Covenant may propose an amendment and file it with the Secretary-General of the United Nations. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall thereupon communicate any proposed amendments to the States Parties to the present Covenant with a request that they notify him whether they favour a conference of States Parties for the purpose of considering and voting upon the proposals. In the event that at least one third of the States Parties favours such a conference, the Secretary-General shall convene the conference under the auspices of the United Nations. Any amendment adopted by a majority of the States Parties present and voting at the conference shall be submitted to the General Assembly of the United Nations for approval.
2. Amendments shall come into force when they have been approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations and accepted by a two-thirds majority of the States Parties to the present Covenant in accordance with their respective constitutional processes. 3. When amendments come into force, they shall be binding on those States Parties which have accepted them, other States Parties still being bound by the provisions of the present Covenant and any earlier amendment which they have accepted.
Article 52
1. Irrespective of the notifications made under article 48, paragraph 5, the Secretary-General of the United Nations shall inform all States referred to in paragraph I of the same article of the following particulars:
(a) Signatures, ratifications and accessions under article 48;
(b) The date of the entry into force of the present Covenant under article 49 and the date of the entry into force of any amendments under article 51.
Article 53
1. The present Covenant, of which the Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish texts are equally authentic, shall be deposited in the archives of the United Nations.
2. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall transmit certified copies of the present Covenant to all States referred to in article 48.

Adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General
Assembly resolution 2200A (XXI) of 16 December 1966
entry into force 23 March 1976, in accordance with Article 9
The States Parties to the present Protocol,
Considering that in order further to achieve the purposes of the International Covenant on
Civil and Political Rights (hereinafter referred to as the Covenant) and the implementation of
its provisions it would be appropriate to enable the Human Rights Committee set up in part IV
of the Covenant (hereinafter referred to as the Committee) to receive and consider, as
provided in the present Protocol, communications from individuals claiming to be victims of
violations of any of the rights set forth in the Covenant. Have agreed as follows:
Article 1
A State Party to the Covenant that becomes a Party to the present Protocol recognizes the
competence of the Committee to receive and consider communications from individuals
subject to its jurisdiction who claim to be victims of a violation by that State Party of any of
the rights set forth in the Covenant. No communication shall be received by the Committee if
it concerns a State Party to the Covenant which is not a Party to the present Protocol.
Article 2
Subject to the provisions of article 1, individuals who claim that any of their rights enumerated
in the Covenant have been violated and who have exhausted all available domestic remedies
may submit a written communication to the Committee for consideration.
Article 3
The Committee shall consider inadmissible any communication under the present Protocol
which is anonymous, or which it considers to be an abuse of the right of submission of such
communications or to be incompatible with the provisions of the Covenant.
Article 4
1. Subject to the provisions of article 3, the Committee shall bring any communications
submitted to it under the present Protocol to the attention of the State Party to the present
Protocol alleged to be violating any provision of the Covenant.
2. Within six months, the receiving State shall submit to the Committee written explanations
or statements clarifying the matter and the remedy, if any, that may have been taken by that
State.
Article 5
1. The Committee shall consider communications received under the present Protocol in the
light of all written information made available to it by the individual and by the State Party
concerned.
2. The Committee shall not consider any communication from an individual unless it has
ascertained that:
(a) The same matter is not being examined under another procedure of international
investigation or settlement;
(b) The individual has exhausted all available domestic remedies. This shall not be the rule
where the application of the remedies is unreasonably prolonged.
3. The Committee shall hold closed meetings when examining communications under the
present Protocol. 4. The Committee shall forward its views to the State Party concerned and to
the individual.
Article 6
The Committee shall include in its annual report under article 45 of the Covenant a summary
of its activities under the present Protocol.
Article 7
Pending the achievement of the objectives of resolution 1514(XV) adopted by the General
Assembly of the United Nations on 14 December 1960 concerning the Declaration on the
Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, the provisions of the present
Protocol shall in no way limit the right of petition granted to these peoples by the Charter of
the United Nations and other international conventions and instruments under the United
Nations and its specialized agencies.
Article 8
1. The present Protocol is open for signature by any State which has signed the Covenant.
2. The present Protocol is subject to ratification by any State which has ratified or acceded to
the Covenant. Instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the
United Nations.
3. The present Protocol shall be open to accession by any State which has ratified or acceded
to the Covenant.
4. Accession shall be effected by the deposit of an instrument of accession with the Secretary-
General of the United Nations.
5. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall inform all States which have signed the
present Protocol or acceded to it of the deposit of each instrument of ratification or accession.
Article 9
1. Subject to the entry into force of the Covenant, the present Protocol shall enter into force
three months after the date of the deposit with the Secretary-General of the United Nations of
the tenth instrument of ratification or instrument of accession.
2. For each State ratifying the present Protocol or acceding to it after the deposit of the tenth
instrument of ratification or instrument of accession, the present Protocol shall enter into force
three months after the date of the deposit of its own instrument of ratification or instrument of
accession.
Article 10
The provisions of the present Protocol shall extend to all parts of federal States without any
limitations or exceptions.
Article 11
1. Any State Party to the present Protocol may propose an amendment and file it with the
Secretary-General of the United Nations. The Secretary-General shall thereupon communicate
any proposed amendments to the States Parties to the present Protocol with a request that
they notify him whether they favour a conference of States Parties for the purpose of
considering and voting upon the proposal. In the event that at least one third of the States
Parties favours such a conference, the Secretary-General shall convene the conference under
the auspices of the United Nations. Any amendment adopted by a majority of the States
Parties present and voting at the conference shall be submitted to the General Assembly of the
United Nations for approval.
2. Amendments shall come into force when they have been approved by the General Assembly
of the United Nations and accepted by a two-thirds majority of the States Parties to the
present Protocol in accordance with their respective constitutional processes.
3. When amendments come into force, they shall be binding on those States Parties which
have accepted them, other States Parties still being bound by the provisions of the present
Protocol and any earlier amendment which they have accepted.
Article 12
1. Any State Party may denounce the present Protocol at any time by written notification
addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Denunciation shall take effect three
months after the date of receipt of the notification by the Secretary-General.
2. Denunciation shall be without prejudice to the continued application of the provisions of the
present Protocol to any communication submitted under article 2 before the effective date of
denunciation.
Article 13
Irrespective of the notifications made under article 8, paragraph 5, of the present Protocol, the
Secretary-General of the United Nations shall inform all States referred to in article 48,
paragraph I, of the Covenant of the following particulars:
(a) Signatures, ratifications and accessions under article 8;
(b) The date of the entry into force of the present Protocol under article 9 and the date of the
entry into force of any amendments under article 11;
(c) Denunciations under article 12.
Article 14
1. The present Protocol, of which the Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish texts are
equally authentic, shall be deposited in the archives of the United Nations.
2. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall transmit certified copies of the present
Protocol to all States referred to in article 48 of the Covenant.

Adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General Assembly
resolution 2200A (XXI)
of 16 December 1966
entry into force 3 January 1976, in accordance with article 27
Preamble
The States Parties to the present Covenant,
Considering that, in accordance with the principles proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations,
recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human
family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
Recognizing that these rights derive from the inherent dignity of the human person,
Recognizing that, in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the ideal of free
human beings enjoying freedom from fear and want can only be achieved if conditions are created
whereby everyone may enjoy his economic, social and cultural rights, as well as his civil and political
rights,
Considering the obligation of States under the Charter of the United Nations to promote universal
respect for, and observance of, human rights and freedoms,
Realizing that the individual, having duties to other individuals and to the community to which he
belongs, is under a responsibility to strive for the promotion and observance of the rights recognized in
the present Covenant,
Agree upon the following articles:
PART I
Article 1
1. All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their
political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.
2. All peoples may, for their own ends, freely dispose of their natural wealth and resources without
prejudice to any obligations arising out of international economic co-operation, based upon the
principle of mutual benefit, and international law. In no case may a people be deprived of its own
means of subsistence.
3. The States Parties to the present Covenant, including those having responsibility for the
administration of Non-Self-Governing and Trust Territories, shall promote the realization of the right of
self-determination, and shall respect that right, in conformity with the provisions of the Charter of the
United Nations.
PART II
Article 2
1. Each State Party to the present Covenant undertakes to take steps, individually and through
international assistance and co-operation, especially economic and technical, to the maximum of its
available resources, with a view to achieving progressively the full realization of the rights recognized
in the present Covenant by all appropriate means, including particularly the adoption of legislative
measures.
2. The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to guarantee that the rights enunciated in the
present Covenant will be exercised without discrimination of any kind as to race, colour, sex, language,
religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
3. Developing countries, with due regard to human rights and their national economy, may determine
to what extent they would guarantee the economic rights recognized in the present Covenant to nonnationals.
Article 3
The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to ensure the equal right of men and women to
the enjoyment of all economic, social and cultural rights set forth in the present Covenant.
Article 4
The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize that, in the enjoyment of those rights provided
by the State in conformity with the present Covenant, the State may subject such rights only to such
limitations as are determined by law only in so far as this may be compatible with the nature of these
rights and solely for the purpose of promoting the general welfare in a democratic society.
Article 5
1. Nothing in the present Covenant may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any
right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights or
freedoms recognized herein, or at their limitation to a greater extent than is provided for in the
present Covenant.
2. No restriction upon or derogation from any of the fundamental human rights recognized or existing
in any country in virtue of law, conventions, regulations or custom shall be admitted on the pretext
that the present Covenant does not recognize such rights or that it recognizes them to a lesser extent.
PART III
Article 6
1. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right to work, which includes the right of
everyone to the opportunity to gain his living by work which he freely chooses or accepts, and will take
appropriate steps to safeguard this right.
2. The steps to be taken by a State Party to the present Covenant to achieve the full realization of this
right shall include technical and vocational guidance and training programmes, policies and techniques
to achieve steady economic, social and cultural development and full and productive employment
under conditions safeguarding fundamental political and economic freedoms to the individual.
Article 7
The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to the enjoyment of just
and favourable conditions of work which ensure, in particular:
(a) Remuneration which provides all workers, as a minimum, with:
(i) Fair wages and equal remuneration for work of equal value without distinction of any kind, in
particular women being guaranteed conditions of work not inferior to those enjoyed by men, with equal
pay for equal work;
(ii) A decent living for themselves and their families in accordance with the provisions of the present
Covenant;
(b) Safe and healthy working conditions; (c) Equal opportunity for everyone to be promoted in his
employment to an appropriate higher level, subject to no considerations other than those of seniority
and competence;
(d ) Rest, leisure and reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay, as well as
remuneration for public holidays
Article 8
1. The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to ensure:
(a) The right of everyone to form trade unions and join the trade union of his choice, subject only to
the rules of the organization concerned, for the promotion and protection of his economic and social
interests. No restrictions may be placed on the exercise of this right other than those prescribed by law
and which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public order or
for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others;
(b) The right of trade unions to establish national federations or confederations and the right of the
latter to form or join international trade-union organizations;
(c) The right of trade unions to function freely subject to no limitations other than those prescribed by
law and which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public order
or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others;
(d) The right to strike, provided that it is exercised in conformity with the laws of the particular
country.
2. This article shall not prevent the imposition of lawful restrictions on the exercise of these rights by
members of the armed forces or of the police or of the administration of the State. 3. Nothing in this
article shall authorize States Parties to the International Labour Organisation Convention of 1948
concerning Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize to take legislative measures
which would prejudice, or apply the law in such a manner as would prejudice, the guarantees provided
for in that Convention.
Article 9
The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to social security, including
social insurance.
Article 10
The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize that:
1. The widest possible protection and assistance should be accorded to the family, which is the natural
and fundamental group unit of society, particularly for its establishment and while it is responsible for
the care and education of dependent children. Marriage must be entered into with the free consent of
the intending spouses.
2. Special protection should be accorded to mothers during a reasonable period before and after
childbirth. During such period working mothers should be accorded paid leave or leave with adequate
social security benefits.
3. Special measures of protection and assistance should be taken on behalf of all children and young
persons without any discrimination for reasons of parentage or other conditions. Children and young
persons should be protected from economic and social exploitation. Their employment in work harmful
to their morals or health or dangerous to life or likely to hamper their normal development should be
punishable by law. States should also set age limits below which the paid employment of child labour
should be prohibited and punishable by law.
Article 11
1. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to an adequate standard
of living for himself and his family, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the
continuous improvement of living conditions. The States Parties will take appropriate steps to ensure
the realization of this right, recognizing to this effect the essential importance of international cooperation
based on free consent.
2. The States Parties to the present Covenant, recognizing the fundamental right of everyone to be
free from hunger, shall take, individually and through international co-operation, the measures,
including specific programmes, which are needed:
(a) To improve methods of production, conservation and distribution of food by making full use of
technical and scientific knowledge, by disseminating knowledge of the principles of nutrition and by
developing or reforming agrarian systems in such a way as to achieve the most efficient development
and utilization of natural resources;
(b) Taking into account the problems of both food-importing and food-exporting countries, to ensure
an equitable distribution of world food supplies in relation to need.
Article 12
1. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the
highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.
2. The steps to be taken by the States Parties to the present Covenant to achieve the full realization of
this right shall include those necessary for:
(a) The provision for the reduction of the stillbirth-rate and of infant mortality and for the healthy
development of the child;
(b) The improvement of all aspects of environmental and industrial hygiene;
(c) The prevention, treatment and control of epidemic, endemic, occupational and other diseases;
(d) The creation of conditions which would assure to all medical service and medical attention in the
event of sickness.
Article 13
1. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to education. They agree
that education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and the sense of its
dignity, and shall strengthen the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. They further
agree that education shall enable all persons to participate effectively in a free society, promote
understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations and all racial, ethnic or religious groups, and
further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
2. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize that, with a view to achieving the full
realization of this right:
(a) Primary education shall be compulsory and available free to all;
(b) Secondary education in its different forms, including technical and vocational secondary education,
shall be made generally available and accessible to all by every appropriate means, and in particular
by the progressive introduction of free education;
(c) Higher education shall be made equally accessible to all, on the basis of capacity, by every
appropriate means, and in particular by the progressive introduction of free education;
(d) Fundamental education shall be encouraged or intensified as far as possible for those persons who
have not received or completed the whole period of their primary education;
(e) The development of a system of schools at all levels shall be actively pursued, an adequate
fellowship system shall be established, and the material conditions of teaching staff shall be
continuously improved.
3. The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to have respect for the liberty of parents and,
when applicable, legal guardians to choose for their children schools, other than those established by
the public authorities, which conform to such minimum educational standards as may be laid down or
approved by the State and to ensure the religious and moral education of their children in conformity
with their own convictions.
4. No part of this article shall be construed so as to interfere with the liberty of individuals and bodies
to establish and direct educational institutions, subject always to the observance of the principles set
forth in paragraph I of this article and to the requirement that the education given in such institutions
shall conform to such minimum standards as may be laid down by the State.
Article 14
Each State Party to the present Covenant which, at the time of becoming a Party, has not been able to
secure in its metropolitan territory or other territories under its jurisdiction compulsory primary
education, free of charge, undertakes, within two years, to work out and adopt a detailed plan of
action for the progressive implementation, within a reasonable number of years, to be fixed in the
plan, of the principle of compulsory education free of charge for all.
Article 15
1. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone:
(a) To take part in cultural life;
(b) To enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications;
(c) To benefit from the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific,
literary or artistic production of which he is the author.
2. The steps to be taken by the States Parties to the present Covenant to achieve the full realization of
this right shall include those necessary for the conservation, the development and the diffusion of
science and culture. 3. The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to respect the freedom
indispensable for scientific research and creative activity.
4. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the benefits to be derived from the
encouragement and development of international contacts and co-operation in the scientific and
cultural fields.
PART IV
Article 16
1. The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to submit in conformity with this part of the
Covenant reports on the measures which they have adopted and the progress made in achieving the
observance of the rights recognized herein.
2. (a) All reports shall be submitted to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who shall transmit
copies to the Economic and Social Council for consideration in accordance with the provisions of the
present Covenant;
(b) The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall also transmit to the specialized agencies copies
of the reports, or any relevant parts therefrom, from States Parties to the present Covenant which are
also members of these specialized agencies in so far as these reports, or parts therefrom, relate to any
matters which fall within the responsibilities of the said agencies in accordance with their constitutional
instruments.
Article 17
1. The States Parties to the present Covenant shall furnish their reports in stages, in accordance with a
programme to be established by the Economic and Social Council within one year of the entry into
force of the present Covenant after consultation with the States Parties and the specialized agencies
concerned.
2. Reports may indicate factors and difficulties affecting the degree of fulfilment of obligations under
the present Covenant.
3. Where relevant information has previously been furnished to the United Nations or to any
specialized agency by any State Party to the present Covenant, it will not be necessary to reproduce
that information, but a precise reference to the information so furnished will suffice.
Article 18
Pursuant to its responsibilities under the Charter of the United Nations in the field of human rights and
fundamental freedoms, the Economic and Social Council may make arrangements with the specialized
agencies in respect of their reporting to it on the progress made in achieving the observance of the
provisions of the present Covenant falling within the scope of their activities. These reports may
include particulars of decisions and recommendations on such implementation adopted by their
competent organs.
Article 19
The Economic and Social Council may transmit to the Commission on Human Rights for study and
general recommendation or, as appropriate, for information the reports concerning human rights
submitted by States in accordance with articles 16 and 17, and those concerning human rights
submitted by the specialized agencies in accordance with article 18.
Article 20
The States Parties to the present Covenant and the specialized agencies concerned may submit
comments to the Economic and Social Council on any general recommendation under article 19 or
reference to such general recommendation in any report of the Commission on Human Rights or any
documentation referred to therein.
Article 21
The Economic and Social Council may submit from time to time to the General Assembly reports with
recommendations of a general nature and a summary of the information received from the States
Parties to the present Covenant and the specialized agencies on the measures taken and the progress
made in achieving general observance of the rights recognized in the present Covenant.
Article 22
The Economic and Social Council may bring to the attention of other organs of the United Nations,
their subsidiary organs and specialized agencies concerned with furnishing technical assistance any
matters arising out of the reports referred to in this part of the present Covenant which may assist
such bodies in deciding, each within its field of competence, on the advisability of international
measures likely to contribute to the effective progressive implementation of the present Covenant.
Article 23
The States Parties to the present Covenant agree that international action for the achievement of the
rights recognized in the present Covenant includes such methods as the conclusion of conventions, the
adoption of recommendations, the furnishing of technical assistance and the holding of regional
meetings and technical meetings for the purpose of consultation and study organized in conjunction
with the Governments concerned.
Article 24
Nothing in the present Covenant shall be interpreted as impairing the provisions of the Charter of the
United Nations and of the constitutions of the specialized agencies which define the respective
responsibilities of the various organs of the United Nations and of the specialized agencies in regard to
the matters dealt with in the present Covenant.
Article 25
Nothing in the present Covenant shall be interpreted as impairing the inherent right of all peoples to
enjoy and utilize fully and freely their natural wealth and resources.
PART V
Article 26
1. The present Covenant is open for signature by any State Member of the United Nations or member
of any of its specialized agencies, by any State Party to the Statute of the International Court of
Justice, and by any other State which has been invited by the General Assembly of the United Nations
to become a party to the present Covenant.
2. The present Covenant is subject to ratification. Instruments of ratification shall be deposited with
the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
3. The present Covenant shall be open to accession by any State referred to in paragraph 1 of this
article.
4. Accession shall be effected by the deposit of an instrument of accession with the Secretary-General
of the United Nations.
5. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall inform all States which have signed the present
Covenant or acceded to it of the deposit of each instrument of ratification or accession.
Article 27
1. The present Covenant shall enter into force three months after the date of the deposit with the
Secretary-General of the United Nations of the thirty-fifth instrument of ratification or instrument of
accession.
2. For each State ratifying the present Covenant or acceding to it after the deposit of the thirty-fifth
instrument of ratification or instrument of accession, the present Covenant shall enter into force three
months after the date of the deposit of its own instrument of ratification or instrument of accession.
Article 28
The provisions of the present Covenant shall extend to all parts of federal States without any
limitations or exceptions.
Article 29
1. Any State Party to the present Covenant may propose an amendment and file it with the Secretary-
General of the United Nations. The Secretary-General shall thereupon communicate any proposed
amendments to the States Parties to the present Covenant with a request that they notify him whether
they favour a conference of States Parties for the purpose of considering and voting upon the
proposals. In the event that at least one third of the States Parties favours such a conference, the
Secretary-General shall convene the conference under the auspices of the United Nations. Any
amendment adopted by a majority of the States Parties present and voting at the conference shall be
submitted to the General Assembly of the United Nations for approval.
2. Amendments shall come into force when they have been approved by the General Assembly of the
United Nations and accepted by a two-thirds majority of the States Parties to the present Covenant in
accordance with their respective constitutional processes.
3. When amendments come into force they shall be binding on those States Parties which have
accepted them, other States Parties still being bound by the provisions of the present Covenant and
any earlier amendment which they have accepted.
Article 30
Irrespective of the notifications made under article 26, paragraph 5, the Secretary-General of the
United Nations shall inform all States referred to in paragraph I of the same article of the following
particulars:
(a) Signatures, ratifications and accessions under article 26;
(b) The date of the entry into force of the present Covenant under article 27 and the date of the entry
into force of any amendments under article 29.
Article 31
1. The present Covenant, of which the Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish texts are equally
authentic, shall be deposited in the archives of the United Nations.
2. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall transmit certified copies of the present Covenant
to all States referred to in article 26.

The General Assembly,
Taking note of the adoption by the Human Rights Council, by its resolution 8/2 of 18 June 2008, of the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights,
1. Adopts the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the text of which is annexed to the present resolution;
2. Recommends that the Optional Protocol be opened for signature at a signing ceremony to be held in 2009, and requests the Secretary-General and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to provide the necessary assistance.
Annex Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
Preamble
The States Parties to the present Protocol,
Considering that, in accordance with the principles proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations, recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
Noting that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights1 proclaims that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights and that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth therein, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status,
Recalling that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenants on Human Rights recognize that the ideal of free human beings enjoying freedom from fear and want can only be achieved if conditions are created whereby everyone may enjoy civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights,
Reaffirming the universality, indivisibility, interdependence and interrelatedness of all human rights and fundamental freedoms,
Recalling that each State Party to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (hereinafter referred to as the Covenant) undertakes to take steps, individually and through international assistance and cooperation, 1 Resolution 217 A (III). 2 Resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.
especially economic and technical, to the maximum of its available resources, with a view to achieving progressively the full realization of the rights recognized in the Covenant by all appropriate means, including particularly the adoption of legislative measures,
Considering that, in order further to achieve the purposes of the Covenant and the implementation of its provisions, it would be appropriate to enable the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (hereinafter referred to as the Committee) to carry out the functions provided for in the present Protocol,
Have agreed as follows:
Article 1 Competence of the Committee to receive and consider communications
1. A State Party to the Covenant that becomes a Party to the present Protocol recognizes the competence of the Committee to receive and consider communications as provided for by the provisions of the present Protocol.
2. No communication shall be received by the Committee if it concerns a State Party to the Covenant which is not a Party to the present Protocol.
Article 2 Communications
Communications may be submitted by or on behalf of individuals or groups of individuals, under the jurisdiction of a State Party, claiming to be victims of a violation of any of the economic, social and cultural rights set forth in the Covenant by that State Party. Where a communication is submitted on behalf of individuals or groups of individuals, this shall be with their consent unless the author can justify acting on their behalf without such consent.
Article 3 Admissibility
1. The Committee shall not consider a communication unless it has ascertained that all available domestic remedies have been exhausted. This shall not be the rule where the application of such remedies is unreasonably prolonged.
2. The Committee shall declare a communication inadmissible when:
(a) It is not submitted within one year after the exhaustion of domestic remedies, except in cases where the author can demonstrate that it had not been possible to submit the communication within that time limit;
(b) The facts that are the subject of the communication occurred prior to the entry into force of the present Protocol for the State Party concerned unless those facts continued after that date;
(c) The same matter has already been examined by the Committee or has been or is being examined under another procedure of international investigation or settlement;
(d) It is incompatible with the provisions of the Covenant;
(e) It is manifestly ill-founded, not sufficiently substantiated or exclusively based on reports disseminated by mass media;
(f) It is an abuse of the right to submit a communication; or when
(g) It is anonymous or not in writing.
Article 4 Communications not revealing a clear disadvantage
The Committee may, if necessary, decline to consider a communication where it does not reveal that the author has suffered a clear disadvantage, unless the Committee considers that the communication raises a serious issue of general importance.
Article 5 Interim measures
1. At any time after the receipt of a communication and before a determination on the merits has been reached, the Committee may transmit to the State Party concerned for its urgent consideration a request that the State Party take such interim measures as may be necessary in exceptional circumstances to avoid possible irreparable damage to the victim or victims of the alleged violations.
2. Where the Committee exercises its discretion under paragraph 1 of the present article, this does not imply a determination on admissibility or on the merits of the communication.
Article 6 Transmission of the communication
1. Unless the Committee considers a communication inadmissible without reference to the State Party concerned, the Committee shall bring any communication submitted to it under the present Protocol confidentially to the attention of the State Party concerned.
2. Within six months, the receiving State Party shall submit to the Committee written explanations or statements clarifying the matter and the remedy, if any, that may have been provided by that State Party.
Article 7 Friendly settlement
1. The Committee shall make available its good offices to the parties concerned with a view to reaching a friendly settlement of the matter on the basis of the respect for the obligations set forth in the Covenant.
2. An agreement on a friendly settlement closes consideration of the communication under the present Protocol.
Article 8 Examination of communications
1. The Committee shall examine communications received under article 2 of the present Protocol in the light of all documentation submitted to it, provided that this documentation is transmitted to the parties concerned.
2. The Committee shall hold closed meetings when examining communications under the present Protocol.
3. When examining a communication under the present Protocol, the Committee may consult, as appropriate, relevant documentation emanating from other United Nations bodies, specialized agencies, funds, programmes and mechanisms, and other international organizations, including from regional human rights systems, and any observations or comments by the State Party concerned.
4. When examining communications under the present Protocol, the Committee shall consider the reasonableness of the steps taken by the State Party in accordance with part II of the Covenant. In doing so, the Committee shall bear in mind that the State Party may adopt a range of possible policy measures for the implementation of the rights set forth in the Covenant.
Article 9 Follow-up to the views of the Committee
1. After examining a communication, the Committee shall transmit its views on the communication, together with its recommendations, if any, to the parties concerned.
2. The State Party shall give due consideration to the views of the Committee, together with its recommendations, if any, and shall submit to the Committee, within six months, a written response, including information on any action taken in the light of the views and recommendations of the Committee.
3. The Committee may invite the State Party to submit further information about any measures the State Party has taken in response to its views or recommendations, if any, including as deemed appropriate by the Committee, in the State Party’s subsequent reports under articles 16 and 17 of the Covenant.
Article 10 Inter-State communications
1. A State Party to the present Protocol may at any time declare under the present article that it recognizes the competence of the Committee to receive and consider communications to the effect that a State Party claims that another State Party is not fulfilling its obligations under the Covenant. Communications under the present article may be received and considered only if submitted by a State Party that has made a declaration recognizing in regard to itself the competence of the Committee. No communication shall be received by the Committee if it concerns a State Party which has not made such a declaration. Communications received under the present article shall be dealt with in accordance with the following procedure:
(a) If a State Party to the present Protocol considers that another State Party is not fulfilling its obligations under the Covenant, it may, by written communication, bring the matter to the attention of that State Party. The State Party
may also inform the Committee of the matter. Within three months after the receipt of the communication the receiving State shall afford the State that sent the communication an explanation, or any other statement in writing clarifying the matter, which should include, to the extent possible and pertinent, reference to domestic procedures and remedies taken, pending or available in the matter;
(b) If the matter is not settled to the satisfaction of both States Parties concerned within six months after the receipt by the receiving State of the initial communication, either State shall have the right to refer the matter to the Committee, by notice given to the Committee and to the other State;
(c) The Committee shall deal with a matter referred to it only after it has ascertained that all available domestic remedies have been invoked and exhausted in the matter. This shall not be the rule where the application of the remedies is unreasonably prolonged;
(d) Subject to the provisions of subparagraph (c) of the present paragraph the Committee shall make available its good offices to the States Parties concerned with a view to a friendly solution of the matter on the basis of the respect for the obligations set forth in the Covenant;
(e) The Committee shall hold closed meetings when examining communications under the present article;
(f) In any matter referred to it in accordance with subparagraph (b) of the present paragraph, the Committee may call upon the States Parties concerned, referred to in subparagraph (b), to supply any relevant information;
(g) The States Parties concerned, referred to in subparagraph (b) of the present paragraph, shall have the right to be represented when the matter is being considered by the Committee and to make submissions orally and/or in writing;
(h) The Committee shall, with all due expediency after the date of receipt of notice under subparagraph (b) of the present paragraph, submit a report, as follows:
(i) If a solution within the terms of subparagraph (d) of the present paragraph is reached, the Committee shall confine its report to a brief statement of the facts and of the solution reached;
(ii) If a solution within the terms of subparagraph (d) is not reached, the Committee shall, in its report, set forth the relevant facts concerning the issue between the States Parties concerned. The written submissions and record of the oral submissions made by the States Parties concerned shall be attached to the report. The Committee may also communicate only to the States Parties concerned any views that it may consider relevant to the issue between them.
In every matter, the report shall be communicated to the States Parties concerned.
2. A declaration under paragraph 1 of the present article shall be deposited by the States Parties with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who shall transmit copies thereof to the other States Parties. A declaration may be withdrawn at any time by notification to the Secretary-General. Such a withdrawal shall not prejudice the consideration of any matter that is the subject of a communication already transmitted under the present article; no further communication by any State Party shall be received under the present article after the notification of withdrawal of the
declaration has been received by the Secretary-General, unless the State Party concerned has made a new declaration.
Article 11 Inquiry procedure
1. A State Party to the present Protocol may at any time declare that it recognizes the competence of the Committee provided for under the present article.
2. If the Committee receives reliable information indicating grave or systematic violations by a State Party of any of the economic, social and cultural rights set forth in the Covenant, the Committee shall invite that State Party to cooperate in the examination of the information and to this end to submit observations with regard to the information concerned.
3. Taking into account any observations that may have been submitted by the State Party concerned as well as any other reliable information available to it, the Committee may designate one or more of its members to conduct an inquiry and to report urgently to the Committee. Where warranted and with the consent of the State Party, the inquiry may include a visit to its territory.
4. Such an inquiry shall be conducted confidentially and the cooperation of the State Party shall be sought at all stages of the proceedings.
5. After examining the findings of such an inquiry, the Committee shall transmit these findings to the State Party concerned together with any comments and recommendations.
6. The State Party concerned shall, within six months of receiving the findings, comments and recommendations transmitted by the Committee, submit its observations to the Committee.
7. After such proceedings have been completed with regard to an inquiry made in accordance with paragraph 2 of the present article, the Committee may, after consultations with the State Party concerned, decide to include a summary account of the results of the proceedings in its annual report provided for in article 15 of the present Protocol.
8. Any State Party having made a declaration in accordance with paragraph 1 of the present article may, at any time, withdraw this declaration by notification to the Secretary-General.
Article 12 Follow-up to the inquiry procedure
1. The Committee may invite the State Party concerned to include in its report under articles 16 and 17 of the Covenant details of any measures taken in response to an inquiry conducted under article 11 of the present Protocol.
2. The Committee may, if necessary, after the end of the period of six months referred to in article 11, paragraph 6, invite the State Party concerned to inform it of the measures taken in response to such an inquiry.
Article 13 Protection measures
A State Party shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that individuals under its jurisdiction are not subjected to any form of ill-treatment or intimidation as a consequence of communicating with the Committee pursuant to the present Protocol.
Article 14 International assistance and cooperation
1. The Committee shall transmit, as it may consider appropriate, and with the consent of the State Party concerned, to United Nations specialized agencies, funds and programmes and other competent bodies, its views or recommendations concerning communications and inquiries that indicate a need for technical advice or assistance, along with the State Party’s observations and suggestions, if any, on these views or recommendations.
2. The Committee may also bring to the attention of such bodies, with the consent of the State Party concerned, any matter arising out of communications considered under the present Protocol which may assist them in deciding, each within its field of competence, on the advisability of international measures likely to contribute to assisting States Parties in achieving progress in implementation of the rights recognized in the Covenant.
3. A trust fund shall be established in accordance with the relevant procedures of the General Assembly, to be administered in accordance with the financial regulations and rules of the United Nations, with a view to providing expert and technical assistance to States Parties, with the consent of the State Party concerned, for the enhanced implementation of the rights contained in the Covenant, thus contributing to building national capacities in the area of economic, social and cultural rights in the context of the present Protocol.
4. The provisions of the present article are without prejudice to the obligations of each State Party to fulfil its obligations under the Covenant.
Article 15 Annual report
The Committee shall include in its annual report a summary of its activities under the present Protocol.
Article 16 Dissemination and information
Each State Party undertakes to make widely known and to disseminate the Covenant and the present Protocol and to facilitate access to information about the views and recommendations of the Committee, in particular, on matters involving that State Party, and to do so in accessible formats for persons with disabilities.
Article 17 Signature, ratification and accession
1. The present Protocol is open for signature by any State that has signed, ratified or acceded to the Covenant.
2. The present Protocol is subject to ratification by any State that has ratified or acceded to the Covenant. Instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
3. The present Protocol shall be open to accession by any State that has ratified or acceded to the Covenant.
4. Accession shall be effected by the deposit of an instrument of accession with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Article 18 Entry into force
1. The present Protocol shall enter into force three months after the date of the deposit with the Secretary-General of the United Nations of the tenth instrument of ratification or accession.
2. For each State ratifying or acceding to the present Protocol, after the deposit of the tenth instrument of ratification or accession, the Protocol shall enter into force three months after the date of the deposit of its instrument of ratification or accession.
Article 19 Amendments
1. Any State Party may propose an amendment to the present Protocol and submit it to the Secretary-General of the United Nations. The Secretary-General shall communicate any proposed amendments to States Parties, with a request to be notified whether they favour a meeting of States Parties for the purpose of considering and deciding upon the proposals. In the event that, within four months from the date of such communication, at least one third of the States Parties favour such a meeting, the Secretary-General shall convene the meeting under the auspices of the United Nations. Any amendment adopted by a majority of two thirds of the States Parties present and voting shall be submitted by the Secretary-General to the General Assembly for approval and thereafter to all States Parties for acceptance.
2. An amendment adopted and approved in accordance with paragraph 1 of the present article shall enter into force on the thirtieth day after the number of instruments of acceptance deposited reaches two thirds of the number of States Parties at the date of adoption of the amendment. Thereafter, the amendment shall enter into force for any State Party on the thirtieth day following the deposit of its own instrument of acceptance. An amendment shall be binding only on those States Parties which have accepted it.
Article 20 Denunciation
1. Any State Party may denounce the present Protocol at any time by written notification addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Denunciation
shall take effect six months after the date of receipt of the notification by the Secretary-General.
2. Denunciation shall be without prejudice to the continued application of the provisions of the present Protocol to any communication submitted under articles 2 and 10 or to any procedure initiated under article 11 before the effective date of denunciation.
Article 21 Notification by the Secretary-General
The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall notify all States referred to in article 26, paragraph 1, of the Covenant of the following particulars:
(a) Signatures, ratifications and accessions under the present Protocol;
(b) The date of entry into force of the present Protocol and of any amendment under article 19;
(c) Any denunciation under article 20.
Article 22 Official languages
1. The present Protocol, of which the Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish texts are equally authentic, shall be deposited in the archives of the United Nations.
2. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall transmit certified copies of the present Protocol to all States referred to in article 26 of the Covenant

Opened for signature and ratification by General Assembly resolution
640(VII)
of 20 December 1952
entry into force 7 July 1954, in accordance with article VI
The Contracting Parties,
Desiring to implement the principle of equality of rights for men and women
contained in the Charter of the United Nations,
Recognizing that everyone has the right to take part in the government of his
country directly or indirectly through freely chosen representatives, and has
the right to equal access to public service in his country, and desiring to
equalize the status of men and women in the enjoyment and exercise of
political rights, in accordance with the provisions of the Charter of the United
Nations and of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
Having resolved to conclude a Convention for this purpose,
Hereby agree as hereinafter provided:
Article I
Women shall be entitled to vote in all elections on equal terms with men,
without any discrimination.
Article II
Women shall be eligible for election to all publicly elected bodies, established
by national law, on equal terms with men, without any discrimination.
Article III
Women shall be entitled to hold public office and to exercise all public
functions, established by national law, on equal terms with men, without any
discrimination.
Article IV
1. This Convention shall be open for signature on behalf of any Member of the
United Nations and also on behalf of any other State to which an invitation
has been addressed by the General Assembly.
2. This Convention shall be ratified and the instruments of ratification shall be
deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Article V
1. This Convention shall be open for accession to all States referred to in
paragraph 1 of article IV.
2. Accession shall be effected by the deposit of an instrument of accession
with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Article VI
1. This Convention shall come into force on the ninetieth day following the
date of deposit of the sixth instrument of ratification or accession.
2. For each State ratifying or acceding to the Convention after the deposit of
the sixth instrument of ratification or accession the Convention shall enter
into force on the ninetieth day after deposit by such State of its instrument of
ratification or accession.
Article VII
In the event that any State submits a reservation to any of the articles of this
Convention at the time of signature, ratification or accession, the Secretary-
General shall communicate the text of the reservation to all States which are
or may become Parties to this Convention. Any State which objects to the
reservation may, within a period of ninety days from the date of the said
communication (or upon the date of its becoming a Party to the Convention),
notify the Secretary-General that it does not accept it. In such case, the
Convention shall not enter into force as between such State and the State
making the reservation.
Article VIII
1. Any State may denounce this Convention by written notification to the
Secretary-General of the United Nations. Denunciation shall take effect one
year after the date of receipt of the notification by the Secretary-General.
2. This Convention shall cease to be in force as from the date when the
denunciation which reduces the number of Parties to less than six becomes
effective.
Article IX
Any dispute which may arise between any two or more Contracting States
concerning the interpretation or application of this Convention, which is not
settled by negotiation, shall at the request of any one of the parties to the
dispute be referred to the International Court of Justice for decision, unless
they agree to another mode of settlement.
Article X
The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall notify all Members of the
United Nations and the non-member States contemplated in paragraph 1 of
article IV of this Convention of the following:
(a) Signatures and instruments of ratification received in accordance with
article IV;
(b) Instruments of accession received in accordance with article V;
(c) The date upon which this Convention enters into force in accordance with
article VI;
(d) Communications and notifications received in accordance with article VII;
(e) Notifications of denunciation received in accordance with paragraph 1 of
article VIII;
(f) Abrogation in accordance with paragraph 2 of article VIII.
Article XI
1. This Convention, of which the Chinese, English, French, Russian and
Spanish texts shall be equally authentic, shall be deposited in the archives of
the United Nations.
2. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall transmit a certified copy
to all Members of the United Nations and to the non-member States
contemplated in paragraph 1 of article IV.

Adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General Assembly
resolution 34/180 of 18 December 1979
entry into force 3 September 1981, in accordance with article 27(1)
The States Parties to the present Convention,
Noting that the Charter of the United Nations reaffirms faith in fundamental human rights, in the
dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women,
Noting that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms the principle of the inadmissibility of
discrimination and proclaims that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights and
that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth therein, without distinction of any
kind, including distinction based on sex,
Noting that the States Parties to the International Covenants on Human Rights have the obligation to
ensure the equal rights of men and women to enjoy all economic, social, cultural, civil and political
rights,
Considering the international conventions concluded under the auspices of the United Nations and the
specialized agencies promoting equality of rights of men and women,
Noting also the resolutions, declarations and recommendations adopted by the United Nations and the
specialized agencies promoting equality of rights of men and women,
Concerned, however, that despite these various instruments extensive discrimination against women
continues to exist,
Recalling that discrimination against women violates the principles of equality of rights and respect for
human dignity, is an obstacle to the participation of women, on equal terms with men, in the political,
social, economic and cultural life of their countries, hampers the growth of the prosperity of society
and the family and makes more difficult the full development of the potentialities of women in the
service of their countries and of humanity,
Concerned that in situations of poverty women have the least access to food, health, education,
training and opportunities for employment and other needs,
Convinced that the establishment of the new international economic order based on equity and justice
will contribute significantly towards the promotion of equality between men and women,
Emphasizing that the eradication of apartheid, all forms of racism, racial discrimination, colonialism,
neo-colonialism, aggression, foreign occupation and domination and interference in the internal affairs
of States is essential to the full enjoyment of the rights of men and women,
Affirming that the strengthening of international peace and security, the relaxation of international
tension, mutual co-operation among all States irrespective of their social and economic systems,
general and complete disarmament, in particular nuclear disarmament under strict and effective
international control, the affirmation of the principles of justice, equality and mutual benefit in relations
among countries and the realization of the right of peoples under alien and colonial domination and
foreign occupation to self-determination and independence, as well as respect for national sovereignty
and territorial integrity, will promote social progress and development and as a consequence will
contribute to the attainment of full equality between men and women,
Convinced that the full and complete development of a country, the welfare of the world and the cause
of peace require the maximum participation of women on equal terms with men in all fields,
Bearing in mind the great contribution of women to the welfare of the family and to the development
of society, so far not fully recognized, the social significance of maternity and the role of both parents
in the family and in the upbringing of children, and aware that the role of women in procreation should
not be a basis for discrimination but that the upbringing of children requires a sharing of responsibility
between men and women and society as a whole,
Aware that a change in the traditional role of men as well as the role of women in society and in the
family is needed to achieve full equality between men and women,
Determined to implement the principles set forth in the Declaration on the Elimination of
Discrimination against Women and, for that purpose, to adopt the measures required for the
elimination of such discrimination in all its forms and manifestations,
Have agreed on the following:
PART I
Article 1
For the purposes of the present Convention, the term "discrimination against women" shall mean any
distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect or purpose of
impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by women, irrespective of their marital
status, on a basis of equality of men and women, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the
political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field.
Article 2
States Parties condemn discrimination against women in all its forms, agree to pursue by all
appropriate means and without delay a policy of eliminating discrimination against women and, to this
end, undertake:
(a) To embody the principle of the equality of men and women in their national constitutions or other
appropriate legislation if not yet incorporated therein and to ensure, through law and other appropriate
means, the practical realization of this principle;
(b) To adopt appropriate legislative and other measures, including sanctions where appropriate,
prohibiting all discrimination against women; (c) To establish legal protection of the rights of women
on an equal basis with men and to ensure through competent national tribunals and other public
institutions the effective protection of women against any act of discrimination;
(d) To refrain from engaging in any act or practice of discrimination against women and to ensure that
public authorities and institutions shall act in conformity with this obligation;
(e) To take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women by any person,
organization or enterprise;
(f) To take all appropriate measures, including legislation, to modify or abolish existing laws,
regulations, customs and practices which constitute discrimination against women;
(g) To repeal all national penal provisions which constitute discrimination against women.
Article 3
States Parties shall take in all fields, in particular in the political, social, economic and cultural fields, all
appropriate measures, including legislation, to en sure the full development and advancement of
women , for the purpose of guaranteeing them the exercise and enjoyment of human rights and
fundamental freedoms on a basis of equality with men.
Article 4
1. Adoption by States Parties of temporary special measures aimed at accelerating de facto equality
between men and women shall not be considered discrimination as defined in the present Convention,
but shall in no way entail as a consequence the maintenance of unequal or separate standards; these
measures shall be discontinued when the objectives of equality of opportunity and treatment have
been achieved.
2. Adoption by States Parties of special measures, including those measures contained in the present
Convention, aimed at protecting maternity shall not be considered discriminatory.
Article 5
States Parties shall take all appropriate measures:
(a) To modify the social and cultural patterns of conduct of men and women, with a view to achieving
the elimination of prejudices and customary and all other practices which are based on the idea of the
inferiority or the superiority of either of the sexes or on stereotyped roles for men and women;
(b) To ensure that family education includes a proper understanding of maternity as a social function
and the recognition of the common responsibility of men and women in the upbringing and
development of their children, it being understood that the interest of the children is the primordial
consideration in all cases.
Article 6
States Parties shall take all appropriate measures, including legislation, to suppress all forms of traffic
in women and exploitation of prostitution of women.
PART II
Article 7
States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in the
political and public life of the country and, in particular, shall ensure to women, on equal terms with
men, the right:
(a) To vote in all elections and public referenda and to be eligible for election to all publicly elected
bodies;
(b) To participate in the formulation of government policy and the implementation thereof and to hold
public office and perform all public functions at all levels of government;
(c) To participate in non-governmental organizations and associations concerned with the public and
political life of the country.
Article 8
States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure to women, on equal terms with men and
without any discrimination, the opportunity to represent their Governments at the international level
and to participate in the work of international organizations.
Article 9
1. States Parties shall grant women equal rights with men to acquire, change or retain their
nationality. They shall ensure in particular that neither marriage to an alien nor change of nationality
by the husband during marriage shall automatically change the nationality of the wife, render her
stateless or force upon her the nationality of the husband. 2. States Parties shall grant women equal
rights with men with respect to the nationality of their children.
PART III
Article 10
States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in order
to ensure to them equal rights with men in the field of education and in particular to ensure, on a basis
of equality of men and women:
(a) The same conditions for career and vocational guidance, for access to studies and for the
achievement of diplomas in educational establishments of all categories in rural as well as in urban
areas; this equality shall be ensured in pre-school, general, technical, professional and higher technical
education, as well as in all types of vocational training;
(b) Access to the same curricula, the same examinations, teaching staff with qualifications of the same
standard and school premises and equipment of the same quality;
(c) The elimination of any stereotyped concept of the roles of men and women at all levels and in all
forms of education by encouraging coeducation and other types of education which will help to achieve
this aim and, in particular, by the revision of textbooks and school programmes and the adaptation of
teaching methods;
(d ) The same opportunities to benefit from scholarships and other study grants;
(e) The same opportunities for access to programmes of continuing education, including adult and
functional literacy programmes, particulary those aimed at reducing, at the earliest possible time, any
gap in education existing between men and women;
(f) The reduction of female student drop-out rates and the organization of programmes for girls and
women who have left school prematurely;
(g) The same Opportunities to participate actively in sports and physical education;
(h) Access to specific educational information to help to ensure the health and well-being of families,
including information and advice on family planning.
Article 11
1. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in the
field of employment in order to ensure, on a basis of equality of men and women, the same rights, in
particular:
(a) The right to work as an inalienable right of all human beings;
(b) The right to the same employment opportunities, including the application of the same criteria for
selection in matters of employment;
(c) The right to free choice of profession and employment, the right to promotion, job security and all
benefits and conditions of service and the right to receive vocational training and retraining, including
apprenticeships, advanced vocational training and recurrent training;
(d) The right to equal remuneration, including benefits, and to equal treatment in respect of work of
equal value, as well as equality of treatment in the evaluation of the quality of work;
(e) The right to social security, particularly in cases of retirement, unemployment, sickness, invalidity
and old age and other incapacity to work, as well as the right to paid leave;
(f) The right to protection of health and to safety in working conditions, including the safeguarding of
the function of reproduction.
2. In order to prevent discrimination against women on the grounds of marriage or maternity and to
ensure their effective right to work, States Parties shall take appropriate measures:
(a) To prohibit, subject to the imposition of sanctions, dismissal on the grounds of pregnancy or of
maternity leave and discrimination in dismissals on the basis of marital status;
(b) To introduce maternity leave with pay or with comparable social benefits without loss of former
employment, seniority or social allowances;
(c) To encourage the provision of the necessary supporting social services to enable parents to
combine family obligations with work responsibilities and participation in public life, in particular
through promoting the establishment and development of a network of child-care facilities;
(d) To provide special protection to women during pregnancy in types of work proved to be harmful to
them.
3. Protective legislation relating to matters covered in this article shall be reviewed periodically in the
light of scientific and technological knowledge and shall be revised, repealed or extended as necessary.
Article 12
1. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in the
field of health care in order to ensure, on a basis of equality of men and women, access to health care
services, including those related to family planning.
2. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph I of this article, States Parties shall ensure to women
appropriate services in connection with pregnancy, confinement and the post-natal period, granting
free services where necessary, as well as adequate nutrition during pregnancy and lactation.
Article 13
States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in other
areas of economic and social life in order to ensure, on a basis of equality of men and women, the
same rights, in particular:
(a) The right to family benefits;
(b) The right to bank loans, mortgages and other forms of financial credit;
(c) The right to participate in recreational activities, sports and all aspects of cultural life.
Article 14
1. States Parties shall take into account the particular problems faced by rural women and the
significant roles which rural women play in the economic survival of their families, including their work
in the non-monetized sectors of the economy, and shall take all appropriate measures to ensure the
application of the provisions of the present Convention to women in rural areas.
2. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in rural
areas in order to ensure, on a basis of equality of men and women, that they participate in and benefit
from rural development and, in particular, shall ensure to such women the right:
(a) To participate in the elaboration and implementation of development planning at all levels;
(b) To have access to adequate health care facilities, including information, counselling and services in
family planning;
(c) To benefit directly from social security programmes;
(d) To obtain all types of training and education, formal and non-formal, including that relating to
functional literacy, as well as, inter alia, the benefit of all community and extension services, in order
to increase their technical proficiency;
(e) To organize self-help groups and co-operatives in order to obtain equal access to economic
opportunities through employment or self employment;
(f) To participate in all community activities;
(g) To have access to agricultural credit and loans, marketing facilities, appropriate technology and
equal treatment in land and agrarian reform as well as in land resettlement schemes;
(h) To enjoy adequate living conditions, particularly in relation to housing, sanitation, electricity and
water supply, transport and communications.
PART IV
Article 15
1. States Parties shall accord to women equality with men before the law.
2. States Parties shall accord to women, in civil matters, a legal capacity identical to that of men and
the same opportunities to exercise that capacity. In particular, they shall give women equal rights to
conclude contracts and to administer property and shall treat them equally in all stages of procedure in
courts and tribunals.
3. States Parties agree that all contracts and all other private instruments of any kind with a legal
effect which is directed at restricting the legal capacity of women shall be deemed null and void.
4. States Parties shall accord to men and women the same rights with regard to the law relating to the
movement of persons and the freedom to choose their residence and domicile.
Article 16
1. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in all
matters relating to marriage and family relations and in particular shall ensure, on a basis of equality
of men and women:
(a) The same right to enter into marriage;
(b) The same right freely to choose a spouse and to enter into marriage only with their free and full
consent;
(c) The same rights and responsibilities during marriage and at its dissolution;
(d) The same rights and responsibilities as parents, irrespective of their marital status, in matters
relating to their children; in all cases the interests of the children shall be paramount;
(e) The same rights to decide freely and responsibly on the number and spacing of their children and
to have access to the information, education and means to enable them to exercise these rights;
(f) The same rights and responsibilities with regard to guardianship, wardship, trusteeship and
adoption of children, or similar institutions where these concepts exist in national legislation; in all
cases the interests of the children shall be paramount;
(g) The same personal rights as husband and wife, including the right to choose a family name, a
profession and an occupation;
(h) The same rights for both spouses in respect of the ownership, acquisition, management,
administration, enjoyment and disposition of property, whether free of charge or for a valuable
consideration.
2. The betrothal and the marriage of a child shall have no legal effect, and all necessary action,
including legislation, shall be taken to specify a minimum age for marriage and to make the
registration of marriages in an official registry compulsory.
PART V
Article 17
1. For the purpose of considering the progress made in the implementation of the present Convention,
there shall be established a Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
(hereinafter referred to as the Committee) consisting, at the time of entry into force of the Convention,
of eighteen and, after ratification of or accession to the Convention by the thirty-fifth State Party, of
twenty-three experts of high moral standing and competence in the field covered by the Convention.
The experts shall be elected by States Parties from among their nationals and shall serve in their
personal capacity, consideration being given to equitable geographical distribution and to the
representation of the different forms of civilization as well as the principal legal systems.
2. The members of the Committee shall be elected by secret ballot from a list of persons nominated by
States Parties. Each State Party may nominate one person from among its own nationals.
3. The initial election shall be held six months after the date of the entry into force of the present
Convention. At least three months before the date of each election the Secretary-General of the United
Nations shall address a letter to the States Parties inviting them to submit their nominations within two
months. The Secretary-General shall prepare a list in alphabetical order of all persons thus nominated,
indicating the States Parties which have nominated them, and shall submit it to the States Parties.
4. Elections of the members of the Committee shall be held at a meeting of States Parties convened by
the Secretary-General at United Nations Headquarters. At that meeting, for which two thirds of the
States Parties shall constitute a quorum, the persons elected to the Committee shall be those
nominees who obtain the largest number of votes and an absolute majority of the votes of the
representatives of States Parties present and voting.
5. The members of the Committee shall be elected for a term of four years. However, the terms of
nine of the members elected at the first election shall expire at the end of two years; immediately after
the first election the names of these nine members shall be chosen by lot by the Chairman of the
Committee.
6. The election of the five additional members of the Committee shall be held in accordance with the
provisions of paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 of this article, following the thirty-fifth ratification or accession.
The terms of two of the additional members elected on this occasion shall expire at the end of two
years, the names of these two members having been chosen by lot by the Chairman of the Committee.
7. For the filling of casual vacancies, the State Party whose expert has ceased to function as a member
of the Committee shall appoint another expert from among its nationals, subject to the approval of the
Committee.
8. The members of the Committee shall, with the approval of the General Assembly, receive
emoluments from United Nations resources on such terms and conditions as the Assembly may decide,
having regard to the importance of the Committee's responsibilities.
9. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall provide the necessary staff and facilities for the
effective performance of the functions of the Committee under the present Convention.
Article 18
1. States Parties undertake to submit to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, for consideration
by the Committee, a report on the legislative, judicial, administrative or other measures which they
have adopted to give effect to the provisions of the present Convention and on the progress made in
this respect:
(a) Within one year after the entry into force for the State concerned;
(b) Thereafter at least every four years and further whenever the Committee so requests.
2. Reports may indicate factors and difficulties affecting the degree of fulfilment of obligations under
the present Convention.
Article 19
1. The Committee shall adopt its own rules of procedure. 2. The Committee shall elect its officers for a
term of two years.
Article 20
1. The Committee shall normally meet for a period of not more than two weeks annually in order to
consider the reports submitted in accordance with article 18 of the present Convention.
2. The meetings of the Committee shall normally be held at United Nations Headquarters or at any
other convenient place as determined by the Committee.
Article 21
1. The Committee shall, through the Economic and Social Council, report annually to the General
Assembly of the United Nations on its activities and may make suggestions and general
recommendations based on the examination of reports and information received from the States
Parties. Such suggestions and general recommendations shall be included in the report of the
Committee together with comments, if any, from States Parties.
2. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall transmit the reports of the Committee to the
Commission on the Status of Women for its information.
Article 22
The specialized agencies shall be entitled to be represented at the consideration of the implementation
of such provisions of the present Convention as fall within the scope of their activities. The Committee
may invite the specialized agencies to submit reports on the implementation of the Convention in areas
falling within the scope of their activities.
PART VI
Article 23
Nothing in the present Convention shall affect any provisions that are more conducive to the
achievement of equality between men and women which may be contained:
(a) In the legislation of a State Party; or
(b) In any other international convention, treaty or agreement in force for that State.
Article 24
States Parties undertake to adopt all necessary measures at the national level aimed at achieving the
full realization of the rights recognized in the present Convention.
Article 25
1. The present Convention shall be open for signature by all States.
2. The Secretary-General of the United Nations is designated as the depositary of the present
Convention.
3. The present Convention is subject to ratification. Instruments of ratification shall be deposited with
the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
4. The present Convention shall be open to accession by all States. Accession shall be effected by the
deposit of an instrument of accession with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Article 26
1. A request for the revision of the present Convention may be made at any time by any State Party by
means of a notification in writing addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
2. The General Assembly of the United Nations shall decide upon the steps, if any, to be taken in
respect of such a request.
Article 27
1. The present Convention shall enter into force on the thirtieth day after the date of deposit with the
Secretary-General of the United Nations of the twentieth instrument of ratification or accession.
2. For each State ratifying the present Convention or acceding to it after the deposit of the twentieth
instrument of ratification or accession, the Convention shall enter into force on the thirtieth day after
the date of the deposit of its own instrument of ratification or accession.
Article 28
1. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall receive and circulate to all States the text of
reservations made by States at the time of ratification or accession.
2. A reservation incompatible with the object and purpose of the present Convention shall not be
permitted.
3. Reservations may be withdrawn at any time by notification to this effect addressed to the Secretary-
General of the United Nations, who shall then inform all States thereof. Such notification shall take
effect on the date on which it is received.
Article 29
1. Any dispute between two or more States Parties concerning the interpretation or application of the
present Convention which is not settled by negotiation shall, at the request of one of them, be
submitted to arbitration. If within six months from the date of the request for arbitration the parties
are unable to agree on the organization of the arbitration, any one of those parties may refer the
dispute to the International Court of Justice by request in conformity with the Statute of the Court.
2. Each State Party may at the time of signature or ratification of the present Convention or accession
thereto declare that it does not consider itself bound by paragraph I of this article. The other States
Parties shall not be bound by that paragraph with respect to any State Party which has made such a
reservation.
3. Any State Party which has made a reservation in accordance with paragraph 2 of this article may at
any time withdraw that reservation by notification to the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Article 30
The present Convention, the Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish texts of which are
equally authentic, shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations. IN WITNESS
WHEREOF the undersigned, duly authorized, have signed the present Convention.

Proclaimed by General Assembly resolution 48/104 of 20 December 1993
The General Assembly,
Recognizing the urgent need for the universal application to women of the rights and principles with
regard to equality, security, liberty, integrity and dignity of all human beings,
Noting that those rights and principles are enshrined in international instruments, including the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of
All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel,
Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment,
Recognizing that effective implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Discrimination against Women would contribute to the elimination of violence against women and that
the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, set forth in the present resolution, will
strengthen and complement that process,
Concerned that violence against women is an obstacle to the achievement of equality, development
and peace, as recognized in the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women, in
which a set of measures to combat violence against women was recommended, and to the full
implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women,
Affirming that violence against women constitutes a violation of the rights and fundamental freedoms
of women and impairs or nullifies their enjoyment of those rights and freedoms, and concerned about
the long-standing failure to protect and promote those rights and freedoms in the case of violence
against women,
Recognizing that violence against women is a manifestation of historically unequal power relations
between men and women, which have led to domination over and discrimination against women by
men and to the prevention of the full advancement of women, and that violence against women is one
of the crucial social mechanisms by which women are forced into a subordinate position compared with
men,
Concerned that some groups of women, such as women belonging to minority groups, indigenous
women, refugee women, migrant women, women living in rural or remote communities, destitute
women, women in institutions or in detention, female children, women with disabilities, elderly women
and women in situations of armed conflict, are especially vulnerable to violence,
Recalling the conclusion in paragraph 23 of the annex to Economic and Social Council resolution
1990/15 of 24 May 1990 that the recognition that violence against women in the family and society
was pervasive and cut across lines of income, class and culture had to be matched by urgent and
effective steps to eliminate its incidence,
Recalling also Economic and Social Council resolution 1991/18 of 30 May 1991, in which the Council
recommended the development of a framework for an international instrument that would address
explicitly the issue of violence against women,
Welcoming the role that women's movements are playing in drawing increasing attention to the
nature, severity and magnitude of the problem of violence against women,
Alarmed that opportunities for women to achieve legal, social, political and economic equality in
society are limited, inter alia , by continuing and endemic violence,
Convinced that in the light of the above there is a need for a clear and comprehensive definition of
violence against women, a clear statement of the rights to be applied to ensure the elimination of violence against women in all its forms, a commitment by States in respect of their responsibilities,
and a commitment by the international community at large to the elimination of violence against
women,
Solemnly proclaims the following Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women and urges
that every effort be made so that it becomes generally known and respected:
Article 1
For the purposes of this Declaration, the term "violence against women" means any act of genderbased
violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or
suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether
occurring in public or in private life.
Article 2
Violence against women shall be understood to encompass, but not be limited to, the following:
( a ) Physical, sexual and psychological violence occurring in the family, including battering, sexual
abuse of female children in the household, dowry-related violence, marital rape, female genital
mutilation and other traditional practices harmful to women, non-spousal violence and violence related
to exploitation;
( b ) Physical, sexual and psychological violence occurring within the general community, including
rape, sexual abuse, sexual harassment and intimidation at work, in educational institutions and
elsewhere, trafficking in women and forced prostitution;
( c ) Physical, sexual and psychological violence perpetrated or condoned by the State, wherever it
occurs.
Article 3
Women are entitled to the equal enjoyment and protection of all human rights and fundamental
freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field. These rights include, inter
alia:
( a ) The right to life;
( b ) The right to equality;
( c ) The right to liberty and security of person;
( d ) The right to equal protection under the law;
( e ) The right to be free from all forms of discrimination;
( f ) The right to the highest standard attainable of physical and mental health;
( g ) The right to just and favourable conditions of work;
( h ) The right not to be subjected to torture, or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or
punishment.
Article 4
States should condemn violence against women and should not invoke any custom, tradition or
religious consideration to avoid their obligations with respect to its elimination. States should pursue
by all appropriate means and without delay a policy of eliminating violence against women and, to this
end, should:
( a ) Consider, where they have not yet done so, ratifying or acceding to the Convention on the
Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women or withdrawing reservations to that
Convention;
( b ) Refrain from engaging in violence against women;
( c ) Exercise due diligence to prevent, investigate and, in accordance with national legislation, punish
acts of violence against women, whether those acts are perpetrated by the State or by private
persons;
( d ) Develop penal, civil, labour and administrative sanctions in domestic legislation to punish and
redress the wrongs caused to women who are subjected to violence; women who are subjected to
violence should be provided with access to the mechanisms of justice and, as provided for by national
legislation, to just and effective remedies for the harm that they have suffered; States should also
inform women of their rights in seeking redress through such mechanisms;
( e ) Consider the possibility of developing national plans of action to promote the protection of women
against any form of violence, or to include provisions for that purpose in plans already existing, taking
into account, as appropriate, such cooperation as can be provided by non-governmental organizations,
particularly those concerned with the issue of violence against women;
( f ) Develop, in a comprehensive way, preventive approaches and all those measures of a legal,
political, administrative and cultural nature that promote the protection of women against any form of
violence, and ensure that the re-victimization of women does not occur because of laws insensitive to
gender considerations, enforcement practices or other interventions;
( g ) Work to ensure, to the maximum extent feasible in the light of their available resources and,
where needed, within the framework of international cooperation, that women subjected to violence
and, where appropriate, their children have specialized assistance, such as rehabilitation, assistance in
child care and maintenance, treatment, counselling, and health and social services, facilities and
programmes, as well as support structures, and should take all other appropriate measures to promote
their safety and physical and psychological rehabilitation;
( h ) Include in government budgets adequate resources for their activities related to the elimination of
violence against women;
( i ) Take measures to ensure that law enforcement officers and public officials responsible for
implementing policies to prevent, investigate and punish violence against women receive training to
sensitize them to the needs of women;
( j ) Adopt all appropriate measures, especially in the field of education, to modify the social and
cultural patterns of conduct of men and women and to eliminate prejudices, customary practices and
all other practices based on the idea of the inferiority or superiority of either of the sexes and on
stereotyped roles for men and women;
( k ) Promote research, collect data and compile statistics, especially concerning domestic violence,
relating to the prevalence of different forms of violence against women and encourage research on the
causes, nature, seriousness and consequences of violence against women and on the effectiveness of
measures implemented to prevent and redress violence against women; those statistics and findings of
the research will be made public;
( l ) Adopt measures directed towards the elimination of violence against women who are especially
vulnerable to violence;
( m ) Include, in submitting reports as required under relevant human rights instruments of the United
Nations, information pertaining to violence against women and measures taken to implement the
present Declaration;
( n ) Encourage the development of appropriate guidelines to assist in the implementation of the
principles set forth in the present Declaration;
( o ) Recognize the important role of the women's movement and non-governmental organizations
world wide in raising awareness and alleviating the problem of violence against women;
( p ) Facilitate and enhance the work of the women's movement and non-governmental organizations
and cooperate with them at local, national and regional levels;
( q ) Encourage intergovernmental regional organizations of which they are members to include the
elimination of violence against women in their programmes, as appropriate.
Article 5
The organs and specialized agencies of the United Nations system should, within their respective fields
of competence, contribute to the recognition and realization of the rights and the principles set forth in
the present Declaration and, to this end, should, inter alia :
( a ) Foster international and regional cooperation with a view to defining regional strategies for
combating violence, exchanging experiences and financing programmes relating to the elimination of
violence against women;
( b ) Promote meetings and seminars with the aim of creating and raising awareness among all
persons of the issue of the elimination of violence against women;
( c ) Foster coordination and exchange within the United Nations system between human rights treaty
bodies to address the issue of violence against women effectively;
( d ) Include in analyses prepared by organizations and bodies of the United Nations system of social
trends and problems, such as the periodic reports on the world social situation, examination of trends
in violence against women;
( e ) Encourage coordination between organizations and bodies of the United Nations system to
incorporate the issue of violence against women into ongoing programmes, especially with reference to
groups of women particularly vulnerable to violence;
( f ) Promote the formulation of guidelines or manuals relating to violence against women, taking into
account the measures referred to in the present Declaration;
( g ) Consider the issue of the elimination of violence against women, as appropriate, in fulfilling their
mandates with respect to the implementation of human rights instruments;
( h ) Cooperate with non-governmental organizations in addressing the issue of violence against
women.
Article 6
Nothing in the present Declaration shall affect any provision that is more conducive to the elimination
of violence against women that may be contained in the legislation of a State or in any international
convention, treaty or other instrument in force in a State.

Preamble
The States Parties to this Statute,
Conscious that all peoples are united by common bonds, their cultures pieced
together in a shared heritage, and concerned that this delicate mosaic may be
shattered at any time,
Mindful that during this century millions of children, women and men have been
victims of unimaginable atrocities that deeply shock the conscience of humanity,
Recognizing that such grave crimes threaten the peace, security and well-being of
the world,
Affirming that the most serious crimes of concern to the international community
as a whole must not go unpunished and that their effective prosecution must be
ensured by taking measures at the national level and
by enhancing international cooperation,
Determined to put an end to impunity for the perpetrators of these crimes and
thus to contribute to the prevention of such crimes,
Recalling that it is the duty of every State to exercise its criminal jurisdiction over
those responsible for international crimes,
Reaffirming the Purposes and Principles of the Charter of the United Nations,
and in particular that all States shall refrain from the threat or use of force against
the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any other
manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations,
Emphasizing in this connection that nothing in this Statute shall be taken as
authorizing any State Party to intervene in an armed conflict or in the internal
affairs of any State,
Determined to these ends and for the sake of present and future generations, to
establish an independent permanent International Criminal Court in relationship
with the United Nations system, with jurisdiction over the most serious crimes of
concern to the international community as a whole,
Emphasizing that the International Criminal Court established under this Statute
shall be complementary to national criminal jurisdictions,
Resolved to guarantee lasting respect for and the enforcement of international
justice,
Have agreed as follows:
2
Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court
Part I Establishment of the Court
Article 1
The Court
An International Criminal Court (‘the Court’) is hereby established. It shall be a permanent
institution and shall have the power to exercise its jurisdiction over persons for the most
serious crimes of international concern, as referred to in this Statute, and shall be
complementary to national criminal jurisdictions. The jurisdiction and functioning of the
Court shall be governed by the provisions of this Statute.
Article 2
Relationship of the Court with the United Nations
The Court shall be brought into relationship with the United Nations through an agreement to
be approved by the Assembly of States Parties to this Statute and thereafter concluded by the
President of the Court on its behalf.
Article 3
Seat of the Court
1. The seat of the Court shall be established at The Hague in the Netherlands (‘the
host State’).
2. The Court shall enter into a headquarters agreement with the host State, to be
approved by the Assembly of States Parties and thereafter concluded by the
President of the Court on its behalf.
3. The Court may sit elsewhere, whenever it considers it desirable, as provided in this
Statute.
Article 4
Legal status and powers of the Court
1. The Court shall have international legal personality. It shall also have such legal
capacity as may be necessary for the exercise of its functions and the fulfilment of
its purposes.
2. The Court may exercise its functions and powers, as provided in this Statute, on
the territory of any State Party and, by special agreement, on the territory of any
other State.
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Part II Jurisdiction, admissibility and applicable law
Article 5
Crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court
1. The jurisdiction of the Court shall be limited to the most serious crimes of concern
to the international community as a whole. The Court has jurisdiction in
accordance with this Statute with respect to the following crimes:
(a) The crime of genocide;
(b) Crimes against humanity;
(c) War crimes;
(d) The crime of aggression.
2. The Court shall exercise jurisdiction over the crime of aggression once a provision
is adopted in accordance with articles 121 and 123 defining the crime and setting
out the conditions under which the Court shall exercise jurisdiction with respect to
this crime. Such a provision shall be consistent with the relevant provisions of the
Charter of the United Nations.
Article 6
Genocide
For the purpose of this Statute, ‘genocide’ means any of the following acts
committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or
religious group, as such:
(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring
about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
Article 7
Crimes against humanity
1. For the purpose of this Statute, ‘crime against humanity’ means any of the
following acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack
directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack:
(a) Murder;
(b) Extermination;
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(c) Enslavement;
(d) Deportation or forcible transfer of population;
(e) Imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of
fundamental rules of international law;
(f) Torture;
(g) Rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced
sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity;
(h) Persecution against any identifiable group or collectivity on political,
racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious, gender as defined in paragraph
3, or other grounds that are universally recognized as impermissible under
international law, in connection with any act referred to in this paragraph
or any crime within the jurisdiction of the Court;
(i) Enforced disappearance of persons;
(j) The crime of apartheid;
(k) Other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great
suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.
2. For the purpose of paragraph 1:
(a) ‘Attack directed against any civilian population’ means a course of conduct
involving the multiple commission of acts referred to in paragraph 1
against any civilian population, pursuant to or in furtherance of a State or
organizational policy to commit such attack;
(b) ‘Extermination’ includes the intentional infliction of conditions of life,
inter alia the deprivation of access to food and medicine, calculated to
bring about the destruction of part of a population;
(c) ‘Enslavement’ means the exercise of any or all of the powers attaching to
the right of ownership over a person and includes the exercise of such
power in the course of trafficking in persons, in particular women and
children;
(d) ‘Deportation or forcible transfer of population’ means forced displacement
of the persons concerned by expulsion or other coercive acts from the area
in which they are lawfully present, without grounds permitted under
international law;
(e) ‘Torture’ means the intentional infliction of severe pain or suffering,
whether physical or mental, upon a person in the custody or under the
control of the accused; except that torture shall not include pain or
suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to, lawful sanctions;
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(f) ‘Forced pregnancy’ means the unlawful confinement of a woman forcibly
made pregnant, with the intent of affecting the ethnic composition of any
population or carrying out other grave violations of international law. This
definition shall not in any way be interpreted as affecting national laws
relating to pregnancy;
(g) ‘Persecution’ means the intentional and severe deprivation of fundamental
rights contrary to international law by reason of the identity of the group
or collectivity;
(h) ‘The crime of apartheid’ means inhumane acts of a character similar to
those referred to in paragraph 1, committed in the context of an
institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one
racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the
intention of maintaining that regime;
(i) ‘Enforced disappearance of persons’ means the arrest, detention or
abduction of persons by, or with the authorization, support or
acquiescence of, a State or a political organization, followed by a refusal to
acknowledge that deprivation of freedom or to give information on the
fate or whereabouts of those persons, with the intention of removing them
from the protection of the law for a prolonged period of time.
3. For the purpose of this Statute, it is understood that the term ‘gender’ refers to the
two sexes, male and female, within the context of society. The term ‘gender’ does
not indicate any meaning different from the above.
Article 8
War crimes
1. The Court shall have jurisdiction in respect of war crimes in particular when
committed as part of a plan or policy or as part of a large-scale commission of such
crimes.
2. For the purpose of this Statute, ‘war crimes’ means:
(a) Grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, namely,
any of the following acts against persons or property protected under the
provisions of the relevant Geneva Convention:
(i) Wilful killing;
(ii) Torture or inhuman treatment, including biological experiments;
(iii) Wilfully causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or health;
(iv) Extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by
military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly;
(v) Compelling a prisoner of war or other protected person to serve in
the forces of a hostile Power;
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(vi) Wilfully depriving a prisoner of war or other protected person of the
rights of fair and regular trial;
(vii) Unlawful deportation or transfer or unlawful confinement;
(viii) Taking of hostages.
(b) Other serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in
international armed conflict, within the established framework of
international law, namely, any of the following acts:
(i) Intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population as
such or against individual civilians not taking direct part in
hostilities;
(ii) Intentionally directing attacks against civilian objects, that is,
objects which are not military objectives;
(iii) Intentionally directing attacks against personnel, installations,
material, units or vehicles involved in a humanitarian assistance
or peacekeeping mission in accordance with the Charter of the
United Nations, as long as they are entitled to the protection
given to civilians or civilian objects under the international law
of armed conflict;
(iv) Intentionally launching an attack in the knowledge that such
attack will cause incidental loss of life or injury to civilians or
damage to civilian objects or widespread, long-term and severe
damage to the natural environment which would be clearly
excessive in relation to the concrete and direct overall military
advantage anticipated;
(v) Attacking or bombarding, by whatever means, towns, villages,
dwellings or buildings which are undefended and which are not
military objectives;
(vi) Killing or wounding a combatant who, having laid down his arms or
having no longer means of defence, has surrendered at discretion;
(vii) Making improper use of a flag of truce, of the flag or of the
military insignia and uniform of the enemy or of the United
Nations, as well as of the distinctive emblems of the Geneva
Conventions, resulting in death or serious personal injury;
(viii) The transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts
of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies, or the
deportation or transfer of all or parts of the population of the
occupied territory within or outside this territory;
(ix) Intentionally directing attacks against buildings dedicated to
religion, education, art, science or charitable purposes, historic
monuments, hospitals and places where the sick and wounded
are collected, provided they are not military objectives;
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(x) Subjecting persons who are in the power of an adverse party to
physical mutilation or to medical or scientific experiments of any
kind which are neither justified by the medical, dental or
hospital treatment of the person concerned nor carried out in his or
her interest, and which cause death to or seriously endanger the
health of such person or persons;
(xi) Killing or wounding treacherously individuals belonging to the
hostile nation or army;
(xii) Declaring that no quarter will be given;
(xiii) Destroying or seizing the enemy's property unless such destruction
or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war;
(xiv) Declaring abolished, suspended or inadmissible in a court of law the
rights and actions of the nationals of the hostile party;
(xv) Compelling the nationals of the hostile party to take part in the
operations of war directed against their own country, even if they
were in the belligerent's service before the commencement of the
war;
(xvi) Pillaging a town or place, even when taken by assault;
(xvii) Employing poison or poisoned weapons;
(xviii) Employing asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases, and all
analogous liquids, materials or devices;
(xix) Employing bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body,
such as bullets with a hard envelope which does not entirely cover
the core or is pierced with incisions;
(xx) Employing weapons, projectiles and material and methods of
warfare which are of a nature to cause superfluous injury or
unnecessary suffering or which are inherently indiscriminate in
violation of the international law of armed conflict, provided
that such weapons, projectiles and material and methods of
warfare are the subject of a comprehensive prohibition and are
included in an annex to this Statute, by an amendment in
accordance with the relevant provisions set forth in articles 121
and 123;
(xxi) Committing outrages upon personal dignity, in particular
humiliating and degrading treatment;
(xxii) Committing rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced
pregnancy, as defined in article 7, paragraph 2 (f), enforced
sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence also constituting a
grave breach of the Geneva Conventions;
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(xxiii) Utilizing the presence of a civilian or other protected person to
render certain points, areas or military forces immune from military
operations;
(xxiv) Intentionally directing attacks against buildings, material, medical
units and transport, and personnel using the distinctive emblems of
the Geneva Conventions in conformity with international law;
(xxv) Intentionally using starvation of civilians as a method of warfare
by depriving them of objects indispensable to their survival,
including wilfully impeding relief supplies as provided for under the
Geneva Conventions;
(xxvi) Conscripting or enlisting children under the age of fifteen years into
the national armed forces or using them to participate actively in
hostilities.
(c) In the case of an armed conflict not of an international character, serious
violations of article 3 common to the four Geneva Conventions of 12
August 1949, namely, any of the following acts committed against persons
taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces
who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by
sickness, wounds, detention or any other cause:
(i) Violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds,
mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;
(ii) Committing outrages upon personal dignity, in particular
humiliating and degrading treatment;
(iii) Taking of hostages;
(iv) The passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions
without previous judgement pronounced by a regularly constituted
court, affording all judicial guarantees which are generally
recognized as indispensable.
(d) Paragraph 2 (c) applies to armed conflicts not of an international character
and thus does not apply to situations of internal disturbances and
tensions, such as riots, isolated and sporadic acts of violence or other acts
of a similar nature.
(e) Other serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in armed
conflicts not of an international character, within the established
framework of international law, namely, any of the following acts:
(i) Intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population as
such or against individual civilians not taking direct part in
hostilities;
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(ii) Intentionally directing attacks against buildings, material, medical
units and transport, and personnel using the distinctive emblems of
the Geneva Conventions in conformity with international law;
(iii) Intentionally directing attacks against personnel, installations,
material, units or vehicles involved in a humanitarian assistance or
peacekeeping mission in accordance with the Charter of the United
Nations, as long as they are entitled to the protection given to
civilians or civilian objects under the international law of armed
conflict;
(iv) Intentionally directing attacks against buildings dedicated to
religion, education, art, science or charitable purposes, historic
monuments, hospitals and places where the sick and wounded
are collected, provided they are not military objectives;
(v) Pillaging a town or place, even when taken by assault;
(vi) Committing rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced
pregnancy, as defined in article 7, paragraph 2 (f), enforced
sterilization, and any other form of sexual violence also constituting
a serious violation of article 3 common to the four Geneva
Conventions;
(vii) Conscripting or enlisting children under the age of fifteen years into
armed forces or groups or using them to participate actively in
hostilities;
(viii) Ordering the displacement of the civilian population for reasons
related to the conflict, unless the security of the civilians involved or
imperative military reasons so demand;
(ix) Killing or wounding treacherously a combatant adversary;
(x) Declaring that no quarter will be given;
(xi) Subjecting persons who are in the power of another party to the
conflict to physical mutilation or to medical or scientific experiments
of any kind which are neither justified by the medical, dental or
hospital treatment of the person concerned nor carried out in his or
her interest, and which cause death to or seriously endanger the
health of such person or persons;
(xii) Destroying or seizing the property of an adversary unless such
destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities
of the conflict;
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(f) Paragraph 2 (e) applies to armed conflicts not of an international
character and thus does not apply to situations of internal disturbances
and tensions, such as riots, isolated and sporadic acts of violence or other
acts of a similar nature. It applies to armed conflicts that take place in the
territory of a State when there is protracted armed conflict between
governmental authorities and organized armed groups or between such
groups.
3. Nothing in paragraph 2 (c) and (e) shall affect the responsibility of a Government
to maintain or re-establish law and order in the State or to defend the unity and
territorial integrity of the State, by all legitimate means.
Article 9
Elements of Crimes
1. Elements of Crimes shall assist the Court in the interpretation and application of
articles 6, 7 and 8. They shall be adopted by a two-thirds majority of the members
of the Assembly of States Parties.
2. Amendments to the Elements of Crimes may be proposed by:
(a) Any State Party;
(b) The judges acting by an absolute majority;
(c) The Prosecutor.
Such amendments shall be adopted by a two-thirds majority of the members of
the Assembly of States Parties.
3. The Elements of Crimes and amendments thereto shall be consistent with this
Statute.
Article 10
Nothing in this Part shall be interpreted as limiting or prejudicing in any way existing or
developing rules of international law for purposes other than this Statute.
Article 11
Jurisdiction ratione temporis
1. The Court has jurisdiction only with respect to crimes committed after the entry
into force of this Statute.
2. If a State becomes a Party to this Statute after its entry into force, the Court may
exercise its jurisdiction only with respect to crimes committed after the entry into
force of this Statute for that State, unless that State has made a declaration under
article 12, paragraph 3.
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Article 12
Preconditions to the exercise of jurisdiction
1. A State which becomes a Party to this Statute thereby accepts the jurisdiction of
the Court with respect to the crimes referred to in article 5.
2. In the case of article 13, paragraph (a) or (c), the Court may exercise its jurisdiction
if one or more of the following States are Parties to this Statute or have accepted
the jurisdiction of the Court in accordance with paragraph 3:
(a) The State on the territory of which the conduct in question occurred or, if
the crime was committed on board a vessel or aircraft, the State of
registration of that vessel or aircraft;
(b) The State of which the person accused of the crime is a national.
3. If the acceptance of a State which is not a Party to this Statute is required under
paragraph 2, that State may, by declaration lodged with the Registrar, accept the
exercise of jurisdiction by the Court with respect to the crime in question. The
accepting State shall cooperate with the Court without any delay or exception in
accordance with Part 9.
Article 13
Exercise of jurisdiction
The Court may exercise its jurisdiction with respect to a crime referred to in article 5 in
accordance with the provisions of this Statute if:
(a) A situation in which one or more of such crimes appears to have been
committed is referred to the Prosecutor by a State Party in accordance with
article 14;
(b) A situation in which one or more of such crimes appears to have been
committed is referred to the Prosecutor by the Security Council acting
under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations; or
(c) The Prosecutor has initiated an investigation in respect of such a crime in
accordance with article 15.
Article 14
Referral of a situation by a State Party
1. A State Party may refer to the Prosecutor a situation in which one or more crimes
within the jurisdiction of the Court appear to have been committed requesting the
Prosecutor to investigate the situation for the purpose of determining whether one
or more specific persons should be charged with the commission of such crimes.
2. As far as possible, a referral shall specify the relevant circumstances and be
accompanied by such supporting documentation as is available to the State
referring the situation.
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Article 15
Prosecutor
1. The Prosecutor may initiate investigations proprio motu on the basis of
information on crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court.
2. The Prosecutor shall analyse the seriousness of the information received. For this
purpose, he or she may seek additional information from States, organs of the
United Nations, intergovernmental or non-governmental organizations, or other
reliable sources that he or she deems appropriate, and may receive written or oral
testimony at the seat of the Court.
3. If the Prosecutor concludes that there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an
investigation, he or she shall submit to the Pre-Trial Chamber a request for
authorization of an investigation, together with any supporting material collected.
Victims may make representations to the Pre-Trial Chamber, in accordance with
the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
4. If the Pre-Trial Chamber, upon examination of the request and the supporting
material, considers that there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an
investigation, and that the case appears to fall within the jurisdiction of the Court,
it shall authorize the commencement of the investigation, without prejudice to
subsequent determinations by the Court with regard to the jurisdiction and
admissibility of a case.
5. The refusal of the Pre-Trial Chamber to authorize the investigation shall not
preclude the presentation of a subsequent request by the Prosecutor based on new
facts or evidence regarding the same situation.
6. If, after the preliminary examination referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2, the
Prosecutor concludes that the information provided does not constitute a
reasonable basis for an investigation, he or she shall inform those who provided
the information. This shall not preclude the Prosecutor from considering further
information submitted to him or her regarding the same situation in the light of
new facts or evidence.
Article 16
Deferral of investigation or prosecution
No investigation or prosecution may be commenced or proceeded with under this Statute for a
period of 12 months after the Security Council, in a resolution adopted under Chapter VII of
the Charter of the United Nations, has requested the Court to that effect; that request may be
renewed by the Council under the same conditions.
Article 17
Issues of admissibility
1. Having regard to paragraph 10 of the Preamble and article 1, the Court shall
determine that a case is inadmissible where:
(a) The case is being investigated or prosecuted by a State which has
jurisdiction over it, unless the State is unwilling or unable genuinely to
carry out the investigation or prosecution;
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(b) The case has been investigated by a State which has jurisdiction over it
and the State has decided not to prosecute the person concerned, unless
the decision resulted from the unwillingness or inability of the State
genuinely to prosecute;
(c) The person concerned has already been tried for conduct which is the
subject of the complaint, and a trial by the Court is not permitted under
article 20, paragraph 3;
(d) The case is not of sufficient gravity to justify further action by the Court.
2. In order to determine unwillingness in a particular case, the Court shall consider,
having regard to the principles of due process recognized by international law,
whether one or more of the following exist, as applicable:
(a) The proceedings were or are being undertaken or the national decision
was made for the purpose of shielding the person concerned from criminal
responsibility for crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court referred to in
article 5;
(b) There has been an unjustified delay in the proceedings which in the
circumstances is inconsistent with an intent to bring the person concerned
to justice;
(c) The proceedings were not or are not being conducted independently or
impartially, and they were or are being conducted in a manner which, in
the circumstances, is inconsistent with an intent to bring the person
concerned to justice.
3. In order to determine inability in a particular case, the Court shall consider
whether, due to a total or substantial collapse or unavailability of its national
judicial system, the State is unable to obtain the accused or the necessary evidence
and testimony or otherwise unable to carry out its proceedings.
Article 18
Preliminary rulings regarding admissibility
1. When a situation has been referred to the Court pursuant to article 13 (a) and the
Prosecutor has determined that there would be a reasonable basis to commence an
investigation, or the Prosecutor initiates an investigation pursuant to articles 13 (c)
and 15, the Prosecutor shall notify all States Parties and those States which, taking
into account the information available, would normally exercise jurisdiction over
the crimes concerned. The Prosecutor may notify such States on a confidential
basis and, where the Prosecutor believes it necessary to protect persons, prevent
destruction of evidence or prevent the absconding of persons, may limit the scope
of the information provided to States.
2. Within one month of receipt of that notification, a State may inform the Court that
it is investigating or has investigated its nationals or others within its jurisdiction
with respect to criminal acts which may constitute crimes referred to in article 5
and which relate to the information provided in the notification to States. At the
request of that State, the Prosecutor shall defer to the State's investigation of
those persons unless the Pre-Trial Chamber, on the application of the Prosecutor,
decides to authorize the investigation.
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3. The Prosecutor's deferral to a State's investigation shall be open to review by the
Prosecutor six months after the date of deferral or at any time when there has been
a significant change of circumstances based on the State's unwillingness or
inability genuinely to carry out the investigation.
4. The State concerned or the Prosecutor may appeal to the Appeals Chamber
against a ruling of the Pre-Trial Chamber, in accordance with article 82. The appeal
may be heard on an expedited basis.
5. When the Prosecutor has deferred an investigation in accordance with paragraph
2, the Prosecutor may request that the State concerned periodically inform the
Prosecutor of the progress of its investigations and any subsequent prosecutions.
States Parties shall respond to such requests without undue delay.
6. Pending a ruling by the Pre-Trial Chamber, or at any time when the Prosecutor has
deferred an investigation under this article, the Prosecutor may, on an exceptional
basis, seek authority from the Pre-Trial Chamber to pursue necessary investigative
steps for the purpose of preserving evidence where there is a unique opportunity
to obtain important evidence or there is a significant risk that such evidence may
not be subsequently available.
7. A State which has challenged a ruling of the Pre-Trial Chamber under this article
may challenge the admissibility of a case under article 19 on the grounds of
additional significant facts or significant change of circumstances.
Article 19
Challenges to the jurisdiction of the Court or the admissibility of a case
1. The Court shall satisfy itself that it has jurisdiction in any case brought before it.
The Court may, on its own motion, determine the admissibility of a case in
accordance with article 17.
2. Challenges to the admissibility of a case on the grounds referred to in article 17 or
challenges to the jurisdiction of the Court may be made by:
(a) An accused or a person for whom a warrant of arrest or a summons to
appear has been issued under article 58;
(b) A State which has jurisdiction over a case, on the ground that it is
investigating or prosecuting the case or has investigated or prosecuted; or
(c) A State from which acceptance of jurisdiction is required under article 12.
3. The Prosecutor may seek a ruling from the Court regarding a question of
jurisdiction or admissibility. In proceedings with respect to jurisdiction or
admissibility, those who have referred the situation under article 13, as well as
victims, may also submit observations to the Court.
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4. The admissibility of a case or the jurisdiction of the Court may be challenged only
once by any person or State referred to in paragraph 2. The challenge shall take
place prior to or at the commencement of the trial. In exceptional circumstances,
the Court may grant leave for a challenge to be brought more than once or at a
time later than the commencement of the trial. Challenges to the admissibility of a
case, at the commencement of a trial, or subsequently with the leave of the Court,
may be based only on article 17, paragraph 1 (c).
5. A State referred to in paragraph 2 (b) and (c) shall make a challenge at the earliest
opportunity.
6. Prior to the confirmation of the charges, challenges to the admissibility of a case or
challenges to the jurisdiction of the Court shall be referred to the Pre-Trial
Chamber. After confirmation of the charges, they shall be referred to the
Trial Chamber. Decisions with respect to jurisdiction or admissibility may be
appealed to the Appeals Chamber in accordance with article 82.
7. If a challenge is made by a State referred to in paragraph 2 (b) or (c), the
Prosecutor shall suspend the investigation until such time as the Court makes a
determination in accordance with article 17.
8. Pending a ruling by the Court, the Prosecutor may seek authority from the Court:
(a) To pursue necessary investigative steps of the kind referred to in article 18,
paragraph 6;
(b) To take a statement or testimony from a witness or complete the collection
and examination of evidence which had begun prior to the making of the
challenge; and
(c) In cooperation with the relevant States, to prevent the absconding of
persons in respect of whom the Prosecutor has already requested a
warrant of arrest under article 58.
9. The making of a challenge shall not affect the validity of any act performed by the
Prosecutor or any order or warrant issued by the Court prior to the making of the
challenge.
10. If the Court has decided that a case is inadmissible under article 17, the Prosecutor
may submit a request for a review of the decision when he or she is fully satisfied
that new facts have arisen which negate the basis on which the case had
previously been found inadmissible under article 17.
11. If the Prosecutor, having regard to the matters referred to in article 17, defers an
investigation, the Prosecutor may request that the relevant State make available to
the Prosecutor information on the proceedings. That information shall, at the
request of the State concerned, be confidential. If the Prosecutor thereafter decides
to proceed with an investigation, he or she shall notify the State to which deferral
of the proceedings has taken place.
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Article 20
Ne bis in idem
1. Except as provided in this Statute, no person shall be tried before the Court with
respect to conduct which formed the basis of crimes for which the person has been
convicted or acquitted by the Court.
2. No person shall be tried by another court for a crime referred to in article 5 for
which that person has already been convicted or acquitted by the Court.
3. No person who has been tried by another court for conduct also proscribed under
article 6, 7 or 8 shall be tried by the Court with respect to the same conduct unless
the proceedings in the other court:
(a) Were for the purpose of shielding the person concerned from criminal
responsibility for crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court; or
(b) Otherwise were not conducted independently or impartially in accordance
with the norms of due process recognized by international law and were
conducted in a manner which, in the circumstances, was inconsistent with
an intent to bring the person concerned to justice.
Article 21
Applicable law
1. The Court shall apply:
(a) In the first place, this Statute, Elements of Crimes and its Rules of
Procedure and Evidence;
(b) In the second place, where appropriate, applicable treaties and the
principles and rules of international law, including the established
principles of the international law of armed conflict;
(c) Failing that, general principles of law derived by the Court from national
laws of legal systems of the world including, as appropriate, the national
laws of States that would normally exercise jurisdiction over the crime,
provided that those principles are not inconsistent with this Statute and
with international law and internationally recognized norms and
standards.
2. The Court may apply principles and rules of law as interpreted in its previous
decisions.
3. The application and interpretation of law pursuant to this article must be
consistent with internationally recognized human rights, and be without any
adverse distinction founded on grounds such as gender as defined in article 7,
paragraph 3, age, race, colour, language, religion or belief, political or other
opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, wealth, birth or other status.
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Part III General principles of Criminal Law
Article 22
Nullum crimen sine lege
1. A person shall not be criminally responsible under this Statute unless the conduct
in question constitutes, at the time it takes place, a crime within the jurisdiction of
the Court.
2. The definition of a crime shall be strictly construed and shall not be extended by
analogy. In case of ambiguity, the definition shall be interpreted in favour of the
person being investigated, prosecuted or convicted.
3. This article shall not affect the characterization of any conduct as criminal under
international law independently of this Statute.
Article 23
Nulla poena sine lege
A person convicted by the Court may be punished only in accordance with this Statute.
Article 24
Non-retroactivity ratione personae
1. No person shall be criminally responsible under this Statute for conduct prior to
the entry into force of the Statute.
2. In the event of a change in the law applicable to a given case prior to a final
judgement, the law more favourable to the person being investigated, prosecuted
or convicted shall apply.
Article 25
Individual criminal responsibility
1. The Court shall have jurisdiction over natural persons pursuant to this Statute.
2. A person who commits a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court shall be
individually responsible and liable for punishment in accordance with this Statute.
3. In accordance with this Statute, a person shall be criminally responsible and liable
for punishment for a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court if that person:
(a) Commits such a crime, whether as an individual, jointly with another or
through another person, regardless of whether that other person is
criminally responsible;
(b) Orders, solicits or induces the commission of such a crime which in fact
occurs or is attempted;
(c) For the purpose of facilitating the commission of such a crime, aids, abets
or otherwise assists in its commission or its attempted commission,
including providing the means for its commission;
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(d) In any other way contributes to the commission or attempted commission
of such a crime by a group of persons acting with a common purpose. Such
contribution shall be intentional and shall either:
(i) Be made with the aim of furthering the criminal activity or criminal
purpose of the group, where such activity or purpose involves the
commission of a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court; or
(ii) Be made in the knowledge of the intention of the group to commit
the crime;
(e) In respect of the crime of genocide, directly and publicly incites others to
commit genocide;
(f) Attempts to commit such a crime by taking action that commences its
execution by means of a substantial step, but the crime does not occur
because of circumstances independent of the person's intentions.
However, a person who abandons the effort to commit the crime or
otherwise prevents the completion of the crime shall not be liable for
punishment under this Statute for the attempt to commit that crime if that
person completely and voluntarily gave up the criminal purpose.
4. No provision in this Statute relating to individual criminal responsibility shall
affect the responsibility of States under international law.
Article 26
Exclusion of jurisdiction over persons under eighteen
The Court shall have no jurisdiction over any person who was under the age of 18 at the time
of the alleged commission of a crime.
Article 27
Irrelevance of official capacity
1. This Statute shall apply equally to all persons without any distinction based on
official capacity. In particular, official capacity as a Head of State or Government, a
member of a Government or parliament, an elected representative or a
government official shall in no case exempt a person from criminal responsibility
under this Statute, nor shall it, in and of itself, constitute a ground for reduction of
sentence.
2. Immunities or special procedural rules which may attach to the official capacity of
a person, whether under national or international law, shall not bar the Court from
exercising its jurisdiction over such a person.
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Article 28
Responsibility of commanders and other superiors
In addition to other grounds of criminal responsibility under this Statute for crimes within the
jurisdiction of the Court:
(a) A military commander or person effectively acting as a military
commander shall be criminally responsible for crimes within the
jurisdiction of the Court committed by forces under his or her effective
command and control, or effective authority and control as the case may
be, as a result of his or her failure to exercise control properly over such
forces, where:
(i) That military commander or person either knew or, owing to the
circumstances at the time, should have known that the forces
were committing or about to commit such crimes; and
(ii) That military commander or person failed to take all necessary
and reasonable measures within his or her power to prevent or
repress their commission or to submit the matter to the competent
authorities for investigation and prosecution.
(b) With respect to superior and subordinate relationships not described in
paragraph (a), a superior shall be criminally responsible for crimes within
the jurisdiction of the Court committed by subordinates under his or her
effective authority and control, as a result of his or her failure to exercise
control properly over such subordinates, where:
(i) The superior either knew, or consciously disregarded information
which clearly indicated, that the subordinates were committing or
about to commit such crimes;
(ii) The crimes concerned activities that were within the effective
responsibility and control of the superior; and
(iii) The superior failed to take all necessary and reasonable measures
within his or her power to prevent or repress their commission or to
submit the matter to the competent authorities for investigation and
prosecution.
Article 29
Non-applicability of statute of limitations
The crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court shall not be subject to any statute of
limitations.
Article 30
Mental element
1. Unless otherwise provided, a person shall be criminally responsible and liable for
punishment for a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court only if the material
elements are committed with intent and knowledge.
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2. For the purposes of this article, a person has intent where:
(a) In relation to conduct, that person means to engage in the conduct;
(b) In relation to a consequence, that person means to cause that consequence
or is aware that it will occur in the ordinary course of events.
3. For the purposes of this article, ‘knowledge’ means awareness that a circumstance
exists or a consequence will occur in the ordinary course of events. ‘Know’ and
‘knowingly’ shall be construed accordingly.
Article 31
Grounds for excluding criminal responsibility
1. In addition to other grounds for excluding criminal responsibility provided for in
this Statute, a person shall not be criminally responsible if, at the time of that
person's conduct:
(a) The person suffers from a mental disease or defect that destroys that
person's capacity to appreciate the unlawfulness or nature of his or her
conduct, or capacity to control his or her conduct to conform to the
requirements of law;
(b) The person is in a state of intoxication that destroys that person's capacity
to appreciate the unlawfulness or nature of his or her conduct, or capacity
to control his or her conduct to conform to the requirements of law, unless
the person has become voluntarily intoxicated under such circumstances
that the person knew, or disregarded the risk, that, as a result of the
intoxication, he or she was likely to engage in conduct constituting a crime
within the jurisdiction of the Court;
(c) The person acts reasonably to defend himself or herself or another person
or, in the case of war crimes, property which is essential for the survival of
the person or another person or property which is essential for
accomplishing a military mission, against an imminent and unlawful use
of force in a manner proportionate to the degree of danger to the person or
the other person or property protected. The fact that the person was
involved in a defensive operation conducted by forces shall not in itself
constitute a ground for excluding criminal responsibility under this
subparagraph;
(d) The conduct which is alleged to constitute a crime within the jurisdiction
of the Court has been caused by duress resulting from a threat of imminent
death or of continuing or imminent serious bodily harm against that
person or another person, and the person acts necessarily and reasonably
to avoid this threat, provided that the person does not intend to cause a
greater harm than the one sought to be avoided. Such a threat may either
be:
(i) Made by other persons; or
(ii) Constituted by other circumstances beyond that person's control.
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2. The Court shall determine the applicability of the grounds for excluding criminal
responsibility provided for in this Statute to the case before it.
3. At trial, the Court may consider a ground for excluding criminal responsibility
other than those referred to in paragraph 1 where such a ground is derived from
applicable law as set forth in article 21. The procedures relating to the
consideration of such a ground shall be provided for in the Rules of Procedure and
Evidence.
Article 32
Mistake of fact or mistake of law
1. A mistake of fact shall be a ground for excluding criminal responsibility only if it
negates the mental element required by the crime.
2. A mistake of law as to whether a particular type of conduct is a crime within the
jurisdiction of the Court shall not be a ground for excluding criminal responsibility.
A mistake of law may, however, be a ground for excluding criminal responsibility if
it negates the mental element required by such a crime, or as provided for in
article 33.
Article 33
Superior orders and prescription of law
1. The fact that a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court has been committed by a
person pursuant to an order of a Government or of a superior, whether military or
civilian, shall not relieve that person of criminal responsibility unless:
(a) The person was under a legal obligation to obey orders of the Government
or the superior in question;
(b) The person did not know that the order was unlawful; and
(c) The order was not manifestly unlawful.
2. For the purposes of this article, orders to commit genocide or crimes against
humanity are manifestly unlawful.
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Part IV Composition and administration of the Court
Article 34
Organs of the Court
The Court shall be composed of the following organs:
(a) The Presidency;
(b) An Appeals Division, a Trial Division and a Pre-Trial Division;
(c) The Office of the Prosecutor;
(d) The Registry.
Article 35
Service of judges
1. All judges shall be elected as full-time members of the Court and shall be available
to serve on that basis from the commencement of their terms of office.
2. The judges composing the Presidency shall serve on a full-time basis as soon as
they are elected.
3. The Presidency may, on the basis of the workload of the Court and in consultation
with its members, decide from time to time to what extent the remaining judges
shall be required to serve on a full-time basis. Any such arrangement shall be
without prejudice to the provisions of article 40.
4. The financial arrangements for judges not required to serve on a full-time basis
shall be made in accordance with article 49.
Article 36
Qualifications, nomination and election of judges
1. Subject to the provisions of paragraph 2, there shall be 18 judges of the Court.
2. (a) The Presidency, acting on behalf of the Court, may propose an increase in
the number of judges specified in paragraph 1, indicating the reasons why
this is considered necessary and appropriate. The Registrar shall promptly
circulate any such proposal to all States Parties.
(b) Any such proposal shall then be considered at a meeting of the Assembly
of States Parties to be convened in accordance with article 112. The
proposal shall be considered adopted if approved at the meeting by a vote
of two thirds of the members of the Assembly of States Parties and shall
enter into force at such time as decided by the Assembly of States Parties.
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(c) (i) Once a proposal for an increase in the number of judges has been
adopted under subparagraph (b), the election of the additional
judges shall take place at the next session of the Assembly of States
Parties in accordance with paragraphs 3 to 8, and article 37,
paragraph 2;
(ii) Once a proposal for an increase in the number of judges has
been adopted and brought into effect under subparagraphs (b)
and (c) (i), it shall be open to the Presidency at any time
thereafter, if the workload of the Court justifies it, to propose a
reduction in the number of judges, provided that the number of
judges shall not be reduced below that specified in paragraph 1.
The proposal shall be dealt with in accordance with the
procedure laid down in subparagraphs (a) and (b). In the event
that the proposal is adopted, the number of judges shall be
progressively decreased as the terms of office of serving judges
expire, until the necessary number has been reached.
3. (a) The judges shall be chosen from among persons of high moral character,
impartiality and integrity who possess the qualifications required in
their respective States for appointment to the highest judicial offices.
(b) Every candidate for election to the Court shall:
(i) Have established competence in criminal law and procedure, and
the necessary relevant experience, whether as judge, prosecutor,
advocate or in other similar capacity, in criminal proceedings; or
(ii) Have established competence in relevant areas of international law
such as international humanitarian law and the law of human rights,
and extensive experience in a professional legal capacity which is of
relevance to the judicial work of the Court;
(c) Every candidate for election to the Court shall have an excellent
knowledge of and be fluent in at least one of the working languages of the
Court.
4. (a) Nominations of candidates for election to the Court may be made by any
State Party to this Statute, and shall be made either:
(i) By the procedure for the nomination of candidates for appointment
to the highest judicial offices in the State in question; or
(ii) By the procedure provided for the nomination of candidates for the
International Court of Justice in the Statute of that Court.
Nominations shall be accompanied by a statement in the necessary detail
specifying how the candidate fulfils the requirements of paragraph 3.
(b) Each State Party may put forward one candidate for any given election
who need not necessarily be a national of that State Party but shall in any
case be a national of a State Party.
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(c) The Assembly of States Parties may decide to establish, if appropriate, an
Advisory Committee on nominations. In that event, the Committee's
composition and mandate shall be established by the Assembly of States
Parties.
5. For the purposes of the election, there shall be two lists of candidates:
List A containing the names of candidates with the qualifications specified in
paragraph 3 (b) (i); and
List B containing the names of candidates with the qualifications specified in
paragraph 3 (b) (ii).
A candidate with sufficient qualifications for both lists may choose on which list to
appear. At the first election to the Court, at least nine judges shall be elected from
list A and at least five judges from list B. Subsequent elections shall be so
organized as to maintain the equivalent proportion on the Court of judges
qualified on the two lists.
6. (a) The judges shall be elected by secret ballot at a meeting of the Assembly of
States Parties convened for that purpose under article 112. Subject to
paragraph 7, the persons elected to the Court shall be the 18 candidates
who obtain the highest number of votes and a two-thirds majority of the
States Parties present and voting.
(b) In the event that a sufficient number of judges is not elected on the first
ballot, successive ballots shall be held in accordance with the procedures
laid down in subparagraph (a) until the remaining places have been filled.
7. No two judges may be nationals of the same State. A person who, for the purposes
of membership of the Court, could be regarded as a national of more than one
State shall be deemed to be a national of the State in which that person ordinarily
exercises civil and political rights.
8. (a) The States Parties shall, in the selection of judges, take into account
the need, within the membership of the Court, for:
(i) The representation of the principal legal systems of the world;
(ii) Equitable geographical representation; and
(iii) A fair representation of female and male judges.
(b) States Parties shall also take into account the need to include judges with
legal expertise on specific issues, including, but not limited to, violence
against women or children.
9. (a) Subject to subparagraph (b), judges shall hold office for a term of nine
years and, subject to subparagraph (c) and to article 37, paragraph 2,
shall not be eligible for re-election.
(b) At the first election, one third of the judges elected shall be selected by lot
to serve for a term of three years; one third of the judges elected shall be
selected by lot to serve for a term of six years; and the remainder shall
serve for a term of nine years.
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(c) A judge who is selected to serve for a term of three years under
subparagraph (b) shall be eligible for re-election for a full term.
10. Notwithstanding paragraph 9, a judge assigned to a Trial or Appeals Chamber in
accordance with article 39 shall continue in office to complete any trial or appeal
the hearing of which has already commenced before that Chamber.
Article 37
Judicial vacancies
1. In the event of a vacancy, an election shall be held in accordance with article 36 to
fill the vacancy.
2. A judge elected to fill a vacancy shall serve for the remainder of the predecessor's
term and, if that period is three years or less, shall be eligible for re-election for a
full term under article 36.
Article 38
The Presidency
1. The President and the First and Second Vice-Presidents shall be elected by an
absolute majority of the judges. They shall each serve for a term of three years or
until the end of their respective terms of office as judges, whichever expires earlier.
They shall be eligible for re-election once.
2. The First Vice-President shall act in place of the President in the event that
the President is unavailable or disqualified. The Second Vice-President shall
act in place of the President in the event that both the President and the First
Vice-President are unavailable or disqualified.
3. The President, together with the First and Second Vice-Presidents, shall constitute
the Presidency, which shall be responsible for:
(a) The proper administration of the Court, with the exception of the Office of
the Prosecutor; and
(b) The other functions conferred upon it in accordance with this Statute.
4. In discharging its responsibility under paragraph 3 (a), the Presidency shall
coordinate with and seek the concurrence of the Prosecutor on all matters of
mutual concern.
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Article 39
Chambers
1. As soon as possible after the election of the judges, the Court shall organize itself
into the divisions specified in article 34, paragraph (b). The Appeals Division shall
be composed of the President and four other judges, the Trial Division of not less
than six judges and the Pre-Trial Division of not less than six judges. The
assignment of judges to divisions shall be based on the nature of the functions to
be performed by each division and the qualifications and experience of the judges
elected to the Court, in such a way that each division shall contain an appropriate
combination of expertise in criminal law and procedure and in international law.
The Trial and Pre-Trial Divisions shall be composed predominantly of judges with
criminal trial experience.
2. (a) The judicial functions of the Court shall be carried out in each
division by Chambers.
(b) (i) The Appeals Chamber shall be composed of all the judges of the
Appeals Division;
(ii) The functions of the Trial Chamber shall be carried out by three
judges of the Trial Division;
(iii) The functions of the Pre-Trial Chamber shall be carried out either by
three judges of the Pre-Trial Division or by a single judge of that
division in accordance with this Statute and the Rules of Procedure
and Evidence;
(c) Nothing in this paragraph shall preclude the simultaneous constitution of
more than one Trial Chamber or Pre-Trial Chamber when the efficient
management of the Court's workload so requires.
3. (a) Judges assigned to the Trial and Pre-Trial Divisions shall serve in those
divisions for a period of three years, and thereafter until the completion of
any case the hearing of which has already commenced in the division
concerned.
(b) Judges assigned to the Appeals Division shall serve in that division
for their entire term of office.
4. Judges assigned to the Appeals Division shall serve only in that division. Nothing
in this article shall, however, preclude the temporary attachment of judges from
the Trial Division to the Pre-Trial Division or vice versa, if the Presidency considers
that the efficient management of the Court's workload so requires, provided that
under no circumstances shall a judge who has participated in the pre-trial phase of
a case be eligible to sit on the Trial Chamber hearing that case.
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Article 40
Independence of the judges
1. The judges shall be independent in the performance of their functions.
2. Judges shall not engage in any activity which is likely to interfere with their
judicial functions or to affect confidence in their independence.
3. Judges required to serve on a full-time basis at the seat of the Court shall not
engage in any other occupation of a professional nature.
4. Any question regarding the application of paragraphs 2 and 3 shall be decided by
an absolute majority of the judges. Where any such question concerns an
individual judge, that judge shall not take part in the decision.
Article 41
Excusing and disqualification of judges
1. The Presidency may, at the request of a judge, excuse that judge from the exercise
of a function under this Statute, in accordance with the Rules of Procedure and
Evidence.
2. (a) A judge shall not participate in any case in which his or her impartiality
might reasonably be doubted on any ground. A judge shall be disqualified
from a case in accordance with this paragraph if, inter alia, that judge has
previously been involved in any capacity in that case before the Court or in
a related criminal case at the national level involving the person being
investigated or prosecuted. A judge shall also be disqualified on such other
grounds as may be provided for in the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
(b) The Prosecutor or the person being investigated or prosecuted may
request the disqualification of a judge under this paragraph.
(c) Any question as to the disqualification of a judge shall be decided by an
absolute majority of the judges. The challenged judge shall be entitled to
present his or her comments on the matter, but shall not take part in the
decision.
Article 42
The Office of the Prosecutor
1. The Office of the Prosecutor shall act independently as a separate organ of the
Court. It shall be responsible for receiving referrals and any substantiated
information on crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court, for examining them and
for conducting investigations and prosecutions before the Court. A member of the
Office shall not seek or act on instructions from any external source.
2. The Office shall be headed by the Prosecutor. The Prosecutor shall have full
authority over the management and administration of the Office, including the
staff, facilities and other resources thereof. The Prosecutor shall be assisted by one
or more Deputy Prosecutors, who shall be entitled to carry out any of the acts
required of the Prosecutor under this Statute. The Prosecutor and the Deputy
Prosecutors shall be of different nationalities. They shall serve on a full-time basis.
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3. The Prosecutor and the Deputy Prosecutors shall be persons of high moral
character, be highly competent in and have extensive practical experience in the
prosecution or trial of criminal cases. They shall have an excellent knowledge of
and be fluent in at least one of the working languages of the Court.
4. The Prosecutor shall be elected by secret ballot by an absolute majority of the
members of the Assembly of States Parties. The Deputy Prosecutors shall be
elected in the same way from a list of candidates provided by the Prosecutor. The
Prosecutor shall nominate three candidates for each position of Deputy Prosecutor
to be filled. Unless a shorter term is decided upon at the time of their election, the
Prosecutor and the Deputy Prosecutors shall hold office for a term of nine years
and shall not be eligible for re-election.
5. Neither the Prosecutor nor a Deputy Prosecutor shall engage in any activity which
is likely to interfere with his or her prosecutorial functions or to affect confidence
in his or her independence. They shall not engage in any other occupation of a
professional nature.
6. The Presidency may excuse the Prosecutor or a Deputy Prosecutor, at his or her
request, from acting in a particular case.
7. Neither the Prosecutor nor a Deputy Prosecutor shall participate in any matter in
which their impartiality might reasonably be doubted on any ground. They shall
be disqualified from a case in accordance with this paragraph if, inter alia, they
have previously been involved in any capacity in that case before the Court or in a
related criminal case at the national level involving the person being investigated
or prosecuted.
8. Any question as to the disqualification of the Prosecutor or a Deputy Prosecutor
shall be decided by the Appeals Chamber.
(a) The person being investigated or prosecuted may at any time request the
disqualification of the Prosecutor or a Deputy Prosecutor on the grounds
set out in this article;
(b) The Prosecutor or the Deputy Prosecutor, as appropriate, shall be entitled
to present his or her comments on the matter.
9. The Prosecutor shall appoint advisers with legal expertise on specific issues,
including, but not limited to, sexual and gender violence and violence against
children.
Article 43
The Registry
1. The Registry shall be responsible for the non-judicial aspects of the administration
and servicing of the Court, without prejudice to the functions and powers of the
Prosecutor in accordance with article 42.
2. The Registry shall be headed by the Registrar, who shall be the principal
administrative officer of the Court. The Registrar shall exercise his or her functions
under the authority of the President of the Court.
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3. The Registrar and the Deputy Registrar shall be persons of high moral character,
be highly competent and have an excellent knowledge of and be fluent in at least
one of the working languages of the Court.
4. The judges shall elect the Registrar by an absolute majority by secret ballot, taking
into account any recommendation by the Assembly of States Parties. If the need
arises and upon the recommendation of the Registrar, the judges shall elect, in the
same manner, a Deputy Registrar.
5. The Registrar shall hold office for a term of five years, shall be eligible for reelection
once and shall serve on a full-time basis. The Deputy Registrar shall hold
office for a term of five years or such shorter term as may be decided upon by an
absolute majority of the judges, and may be elected on the basis that the Deputy
Registrar shall be called upon to serve as required.
6. The Registrar shall set up a Victims and Witnesses Unit within the Registry. This
Unit shall provide, in consultation with the Office of the Prosecutor, protective
measures and security arrangements, counselling and other appropriate assistance
for witnesses, victims who appear before the Court, and others who are at risk on
account of testimony given by such witnesses. The Unit shall include staff with
expertise in trauma, including trauma related to crimes of sexual violence.
Article 44
Staff
1. The Prosecutor and the Registrar shall appoint such qualified staff as may be
required to their respective offices. In the case of the Prosecutor, this shall include
the appointment of investigators.
2. In the employment of staff, the Prosecutor and the Registrar shall ensure the
highest standards of efficiency, competency and integrity, and shall have regard,
mutatis mutandis, to the criteria set forth in article 36, paragraph 8.
3. The Registrar, with the agreement of the Presidency and the Prosecutor, shall
propose Staff Regulations which include the terms and conditions upon which the
staff of the Court shall be appointed, remunerated and dismissed. The Staff
Regulations shall be approved by the Assembly of States Parties.
4. The Court may, in exceptional circumstances, employ the expertise of gratis
personnel offered by States Parties, intergovernmental organizations or nongovernmental
organizations to assist with the work of any of the organs
of the Court. The Prosecutor may accept any such offer on behalf of the Office of
the Prosecutor. Such gratis personnel shall be employed in accordance with
guidelines to be established by the Assembly of States Parties.
Article 45
Solemn undertaking
Before taking up their respective duties under this Statute, the judges, the
Prosecutor, the Deputy Prosecutors, the Registrar and the Deputy Registrar shall
each make a solemn undertaking in open court to exercise his or her respective
functions impartially and conscientiously.
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Article 46
Removal from office
1. A judge, the Prosecutor, a Deputy Prosecutor, the Registrar or the Deputy Registrar
shall be removed from office if a decision to this effect is made in accordance with
paragraph 2, in cases where that person:
(a) Is found to have committed serious misconduct or a serious breach of his
or her duties under this Statute, as provided for in the Rules of Procedure
and Evidence; or
(b) Is unable to exercise the functions required by this Statute.
2. A decision as to the removal from office of a judge, the Prosecutor or a Deputy
Prosecutor under paragraph 1 shall be made by the Assembly of States Parties, by
secret ballot:
(a) In the case of a judge, by a two-thirds majority of the States Parties upon a
recommendation adopted by a two-thirds majority of the other judges;
(b) In the case of the Prosecutor, by an absolute majority of the States Parties;
(c) In the case of a Deputy Prosecutor, by an absolute majority of the States
Parties upon the recommendation of the Prosecutor.
3. A decision as to the removal from office of the Registrar or Deputy Registrar shall
be made by an absolute majority of the judges.
4. A judge, Prosecutor, Deputy Prosecutor, Registrar or Deputy Registrar whose
conduct or ability to exercise the functions of the office as required by this Statute
is challenged under this article shall have full opportunity to present and receive
evidence and to make submissions in accordance with the Rules of Procedure and
Evidence. The person in question shall not otherwise participate in the
consideration of the matter.
Article 47
Disciplinary measures
A judge, Prosecutor, Deputy Prosecutor, Registrar or Deputy Registrar who has committed
misconduct of a less serious nature than that set out in article 46, paragraph 1, shall be subject
to disciplinary measures, in accordance with the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
Article 48
Privileges and immunities
1. The Court shall enjoy in the territory of each State Party such privileges and
immunities as are necessary for the fulfilment of its purposes.
2. The judges, the Prosecutor, the Deputy Prosecutors and the Registrar shall, when
engaged on or with respect to the business of the Court, enjoy the same privileges
and immunities as are accorded to heads of diplomatic missions and shall, after
the expiry of their terms of office, continue to be accorded immunity from legal
process of every kind in respect of words spoken or written and acts performed by
them in their official capacity.
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3. The Deputy Registrar, the staff of the Office of the Prosecutor and the staff
of the Registry shall enjoy the privileges and immunities and facilities necessary
for the performance of their functions, in accordance with the agreement on the
privileges and immunities of the Court.
4. Counsel, experts, witnesses or any other person required to be present at the seat
of the Court shall be accorded such treatment as is necessary for the proper
functioning of the Court, in accordance with the agreement on the privileges and
immunities of the Court.
5. The privileges and immunities of:
(a) A judge or the Prosecutor may be waived by an absolute majority of the
judges;
(b) The Registrar may be waived by the Presidency;
(c) The Deputy Prosecutors and staff of the Office of the Prosecutor may be
waived by the Prosecutor;
(d) The Deputy Registrar and staff of the Registry may be waived by the
Registrar.
Article 49
Salaries, allowances and expenses
The judges, the Prosecutor, the Deputy Prosecutors, the Registrar and the Deputy Registrar
shall receive such salaries, allowances and expenses as may be decided upon by the Assembly
of States Parties. These salaries and allowances shall not be reduced during their terms of
office.
Article 50
Official and working languages
1. The official languages of the Court shall be Arabic, Chinese, English, French,
Russian and Spanish. The judgements of the Court, as well as other decisions
resolving fundamental issues before the Court, shall be published in the official
languages. The Presidency shall, in accordance with the criteria established by the
Rules of Procedure and Evidence, determine which decisions may be considered as
resolving fundamental issues for the purposes of this paragraph.
2. The working languages of the Court shall be English and French. The Rules of
Procedure and Evidence shall determine the cases in which other official
languages may be used as working languages.
3. At the request of any party to a proceeding or a State allowed to intervene in a
proceeding, the Court shall authorize a language other than English or French to
be used by such a party or State, provided that the Court considers such
authorization to be adequately justified.
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Article 51
Rules of Procedure and Evidence
1. The Rules of Procedure and Evidence shall enter into force upon adoption by a
two-thirds majority of the members of the Assembly of States Parties.
2. Amendments to the Rules of Procedure and Evidence may be proposed by:
(a) Any State Party;
(b) The judges acting by an absolute majority; or
(c) The Prosecutor.
Such amendments shall enter into force upon adoption by a two-thirds majority of
the members of the Assembly of States Parties.
3. After the adoption of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, in urgent cases where
the Rules do not provide for a specific situation before the Court, the judges may,
by a two-thirds majority, draw up provisional Rules to be applied until adopted,
amended or rejected at the next ordinary or special session of the Assembly of
States Parties.
4. The Rules of Procedure and Evidence, amendments thereto and any provisional
Rule shall be consistent with this Statute. Amendments to the Rules of Procedure
and Evidence as well as provisional Rules shall not be applied retroactively to the
detriment of the person who is being investigated or prosecuted or who has been
convicted.
5. In the event of conflict between the Statute and the Rules of Procedure and
Evidence, the Statute shall prevail.
Article 52
Regulations of the Court
1. The judges shall, in accordance with this Statute and the Rules of Procedure and
Evidence, adopt, by an absolute majority, the Regulations of the Court necessary
for its routine functioning.
2. The Prosecutor and the Registrar shall be consulted in the elaboration of the
Regulations and any amendments thereto.
3. The Regulations and any amendments thereto shall take effect upon adoption
unless otherwise decided by the judges. Immediately upon adoption, they shall be
circulated to States Parties for comments. If within six months there are no
objections from a majority of States Parties, they shall remain in force.
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Part V Investigation and prosecution
Article 53
Initiation of an investigation
1. The Prosecutor shall, having evaluated the information made available to him or
her, initiate an investigation unless he or she determines that there is no
reasonable basis to proceed under this Statute. In deciding whether to initiate an
investigation, the Prosecutor shall consider whether:
(a) The information available to the Prosecutor provides a reasonable basis to
believe that a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court has been or is
being committed;
(b) The case is or would be admissible under article 17; and
(c) Taking into account the gravity of the crime and the interests of victims,
there are nonetheless substantial reasons to believe that an investigation
would not serve the interests of justice.
If the Prosecutor determines that there is no reasonable basis to proceed and his or
her determination is based solely on subparagraph (c) above, he or she shall
inform the Pre-Trial Chamber.
2. If, upon investigation, the Prosecutor concludes that there is not a sufficient basis
for a prosecution because:
(a) There is not a sufficient legal or factual basis to seek a warrant or
summons under article 58;
(b) The case is inadmissible under article 17; or
(c) A prosecution is not in the interests of justice, taking into account
all the circumstances, including the gravity of the crime, the interests
of victims and the age or infirmity of the alleged perpetrator, and
his or her role in the alleged crime; the Prosecutor shall inform
the Pre-Trial Chamber and the State making a referral under article 14
or the Security Council in a case under article 13, paragraph (b), of his
or her conclusion and the reasons for the conclusion.
3. (a) At the request of the State making a referral under article 14 or the
Security Council under article 13, paragraph (b), the Pre-Trial Chamber
may review a decision of the Prosecutor under paragraph 1 or 2 not to
proceed and may request the Prosecutor to reconsider that decision.
(b) In addition, the Pre-Trial Chamber may, on its own initiative, review
a decision of the Prosecutor not to proceed if it is based solely on
paragraph 1 (c) or 2 (c). In such a case, the decision of the Prosecutor shall
be effective only if confirmed by the Pre-Trial Chamber.
4. The Prosecutor may, at any time, reconsider a decision whether to initiate an
investigation or prosecution based on new facts or information.
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Article 54
Duties and powers of the Prosecutor with respect to investigations
1. The Prosecutor shall:
(a) In order to establish the truth, extend the investigation to cover all
facts and evidence relevant to an assessment of whether there is
criminal responsibility under this Statute, and, in doing so, investigate
incriminating and exonerating circumstances equally;
(b) Take appropriate measures to ensure the effective investigation and
prosecution of crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court, and in doing so,
respect the interests and personal circumstances of victims and witnesses,
including age, gender as defined in article 7, paragraph 3, and health, and
take into account the nature of the crime, in particular where it involves
sexual violence, gender violence or violence against children; and
(c) Fully respect the rights of persons arising under this Statute.
2. The Prosecutor may conduct investigations on the territory of a State:
(a) In accordance with the provisions of Part 9; or
(b) As authorized by the Pre-Trial Chamber under article 57, paragraph 3 (d).
3. The Prosecutor may:
(a) Collect and examine evidence;
(b) Request the presence of and question persons being investigated, victims
and witnesses;
(c) Seek the cooperation of any State or intergovernmental organization or
arrangement in accordance with its respective competence and/or
mandate;
(d) Enter into such arrangements or agreements, not inconsistent with this
Statute, as may be necessary to facilitate the cooperation of a State,
intergovernmental organization or person;
(e) Agree not to disclose, at any stage of the proceedings, documents or
information that the Prosecutor obtains on the condition of confidentiality
and solely for the purpose of generating new evidence, unless the provider
of the information consents; and
(f) Take necessary measures, or request that necessary measures be taken, to
ensure the confidentiality of information, the protection of any person or
the preservation of evidence.
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Article 55
Rights of persons during an investigation
1. In respect of an investigation under this Statute, a person:
(a) Shall not be compelled to incriminate himself or herself or to confess guilt;
(b) Shall not be subjected to any form of coercion, duress or threat, to torture
or to any other form of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or
punishment;
(c) Shall, if questioned in a language other than a language the person fully
understands and speaks, have, free of any cost, the assistance of a
competent interpreter and such translations as are necessary to meet the
requirements of fairness; and
(d) Shall not be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention, and shall not be
deprived of his or her liberty except on such grounds and in accordance
with such procedures as are established in this Statute.
2. Where there are grounds to believe that a person has committed a crime within
the jurisdiction of the Court and that person is about to be questioned either by
the Prosecutor, or by national authorities pursuant to a request made under Part 9,
that person shall also have the following rights of which he or she shall be
informed prior to being questioned:
(a) To be informed, prior to being questioned, that there are grounds to
believe that he or she has committed a crime within the jurisdiction of the
Court;
(b) To remain silent, without such silence being a consideration in the
determination of guilt or innocence;
(c) To have legal assistance of the person's choosing, or, if the person does not
have legal assistance, to have legal assistance assigned to him or her, in
any case where the interests of justice so require, and without payment by
the person in any such case if the person does not have sufficient means to
pay for it; and
(d) To be questioned in the presence of counsel unless the person has
voluntarily waived his or her right to counsel.
Article 56
Role of the Pre-Trial Chamber in relation to a unique investigative
opportunity
1. (a) Where the Prosecutor considers an investigation to present a unique
opportunity to take testimony or a statement from a witness or to examine,
collect or test evidence, which may not be available subsequently for the
purposes of a trial, the Prosecutor shall so inform the Pre-Trial Chamber.
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(b) In that case, the Pre-Trial Chamber may, upon request of the Prosecutor,
take such measures as may be necessary to ensure the efficiency and
integrity of the proceedings and, in particular, to protect the rights of the
defence.
(c) Unless the Pre-Trial Chamber orders otherwise, the Prosecutor shall
provide the relevant information to the person who has been arrested or
appeared in response to a summons in connection with the investigation
referred to in subparagraph (a), in order that he or she may be heard on
the matter.
2. The measures referred to in paragraph 1 (b) may include:
(a) Making recommendations or orders regarding procedures to be followed;
(b) Directing that a record be made of the proceedings;
(c) Appointing an expert to assist;
(d) Authorizing counsel for a person who has been arrested, or appeared
before the Court in response to a summons, to participate, or where there
has not yet been such an arrest or appearance or counsel has not been
designated, appointing another counsel to attend and represent the
interests of the defence;
(e) Naming one of its members or, if necessary, another available judge of the
Pre-Trial or Trial Division to observe and make recommendations or orders
regarding the collection and preservation of evidence and the questioning
of persons;
(f) Taking such other action as may be necessary to collect or preserve
evidence.
3. (a) Where the Prosecutor has not sought measures pursuant to this article but
the Pre-Trial Chamber considers that such measures are required to
preserve evidence that it deems would be essential for the defence at trial,
it shall consult with the Prosecutor as to whether there is good reason for
the Prosecutor's failure to request the measures. If upon consultation, the
Pre-Trial Chamber concludes that the Prosecutor's failure to request such
measures is unjustified, the Pre-Trial Chamber may take such measures on
its own initiative.
(b) A decision of the Pre-Trial Chamber to act on its own initiative under this
paragraph may be appealed by the Prosecutor. The appeal shall be heard
on an expedited basis.
4. The admissibility of evidence preserved or collected for trial pursuant to this
article, or the record thereof, shall be governed at trial by article 69, and given such
weight as determined by the Trial Chamber.
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Article 57
Functions and powers of the Pre-Trial Chamber
1. Unless otherwise provided in this Statute, the Pre-Trial Chamber shall exercise its
functions in accordance with the provisions of this article.
2. (a) Orders or rulings of the Pre-Trial Chamber issued under articles 15, 18, 19,
54, paragraph 2, 61, paragraph 7, and 72 must be concurred in by a
majority of its judges.
(b) In all other cases, a single judge of the Pre-Trial Chamber may exercise the
functions provided for in this Statute, unless otherwise provided for in
the Rules of Procedure and Evidence or by a majority of the Pre-Trial
Chamber.
3. In addition to its other functions under this Statute, the Pre-Trial Chamber may:
(a) At the request of the Prosecutor, issue such orders and warrants as may be
required for the purposes of an investigation;
(b) Upon the request of a person who has been arrested or has appeared
pursuant to a summons under article 58, issue such orders, including
measures such as those described in article 56, or seek such cooperation
pursuant to Part 9 as may be necessary to assist the person in the
preparation of his or her defence;
(c) Where necessary, provide for the protection and privacy of victims and
witnesses, the preservation of evidence, the protection of persons who
have been arrested or appeared in response to a summons, and the
protection of national security information;
(d) Authorize the Prosecutor to take specific investigative steps within the
territory of a State Party without having secured the cooperation of that
State under Part 9 if, whenever possible having regard to the views of the
State concerned, the Pre-Trial Chamber has determined in that case that
the State is clearly unable to execute a request for cooperation due to the
unavailability of any authority or any component of its judicial system
competent to execute the request for cooperation under Part 9;
(e) Where a warrant of arrest or a summons has been issued under article 58,
and having due regard to the strength of the evidence and the rights of the
parties concerned, as provided for in this Statute and the Rules of
Procedure and Evidence, seek the cooperation of States pursuant to article
93, paragraph 1 (k), to take protective measures for the purpose of
forfeiture, in particular for the ultimate benefit of victims.
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Article 58
Issuance by the Pre-Trial Chamber of a warrant of arrest or a
summons to appear
1. At any time after the initiation of an investigation, the Pre-Trial Chamber shall, on
the application of the Prosecutor, issue a warrant of arrest of a person if, having
examined the application and the evidence or other information submitted by the
Prosecutor, it is satisfied that:
(a) There are reasonable grounds to believe that the person has committed a
crime within the jurisdiction of the Court; and
(b) The arrest of the person appears necessary:
(i) To ensure the person's appearance at trial;
(ii) To ensure that the person does not obstruct or endanger the
investigation or the court proceedings; or
(iii) Where applicable, to prevent the person from continuing with the
commission of that crime or a related crime which is within the
jurisdiction of the Court and which arises out of the same
circumstances.
2. The application of the Prosecutor shall contain:
(a) The name of the person and any other relevant identifying information;
(b) A specific reference to the crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court
which the person is alleged to have committed;
(c) A concise statement of the facts which are alleged to constitute those
crimes;
(d) A summary of the evidence and any other information which establish
reasonable grounds to believe that the person committed those crimes;
and
(e) The reason why the Prosecutor believes that the arrest of the person is
necessary.
3. The warrant of arrest shall contain:
(a) The name of the person and any other relevant identifying information;
(b) A specific reference to the crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court for
which the person's arrest is sought; and
(c) A concise statement of the facts which are alleged to constitute those
crimes.
4. The warrant of arrest shall remain in effect until otherwise ordered by the Court.
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5. On the basis of the warrant of arrest, the Court may request the provisional arrest
or the arrest and surrender of the person under Part 9.
6. The Prosecutor may request the Pre-Trial Chamber to amend the warrant of arrest
by modifying or adding to the crimes specified therein. The Pre-Trial Chamber
shall so amend the warrant if it is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to
believe that the person committed the modified or additional crimes.
7. As an alternative to seeking a warrant of arrest, the Prosecutor may submit an
application requesting that the Pre-Trial Chamber issue a summons for the person
to appear. If the Pre-Trial Chamber is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to
believe that the person committed the crime alleged and that a summons is
sufficient to ensure the person's appearance, it shall issue the summons, with or
without conditions restricting liberty (other than detention) if provided for by
national law, for the person to appear. The summons shall contain:
(a) The name of the person and any other relevant identifying information;
(b) The specified date on which the person is to appear;
(c) A specific reference to the crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court
which the person is alleged to have committed; and
(d) A concise statement of the facts which are alleged to constitute the crime.
The summons shall be served on the person.
Article 59
Arrest proceedings in the custodial State
1. A State Party which has received a request for provisional arrest or for arrest and
surrender shall immediately take steps to arrest the person in question in
accordance with its laws and the provisions of Part 9.
2. A person arrested shall be brought promptly before the competent judicial
authority in the custodial State which shall determine, in accordance with the law
of that State, that:
(a) The warrant applies to that person;
(b) The person has been arrested in accordance with the proper process; and
(c) The person's rights have been respected.
3. The person arrested shall have the right to apply to the competent authority in the
custodial State for interim release pending surrender.
4. In reaching a decision on any such application, the competent authority in the
custodial State shall consider whether, given the gravity of the alleged crimes,
there are urgent and exceptional circumstances to justify interim release and
whether necessary safeguards exist to ensure that the custodial State can fulfil its
duty to surrender the person to the Court. It shall not be open to the competent
authority of the custodial State to consider whether the warrant of arrest was
properly issued in accordance with article 58, paragraph 1 (a) and (b).
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5. The Pre-Trial Chamber shall be notified of any request for interim release and shall
make recommendations to the competent authority in the custodial State. The
competent authority in the custodial State shall give full consideration to such
recommendations, including any recommendations on measures to prevent the
escape of the person, before rendering its decision.
6. If the person is granted interim release, the Pre-Trial Chamber may request
periodic reports on the status of the interim release.
7. Once ordered to be surrendered by the custodial State, the person shall be
delivered to the Court as soon as possible.
Article 60
Initial proceedings before the Court
1. Upon the surrender of the person to the Court, or the person's appearance before
the Court voluntarily or pursuant to a summons, the Pre-Trial Chamber shall
satisfy itself that the person has been informed of the crimes which he or she is
alleged to have committed, and of his or her rights under this Statute, including
the right to apply for interim release pending trial.
2. A person subject to a warrant of arrest may apply for interim release pending trial.
If the Pre-Trial Chamber is satisfied that the conditions set forth in article 58,
paragraph 1, are met, the person shall continue to be detained. If it is not so
satisfied, the Pre-Trial Chamber shall release the person, with or without
conditions.
3. The Pre-Trial Chamber shall periodically review its ruling on the release or
detention of the person, and may do so at any time on the request of the
Prosecutor or the person. Upon such review, it may modify its ruling as to
detention, release or conditions of release, if it is satisfied that changed
circumstances so require.
4. The Pre-Trial Chamber shall ensure that a person is not detained for an
unreasonable period prior to trial due to inexcusable delay by the Prosecutor. If
such delay occurs, the Court shall consider releasing the person, with or without
conditions.
5. If necessary, the Pre-Trial Chamber may issue a warrant of arrest to secure the
presence of a person who has been released.
Article 61
Confirmation of the charges before trial
1. Subject to the provisions of paragraph 2, within a reasonable time after the
person's surrender or voluntary appearance before the Court, the Pre-Trial
Chamber shall hold a hearing to confirm the charges on which the Prosecutor
intends to seek trial. The hearing shall be held in the presence of the
Prosecutor and the person charged, as well as his or her counsel.
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2. The Pre-Trial Chamber may, upon request of the Prosecutor or on its own motion,
hold a hearing in the absence of the person charged to confirm the charges on
which the Prosecutor intends to seek trial when the person has:
(a) Waived his or her right to be present; or
(b) Fled or cannot be found and all reasonable steps have been taken to secure
his or her appearance before the Court and to inform the person of the
charges and that a hearing to confirm those charges will be held.
In that case, the person shall be represented by counsel where the Pre-Trial
Chamber determines that it is in the interests of justice.
3. Within a reasonable time before the hearing, the person shall:
(a) Be provided with a copy of the document containing the charges on which
the Prosecutor intends to bring the person to trial; and
(b) Be informed of the evidence on which the Prosecutor intends to rely at the
hearing.
The Pre-Trial Chamber may issue orders regarding the disclosure of information
for the purposes of the hearing.
4. Before the hearing, the Prosecutor may continue the investigation and may amend
or withdraw any charges. The person shall be given reasonable notice before the
hearing of any amendment to or withdrawal of charges. In case of a withdrawal of
charges, the Prosecutor shall notify the Pre-Trial Chamber of the reasons for the
withdrawal.
5. At the hearing, the Prosecutor shall support each charge with sufficient evidence
to establish substantial grounds to believe that the person committed the crime
charged. The Prosecutor may rely on documentary or summary evidence and need
not call the witnesses expected to testify at the trial.
6. At the hearing, the person may:
(a) Object to the charges;
(b) Challenge the evidence presented by the Prosecutor; and
(c) Present evidence.
7. The Pre-Trial Chamber shall, on the basis of the hearing, determine whether there
is sufficient evidence to establish substantial grounds to believe that the person
committed each of the crimes charged. Based on its determination, the Pre-Trial
Chamber shall:
(a) Confirm those charges in relation to which it has determined that there is
sufficient evidence, and commit the person to a Trial Chamber for trial on
the charges as confirmed;
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(b) Decline to confirm those charges in relation to which it has determined
that there is insufficient evidence;
(c) Adjourn the hearing and request the Prosecutor to consider:
(i) Providing further evidence or conducting further investigation with
respect to a particular charge; or
(ii) Amending a charge because the evidence submitted appears to
establish a different crime within the jurisdiction of the Court.
8. Where the Pre-Trial Chamber declines to confirm a charge, the Prosecutor shall
not be precluded from subsequently requesting its confirmation if the request is
supported by additional evidence.
9. After the charges are confirmed and before the trial has begun, the Prosecutor may,
with the permission of the Pre-Trial Chamber and after notice to the accused,
amend the charges. If the Prosecutor seeks to add additional charges or to
substitute more serious charges, a hearing under this article to confirm those
charges must be held. After commencement of the trial, the Prosecutor may, with
the permission of the Trial Chamber, withdraw the charges.
10. Any warrant previously issued shall cease to have effect with respect to any
charges which have not been confirmed by the Pre-Trial Chamber or which have
been withdrawn by the Prosecutor.
11. Once the charges have been confirmed in accordance with this article, the
Presidency shall constitute a Trial Chamber which, subject to paragraph 9 and to
article 64, paragraph 4, shall be responsible for the conduct of subsequent
proceedings and may exercise any function of the Pre-Trial Chamber that is
relevant and capable of application in those proceedings.
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Part VI The trial
Article 62
Place of trial
Unless otherwise decided, the place of the trial shall be the seat of the Court.
Article 63
Trial in the presence of the accused
1. The accused shall be present during the trial.
2. If the accused, being present before the Court, continues to disrupt the trial, the
Trial Chamber may remove the accused and shall make provision for him or her to
observe the trial and instruct counsel from outside the courtroom, through the use
of communications technology, if required. Such measures shall be taken only in
exceptional circumstances after other reasonable alternatives have proved
inadequate, and only for such duration as is strictly required.
Article 64
Functions and powers of the Trial Chamber
1. The functions and powers of the Trial Chamber set out in this article shall be
exercised in accordance with this Statute and the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
2. The Trial Chamber shall ensure that a trial is fair and expeditious and is conducted
with full respect for the rights of the accused and due regard for the protection of
victims and witnesses.
3. Upon assignment of a case for trial in accordance with this Statute, the Trial
Chamber assigned to deal with the case shall:
(a) Confer with the parties and adopt such procedures as are necessary to
facilitate the fair and expeditious conduct of the proceedings;
(b) Determine the language or languages to be used at trial; and
(c) Subject to any other relevant provisions of this Statute, provide for
disclosure of documents or information not previously disclosed,
sufficiently in advance of the commencement of the trial to enable
adequate preparation for trial.
4. The Trial Chamber may, if necessary for its effective and fair functioning, refer
preliminary issues to the Pre-Trial Chamber or, if necessary, to another available
judge of the Pre-Trial Division.
5. Upon notice to the parties, the Trial Chamber may, as appropriate, direct that there
be joinder or severance in respect of charges against more than one accused.
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6. In performing its functions prior to trial or during the course of a trial, the Trial
Chamber may, as necessary:
(a) Exercise any functions of the Pre-Trial Chamber referred to in article 61,
paragraph 11;
(b) Require the attendance and testimony of witnesses and production of
documents and other evidence by obtaining, if necessary, the assistance of
States as provided in this Statute;
(c) Provide for the protection of confidential information;
(d) Order the production of evidence in addition to that already collected prior
to the trial or presented during the trial by the parties;
(e) Provide for the protection of the accused, witnesses and victims; and
(f) Rule on any other relevant matters.
7. The trial shall be held in public. The Trial Chamber may, however, determine that
special circumstances require that certain proceedings be in closed session for the
purposes set forth in article 68, or to protect confidential or sensitive information
to be given in evidence.
8. (a) At the commencement of the trial, the Trial Chamber shall have read to
the accused the charges previously confirmed by the Pre-Trial Chamber.
The Trial Chamber shall satisfy itself that the accused understands the
nature of the charges. It shall afford him or her the opportunity to make an
admission of guilt in accordance with article 65 or to plead not guilty.
(b) At the trial, the presiding judge may give directions for the conduct of
proceedings, including to ensure that they are conducted in a fair and
impartial manner. Subject to any directions of the presiding judge, the
parties may submit evidence in accordance with the provisions of this
Statute.
9. The Trial Chamber shall have, inter alia, the power on application of a party or on
its own motion to:
(a) Rule on the admissibility or relevance of evidence; and
(b) Take all necessary steps to maintain order in the course of a hearing.
10. The Trial Chamber shall ensure that a complete record of the trial, which
accurately reflects the proceedings, is made and that it is maintained and
preserved by the Registrar.
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Article 65
Proceedings on an admission of guilt
1. Where the accused makes an admission of guilt pursuant to article 64, paragraph
8 (a), the Trial Chamber shall determine whether:
(a) The accused understands the nature and consequences of the admission of
guilt;
(b) The admission is voluntarily made by the accused after sufficient
consultation with defence counsel; and
(c) The admission of guilt is supported by the facts of the case that are
contained in:
(i) The charges brought by the Prosecutor and admitted by the accused;
(ii) Any materials presented by the Prosecutor which supplement the
charges and which the accused accepts; and
(iii) Any other evidence, such as the testimony of witnesses, presented
by the Prosecutor or the accused.
2. Where the Trial Chamber is satisfied that the matters referred to in paragraph 1 are
established, it shall consider the admission of guilt, together with any additional
evidence presented, as establishing all the essential facts that are required to prove
the crime to which the admission of guilt relates, and may convict the accused of
that crime.
3. Where the Trial Chamber is not satisfied that the matters referred to in paragraph
1 are established, it shall consider the admission of guilt as not having been made,
in which case it shall order that the trial be continued under the ordinary trial
procedures provided by this Statute and may remit the case to another Trial
Chamber.
4. Where the Trial Chamber is of the opinion that a more complete presentation of
the facts of the case is required in the interests of justice, in particular the interests
of the victims, the Trial Chamber may:
(a) Request the Prosecutor to present additional evidence, including the
testimony of witnesses; or
(b) Order that the trial be continued under the ordinary trial procedures
provided by this Statute, in which case it shall consider the admission of
guilt as not having been made and may remit the case to another Trial
Chamber.
5. Any discussions between the Prosecutor and the defence regarding modification
of the charges, the admission of guilt or the penalty to be imposed shall not be
binding on the Court.
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Article 66
Presumption of innocence
1. Everyone shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty before the Court in
accordance with the applicable law.
2. The onus is on the Prosecutor to prove the guilt of the accused.
3. In order to convict the accused, the Court must be convinced of the guilt of the
accused beyond reasonable doubt.
Article 67
Rights of the accused
1. In the determination of any charge, the accused shall be entitled to a public
hearing, having regard to the provisions of this Statute, to a fair hearing conducted
impartially, and to the following minimum guarantees, in full equality:
(a) To be informed promptly and in detail of the nature, cause and content of
the charge, in a language which the accused fully understands and speaks;
(b) To have adequate time and facilities for the preparation of the defence and
to communicate freely with counsel of the accused's choosing in
confidence;
(c) To be tried without undue delay;
(d) Subject to article 63, paragraph 2, to be present at the trial, to conduct the
defence in person or through legal assistance of the accused's choosing, to
be informed, if the accused does not have legal assistance, of this right and
to have legal assistance assigned by the Court in any case where the
interests of justice so require, and without payment if the accused lacks
sufficient means to pay for it;
(e) To examine, or have examined, the witnesses against him or her and to
obtain the attendance and examination of witnesses on his or her behalf
under the same conditions as witnesses against him or her. The accused
shall also be entitled to raise defences and to present other evidence
admissible under this Statute;
(f) To have, free of any cost, the assistance of a competent interpreter and such
translations as are necessary to meet the requirements of fairness, if any of
the proceedings of or documents presented to the Court are not in a
language which the accused fully understands and speaks;
(g) Not to be compelled to testify or to confess guilt and to remain silent,
without such silence being a consideration in the determination of guilt or
innocence;
(h) To make an unsworn oral or written statement in his or her defence; and
(i) Not to have imposed on him or her any reversal of the burden of proof or
any onus of rebuttal.
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2. In addition to any other disclosure provided for in this Statute, the Prosecutor
shall, as soon as practicable, disclose to the defence evidence in the Prosecutor's
possession or control which he or she believes shows or tends to show the
innocence of the accused, or to mitigate the guilt of the accused, or which may
affect the credibility of prosecution evidence. In case of doubt as to the application
of this paragraph, the Court shall decide.
Article 68
Protection of the victims and witnesses and their participation in the
proceedings
1. The Court shall take appropriate measures to protect the safety, physical and
psychological well-being, dignity and privacy of victims and witnesses. In so
doing, the Court shall have regard to all relevant factors, including age, gender as
defined in article 7, paragraph 3, and health, and the nature of the crime, in
particular, but not limited to, where the crime involves sexual or gender violence
or violence against children. The Prosecutor shall take such measures particularly
during the investigation and prosecution of such crimes. These measures shall not
be prejudicial to or inconsistent with the rights of the accused and a fair and
impartial trial.
2. As an exception to the principle of public hearings provided for in article 67, the
Chambers of the Court may, to protect victims and witnesses or an accused,
conduct any part of the proceedings in camera or allow the presentation of
evidence by electronic or other special means. In particular, such measures shall be
implemented in the case of a victim of sexual violence or a child who is a victim or
a witness, unless otherwise ordered by the Court, having regard to all the
circumstances, particularly the views of the victim or witness.
3. Where the personal interests of the victims are affected, the Court shall permit
their views and concerns to be presented and considered at stages of the
proceedings determined to be appropriate by the Court and in a manner which is
not prejudicial to or inconsistent with the rights of the accused and a fair and
impartial trial. Such views and concerns may be presented by the legal
representatives of the victims where the Court considers it appropriate, in
accordance with the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
4. The Victims and Witnesses Unit may advise the Prosecutor and the Court on
appropriate protective measures, security arrangements, counselling and
assistance as referred to in article 43, paragraph 6.
5. Where the disclosure of evidence or information pursuant to this Statute may lead
to the grave endangerment of the security of a witness or his or her family, the
Prosecutor may, for the purposes of any proceedings conducted prior to the
commencement of the trial, withhold such evidence or information and instead
submit a summary thereof. Such measures shall be exercised in a manner which is
not prejudicial to or inconsistent with the rights of the accused and a fair and
impartial trial.
6. A State may make an application for necessary measures to be taken in respect of
the protection of its servants or agents and the protection of confidential or
sensitive information.
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Article 69
Evidence
1. Before testifying, each witness shall, in accordance with the Rules of Procedure
and Evidence, give an undertaking as to the truthfulness of the evidence to be
given by that witness.
2. The testimony of a witness at trial shall be given in person, except to the extent
provided by the measures set forth in article 68 or in the Rules of Procedure and
Evidence. The Court may also permit the giving of viva voce (oral) or recorded
testimony of a witness by means of video or audio technology, as well as the
introduction of documents or written transcripts, subject to this Statute and in
accordance with the Rules of Procedure and Evidence. These measures shall not be
prejudicial to or inconsistent with the rights of the accused.
3. The parties may submit evidence relevant to the case, in accordance with article
64. The Court shall have the authority to request the submission of all evidence
that it considers necessary for the determination of the truth.
4. The Court may rule on the relevance or admissibility of any evidence, taking into
account, inter alia, the probative value of the evidence and any prejudice that such
evidence may cause to a fair trial or to a fair evaluation of the testimony of a
witness, in accordance with the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
5. The Court shall respect and observe privileges on confidentiality as provided for in
the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
6. The Court shall not require proof of facts of common knowledge but may take
judicial notice of them.
7. Evidence obtained by means of a violation of this Statute or internationally
recognized human rights shall not be admissible if:
(a) The violation casts substantial doubt on the reliability of the evidence; or
(b) The admission of the evidence would be antithetical to and would
seriously damage the integrity of the proceedings.
8. When deciding on the relevance or admissibility of evidence collected by a State,
the Court shall not rule on the application of the State's national law.
Article 70
Offences against the administration of justice
1. The Court shall have jurisdiction over the following offences against its
administration of justice when committed intentionally:
(a) Giving false testimony when under an obligation pursuant to article 69,
paragraph 1, to tell the truth;
(b) Presenting evidence that the party knows is false or forged;
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(c) Corruptly influencing a witness, obstructing or interfering with the
attendance or testimony of a witness, retaliating against a witness for
giving testimony or destroying, tampering with or interfering with the
collection of evidence;
(d) Impeding, intimidating or corruptly influencing an official of the Court for
the purpose of forcing or persuading the official not to perform, or to
perform improperly, his or her duties;
(e) Retaliating against an official of the Court on account of duties performed
by that or another official;
(f) Soliciting or accepting a bribe as an official of the Court in connection with
his or her official duties.
2. The principles and procedures governing the Court's exercise of jurisdiction over
offences under this article shall be those provided for in the Rules of Procedure
and Evidence. The conditions for providing international cooperation to the Court
with respect to its proceedings under this article shall be governed by the domestic
laws of the requested State.
3. In the event of conviction, the Court may impose a term of imprisonment not
exceeding five years, or a fine in accordance with the Rules of Procedure and
Evidence, or both.
4. (a) Each State Party shall extend its criminal laws penalizing offences against
the integrity of its own investigative or judicial process to offences against
the administration of justice referred to in this article, committed on its
territory, or by one of its nationals;
(b) Upon request by the Court, whenever it deems it proper, the State Party
shall submit the case to its competent authorities for the purpose of
prosecution. Those authorities shall treat such cases with diligence and
devote sufficient resources to enable them to be conducted effectively.
Article 71
Sanctions for misconduct before the Court
1. The Court may sanction persons present before it who commit misconduct,
including disruption of its proceedings or deliberate refusal to comply with its
directions, by administrative measures other than imprisonment, such as
temporary or permanent removal from the courtroom, a fine or other similar
measures provided for in the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
2. The procedures governing the imposition of the measures set forth in paragraph 1
shall be those provided for in the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
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Article 72
Protection of national security information
1. This article applies in any case where the disclosure of the information or
documents of a State would, in the opinion of that State, prejudice its national
security interests. Such cases include those falling within the scope of article 56,
paragraphs 2 and 3, article 61, paragraph 3, article 64, paragraph 3, article 67,
paragraph 2, article 68, paragraph 6, article 87, paragraph 6 and article 93, as well
as cases arising at any other stage of the proceedings where such disclosure may
be at issue.
2. This article shall also apply when a person who has been requested to give
information or evidence has refused to do so or has referred the matter to the State
on the ground that disclosure would prejudice the national security interests of a
State and the State concerned confirms that it is of the opinion that disclosure
would prejudice its national security interests.
3. Nothing in this article shall prejudice the requirements of confidentiality
applicable under article 54, paragraph 3 (e) and (f), or the application of article 73.
4. If a State learns that information or documents of the State are being, or are likely
to be, disclosed at any stage of the proceedings, and it is of the opinion that
disclosure would prejudice its national security interests, that State shall have the
right to intervene in order to obtain resolution of the issue in accordance with this
article.
5. If, in the opinion of a State, disclosure of information would prejudice its national
security interests, all reasonable steps will be taken by the State, acting in
conjunction with the Prosecutor, the defence or the Pre-Trial Chamber or Trial
Chamber, as the case may be, to seek to resolve the matter by cooperative means.
Such steps may include:
(a) Modification or clarification of the request;
(b) A determination by the Court regarding the relevance of the information
or evidence sought, or a determination as to whether the evidence, though
relevant, could be or has been obtained from a source other than the
requested State;
(c) Obtaining the information or evidence from a different source or in a
different form; or
(d) Agreement on conditions under which the assistance could be provided
including, among other things, providing summaries or redactions,
limitations on disclosure, use of in camera or ex parte proceedings, or other
protective measures permissible under the Statute and the Rules of
Procedure and Evidence.
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6. Once all reasonable steps have been taken to resolve the matter through
cooperative means, and if the State considers that there are no means or
conditions under which the information or documents could be provided or
disclosed without prejudice to its national security interests, it shall so notify the
Prosecutor or the Court of the specific reasons for its decision, unless a specific
description of the reasons would itself necessarily result in such prejudice to the
State's national security interests.
7. Thereafter, if the Court determines that the evidence is relevant and necessary for
the establishment of the guilt or innocence of the accused, the Court may
undertake the following actions:
(a) Where disclosure of the information or document is sought pursuant to a
request for cooperation under Part 9 or the circumstances described in
paragraph 2, and the State has invoked the ground for refusal referred to
in article 93, paragraph 4:
(i) The Court may, before making any conclusion referred to in
subparagraph 7 (a) (ii), request further consultations for the purpose
of considering the State's representations, which may include, as
appropriate, hearings in camera and ex parte;
(ii) If the Court concludes that, by invoking the ground for refusal
under article 93, paragraph 4, in the circumstances of the case, the
requested State is not acting in accordance with its obligations
under this Statute, the Court may refer the matter in accordance
with article 87, paragraph 7, specifying the reasons for its
conclusion; and
(iii) The Court may make such inference in the trial of the accused as to
the existence or non-existence of a fact, as may be appropriate in the
circumstances; or
(b) In all other circumstances:
(i) Order disclosure; or
(ii) To the extent it does not order disclosure, make such inference in
the trial of the accused as to the existence or non-existence of a fact,
as may be appropriate in the circumstances.
Article 73
Third-party information or documents
If a State Party is requested by the Court to provide a document or information in its custody,
possession or control, which was disclosed to it in confidence by a State, intergovernmental
organization or international organization, it shall seek the consent of the originator to
disclose that document or information. If the originator is a State Party, it shall either consent
to disclosure of the information or document or undertake to resolve the issue of disclosure
with the Court, subject to the provisions of article 72. If the originator is not a State Party and
refuses to consent to disclosure, the requested State shall inform the Court that it is unable to
provide the document or information because of a pre-existing obligation of confidentiality to
the originator.
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Article 74
Requirements for the decision
1. All the judges of the Trial Chamber shall be present at each stage of the trial and
throughout their deliberations. The Presidency may, on a case-by-case basis,
designate, as available, one or more alternate judges to be present at each stage of
the trial and to replace a member of the Trial Chamber if that member is unable to
continue attending.
2. The Trial Chamber's decision shall be based on its evaluation of the evidence and
the entire proceedings. The decision shall not exceed the facts and circumstances
described in the charges and any amendments to the charges. The Court may base
its decision only on evidence submitted and discussed before it at the trial.
3. The judges shall attempt to achieve unanimity in their decision, failing which the
decision shall be taken by a majority of the judges.
4. The deliberations of the Trial Chamber shall remain secret.
5. The decision shall be in writing and shall contain a full and reasoned statement of
the Trial Chamber's findings on the evidence and conclusions. The Trial Chamber
shall issue one decision. When there is no unanimity, the Trial Chamber's decision
shall contain the views of the majority and the minority. The decision or a
summary thereof shall be delivered in open court.
Article 75
Reparations to victims
1. The Court shall establish principles relating to reparations to, or in respect of,
victims, including restitution, compensation and rehabilitation. On this basis, in
its decision the Court may, either upon request or on its own motion in
exceptional circumstances, determine the scope and extent of any damage, loss
and injury to, or in respect of, victims and will state the principles on which it is
acting.
2. The Court may make an order directly against a convicted person specifying
appropriate reparations to, or in respect of, victims, including restitution,
compensation and rehabilitation.
Where appropriate, the Court may order that the award for reparations be made
through the Trust Fund provided for in article 79.
3. Before making an order under this article, the Court may invite and shall take
account of representations from or on behalf of the convicted person, victims,
other interested persons or interested States.
4. In exercising its power under this article, the Court may, after a person is convicted
of a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court, determine whether, in order to give
effect to an order which it may make under this article, it is necessary to seek
measures under article 93, paragraph 1.
5. A State Party shall give effect to a decision under this article as if the provisions of
article 109 were applicable to this article.
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6. Nothing in this article shall be interpreted as prejudicing the rights of victims
under national or international law.
Article 76
Sentencing
1. In the event of a conviction, the Trial Chamber shall consider the appropriate
sentence to be imposed and shall take into account the evidence presented and
submissions made during the trial that are relevant to the sentence.
2. Except where article 65 applies and before the completion of the trial, the Trial
Chamber may on its own motion and shall, at the request of the Prosecutor or the
accused, hold a further hearing to hear any additional evidence or submissions
relevant to the sentence, in accordance with the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
3. Where paragraph 2 applies, any representations under article 75 shall be heard
during the further hearing referred to in paragraph 2 and, if necessary, during any
additional hearing.
4. The sentence shall be pronounced in public and, wherever possible, in the
presence of the accused.
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Part VII Penalties
Article 77
Applicable penalties
1. Subject to article 110, the Court may impose one of the following penalties on a
person convicted of a crime referred to in article 5 of this Statute:
(a) Imprisonment for a specified number of years, which may not exceed a
maximum of 30 years; or
(b) A term of life imprisonment when justified by the extreme gravity of the
crime and the individual circumstances of the convicted person.
2. In addition to imprisonment, the Court may order:
(a) A fine under the criteria provided for in the Rules of Procedure and
Evidence;
(b) A forfeiture of proceeds, property and assets derived directly or indirectly
from that crime, without prejudice to the rights of bona fide third parties.
Article 78
Determination of the sentence
1. In determining the sentence, the Court shall, in accordance with the Rules of
Procedure and Evidence, take into account such factors as the gravity of the crime
and the individual circumstances of the convicted person.
2. In imposing a sentence of imprisonment, the Court shall deduct the time, if any,
previously spent in detention in accordance with an order of the Court. The Court
may deduct any time otherwise spent in detention in connection with conduct
underlying the crime.
3. When a person has been convicted of more than one crime, the Court shall
pronounce a sentence for each crime and a joint sentence specifying the total
period of imprisonment. This period shall be no less than the highest individual
sentence pronounced and shall not exceed 30 years imprisonment or a sentence of
life imprisonment in conformity with article 77, paragraph 1 (b).
Article 79
Trust Fund
1. A Trust Fund shall be established by decision of the Assembly of States Parties for
the benefit of victims of crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court, and of the
families of such victims.
2. The Court may order money and other property collected through fines or
forfeiture to be transferred, by order of the Court, to the Trust Fund.
3. The Trust Fund shall be managed according to criteria to be determined by the
Assembly of States Parties.
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Article 80
Non-prejudice to national application of penalties and national laws
Nothing in this Part affects the application by States of penalties prescribed by their national
law, nor the law of States which do not provide for penalties prescribed in this Part.
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Part VIII Appeal and Revision
Article 81
Appeal against decision of acquittal or conviction or against sentence
1. A decision under article 74 may be appealed in accordance with the Rules of
Procedure and Evidence as follows:
(a) The Prosecutor may make an appeal on any of the following grounds:
(i) Procedural error,
(ii) Error of fact, or
(iii) Error of law;
(b) The convicted person, or the Prosecutor on that person's behalf, may make
an appeal on any of the following grounds:
(i) Procedural error,
(ii) Error of fact,
(iii) Error of law, or
(iv) Any other ground that affects the fairness or reliability of the
proceedings or decision.
2. (a) A sentence may be appealed, in accordance with the Rules of Procedure
and Evidence, by the Prosecutor or the convicted person on the ground of
disproportion between the crime and the sentence;
(b) If on an appeal against sentence the Court considers that there are
grounds on which the conviction might be set aside, wholly or in part, it
may invite the Prosecutor and the convicted person to submit grounds
under article 81, paragraph 1 (a) or (b), and may render a decision on
conviction in accordance with article 83;
(c) The same procedure applies when the Court, on an appeal against
conviction only, considers that there are grounds to reduce the sentence
under paragraph 2 (a).
3. (a) Unless the Trial Chamber orders otherwise, a convicted person shall
remain in custody pending an appeal;
(b) When a convicted person's time in custody exceeds the sentence of
imprisonment imposed, that person shall be released, except that if the
Prosecutor is also appealing, the release may be subject to the conditions
under subparagraph (c) below;
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(c) In case of an acquittal, the accused shall be released immediately, subject
to the following:
(i) Under exceptional circumstances, and having regard, inter alia, to
the concrete risk of flight, the seriousness of the offence charged
and the probability of success on appeal, the Trial Chamber, at the
request of the Prosecutor, may maintain the detention of the person
pending appeal;
(ii) A decision by the Trial Chamber under subparagraph (c) (i) may be
appealed in accordance with the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
4. Subject to the provisions of paragraph 3 (a) and (b), execution of the decision or
sentence shall be suspended during the period allowed for appeal and for the
duration of the appeal proceedings.
Article 82
Appeal against other decisions
1. Either party may appeal any of the following decisions in accordance with
the Rules of Procedure and Evidence:
(a) A decision with respect to jurisdiction or admissibility;
(b) A decision granting or denying release of the person being investigated or
prosecuted;
(c) A decision of the Pre-Trial Chamber to act on its own initiative under
article 56, paragraph 3;
(d) A decision that involves an issue that would significantly affect the fair and
expeditious conduct of the proceedings or the outcome of the trial, and for
which, in the opinion of the Pre-Trial or Trial Chamber, an immediate
resolution by the Appeals Chamber may materially advance the
proceedings.
2. A decision of the Pre-Trial Chamber under article 57, paragraph 3 (d), may be
appealed against by the State concerned or by the Prosecutor, with the leave of the
Pre-Trial Chamber. The appeal shall be heard on an expedited basis.
3. An appeal shall not of itself have suspensive effect unless the Appeals Chamber so
orders, upon request, in accordance with the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
4. A legal representative of the victims, the convicted person or a bona fide owner of
property adversely affected by an order under article 75 may appeal against the
order for reparations, as provided in the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
Article 83
Proceedings on appeal
1. For the purposes of proceedings under article 81 and this article, the Appeals
Chamber shall have all the powers of the Trial Chamber.
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2. If the Appeals Chamber finds that the proceedings appealed from were unfair in a
way that affected the reliability of the decision or sentence, or that the decision or
sentence appealed from was materially affected by error of fact or law or
procedural error, it may:
(a) Reverse or amend the decision or sentence; or
(b) Order a new trial before a different Trial Chamber.
For these purposes, the Appeals Chamber may remand a factual issue to the
original Trial Chamber for it to determine the issue and to report back accordingly,
or may itself call evidence to determine the issue. When the decision or sentence
has been appealed only by the person convicted, or the Prosecutor on that
person's behalf, it cannot be amended to his or her detriment.
3. If in an appeal against sentence the Appeals Chamber finds that the sentence is
disproportionate to the crime, it may vary the sentence in accordance with Part 7.
4. The judgement of the Appeals Chamber shall be taken by a majority of the judges
and shall be delivered in open court. The judgement shall state the reasons on
which it is based. When there is no unanimity, the judgement of the Appeals
Chamber shall contain the views of the majority and the minority, but a judge may
deliver a separate or dissenting opinion on a question of law.
5. The Appeals Chamber may deliver its judgement in the absence of the person
acquitted or convicted.
Article 84
Revision of conviction or sentence
1. The convicted person or, after death, spouses, children, parents or one person
alive at the time of the accused's death who has been given express written
instructions from the accused to bring such a claim, or the Prosecutor on the
person's behalf, may apply to the Appeals Chamber to revise the final judgement
of conviction or sentence on the grounds that:
(a) New evidence has been discovered that:
(i) Was not available at the time of trial, and such unavailability was
not wholly or partially attributable to the party making application;
and
(ii) Is sufficiently important that had it been proved at trial it would
have been likely to have resulted in a different verdict;
(b) It has been newly discovered that decisive evidence, taken into account at
trial and upon which the conviction depends, was false, forged or falsified;
(c) One or more of the judges who participated in conviction or confirmation
of the charges has committed, in that case, an act of serious misconduct or
serious breach of duty of sufficient gravity to justify the removal of that
judge or those judges from office under article 46.
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2. The Appeals Chamber shall reject the application if it considers it to be
unfounded. If it determines that the application is meritorious, it may, as
appropriate:
(a) Reconvene the original Trial Chamber;
(b) Constitute a new Trial Chamber; or
(c) Retain jurisdiction over the matter,
with a view to, after hearing the parties in the manner set forth in the Rules of
Procedure and Evidence, arriving at a determination on whether the judgement
should be revised.
Article 85
Compensation to an arrested or convicted person
1. Anyone who has been the victim of unlawful arrest or detention shall have
an enforceable right to compensation.
2. When a person has by a final decision been convicted of a criminal offence, and
when subsequently his or her conviction has been reversed on the ground that a
new or newly discovered fact shows conclusively that there has been a miscarriage
of justice, the person who has suffered punishment as a result of such conviction
shall be compensated according to law, unless it is proved that the non-disclosure
of the unknown fact in time is wholly or partly attributable to him or her.
3. In exceptional circumstances, where the Court finds conclusive facts showing that
there has been a grave and manifest miscarriage of justice, it may in its discretion
award compensation, according to the criteria provided in the Rules of Procedure
and Evidence, to a person who has been released from detention following a final
decision of acquittal or a termination of the proceedings for that reason.
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Part IX International cooperation and judicial assistance
Article 86
General obligation to cooperate
States Parties shall, in accordance with the provisions of this Statute, cooperate fully with the
Court in its investigation and prosecution of crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court.
Article 87
Requests for cooperation: general provisions
1. (a) The Court shall have the authority to make requests to States Parties for
cooperation. The requests shall be transmitted through the diplomatic
channel or any other appropriate channel as may be designated by each
State Party upon ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.
Subsequent changes to the designation shall be made by each State Party in
accordance with the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
(b) When appropriate, without prejudice to the provisions of subparagraph
(a), requests may also be transmitted through the International Criminal
Police Organization or any appropriate regional organization.
2. Requests for cooperation and any documents supporting the request shall either
be in or be accompanied by a translation into an official language of the requested
State or one of the working languages of the Court, in accordance with the choice
made by that State upon ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.
Subsequent changes to this choice shall be made in accordance with the Rules of
Procedure and Evidence.
3. The requested State shall keep confidential a request for cooperation and any
documents supporting the request, except to the extent that the disclosure is
necessary for execution of the request.
4. In relation to any request for assistance presented under this Part, the Court may
take such measures, including measures related to the protection of information,
as may be necessary to ensure the safety or physical or psychological well-being of
any victims, potential witnesses and their families. The Court may request that any
information that is made available under this Part shall be provided and handled
in a manner that protects the safety and physical or psychological well-being of
any victims, potential witnesses and their families.
5. (a) The Court may invite any State not party to this Statute to provide
assistance under this Part on the basis of an ad hoc arrangement, an
agreement with such State or any other appropriate basis.
(b) Where a State not party to this Statute, which has entered into an ad hoc
arrangement or an agreement with the Court, fails to cooperate with
requests pursuant to any such arrangement or agreement, the Court may
so inform the Assembly of States Parties or, where the Security Council
referred the matter to the Court, the Security Council.
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6. The Court may ask any intergovernmental organization to provide information or
documents. The Court may also ask for other forms of cooperation and assistance
which may be agreed upon with such an organization and which are in accordance
with its competence or mandate.
7. Where a State Party fails to comply with a request to cooperate by the Court
contrary to the provisions of this Statute, thereby preventing the Court from
exercising its functions and powers under this Statute, the Court may make a
finding to that effect and refer the matter to the Assembly of States Parties or,
where the Security Council referred the matter to the Court, to the Security
Council.
Article 88
Availability of procedures under national law
States Parties shall ensure that there are procedures available under their national law for all
of the forms of cooperation which are specified under this Part.
Article 89
Surrender of persons to the Court
1. The Court may transmit a request for the arrest and surrender of a person,
together with the material supporting the request outlined in article 91, to any
State on the territory of which that person may be found and shall request the
cooperation of that State in the arrest and surrender of such a person. States
Parties shall, in accordance with the provisions of this Part and the procedure
under their national law, comply with requests for arrest and surrender.
2. Where the person sought for surrender brings a challenge before a national court
on the basis of the principle of ne bis in idem as provided in article 20, the
requested State shall immediately consult with the Court to determine if there has
been a relevant ruling on admissibility. If the case is admissible, the requested
State shall proceed with the execution of the request. If an admissibility ruling is
pending, the requested State may postpone the execution of the request for
surrender of the person until the Court makes a determination on admissibility.
3. (a) A State Party shall authorize, in accordance with its national procedural
law, transportation through its territory of a person being surrendered to
the Court by another State, except where transit through that State would
impede or delay the surrender.
(b) A request by the Court for transit shall be transmitted in accordance with
article 87. The request for transit shall contain:
(i) A description of the person being transported;
(ii) A brief statement of the facts of the case and their legal
characterization; and
(iii) The warrant for arrest and surrender;
(c) A person being transported shall be detained in custody during the period
of transit;
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(d) No authorization is required if the person is transported by air and no
landing is scheduled on the territory of the transit State;
(e) If an unscheduled landing occurs on the territory of the transit State, that
State may require a request for transit from the Court as provided for in
subparagraph (b). The transit State shall detain the person being
transported until the request for transit is received and the transit is
effected, provided that detention for purposes of this subparagraph may
not be extended beyond 96 hours from the unscheduled landing unless the
request is received within that time.
4. If the person sought is being proceeded against or is serving a sentence in
the requested State for a crime different from that for which surrender to the Court
is sought, the requested State, after making its decision to grant the request, shall
consult with the Court.
Article 90
Competing requests
1. A State Party which receives a request from the Court for the surrender of a person
under article 89 shall, if it also receives a request from any other State for the
extradition of the same person for the same conduct which forms the basis of the
crime for which the Court seeks the person's surrender, notify the Court and the
requesting State of that fact.
2. Where the requesting State is a State Party, the requested State shall give priority
to the request from the Court if:
(a) The Court has, pursuant to article 18 or 19, made a determination that the
case in respect of which surrender is sought is admissible and that
determination takes into account the investigation or prosecution
conducted by the requesting State in respect of its request for extradition;
or
(b) The Court makes the determination described in subparagraph (a)
pursuant to the requested State's notification under paragraph 1.
3. Where a determination under paragraph 2 (a) has not been made, the requested
State may, at its discretion, pending the determination of the Court under
paragraph 2 (b), proceed to deal with the request for extradition from the
requesting State but shall not extradite the person until the Court has determined
that the case is inadmissible. The Court's determination shall be made on an
expedited basis.
4. If the requesting State is a State not Party to this Statute the requested State, if it is
not under an international obligation to extradite the person to the requesting
State, shall give priority to the request for surrender from the Court, if the Court
has determined that the case is admissible.
5. Where a case under paragraph 4 has not been determined to be admissible by the
Court, the requested State may, at its discretion, proceed to deal with the request
for extradition from the requesting State.
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6. In cases where paragraph 4 applies except that the requested State is under an
existing international obligation to extradite the person to the requesting State not
Party to this Statute, the requested State shall determine whether to surrender the
person to the Court or extradite the person to the requesting State. In making its
decision, the requested State shall consider all the relevant factors, including but
not limited to:
(a) The respective dates of the requests;
(b) The interests of the requesting State including, where relevant, whether
the crime was committed in its territory and the nationality of the victims
and of the person sought; and
(c) The possibility of subsequent surrender between the Court and the
requesting State.
7. Where a State Party which receives a request from the Court for the surrender of a
person also receives a request from any State for the extradition of the same
person for conduct other than that which constitutes the crime for which the
Court seeks the person's surrender:
(a) The requested State shall, if it is not under an existing international
obligation to extradite the person to the requesting State, give priority to
the request from the Court;
(b) The requested State shall, if it is under an existing international obligation
to extradite the person to the requesting State, determine whether to
surrender the person to the Court or to extradite the person to the
requesting State. In making its decision, the requested State shall consider
all the relevant factors, including but not limited to those set out in
paragraph 6, but shall give special consideration to the relative nature and
gravity of the conduct in question.
. Where pursuant to a notification under this article, the Court has determined a
case to be inadmissible, and subsequently extradition to the requesting State is
refused, the requested State shall notify the Court of this decision.
Article 91
Contents of request for arrest and surrender
1. A request for arrest and surrender shall be made in writing. In urgent cases, a
request may be made by any medium capable of delivering a written record,
provided that the request shall be confirmed through the channel provided for in
article 87, paragraph 1 (a).
2. In the case of a request for the arrest and surrender of a person for whom a
warrant of arrest has been issued by the Pre-Trial Chamber under article 58, the
request shall contain or be supported by:
(a) Information describing the person sought, sufficient to identify the person,
and information as to that person's probable location;
(b) A copy of the warrant of arrest; and
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(c) Such documents, statements or information as may be necessary to meet
the requirements for the surrender process in the requested State, except
that those requirements should not be more burdensome than those
applicable to requests for extradition pursuant to treaties or arrangements
between the requested State and other States and should, if possible, be
less burdensome, taking into account the distinct nature of the Court.
3. In the case of a request for the arrest and surrender of a person already convicted,
the request shall contain or be supported by:
(a) A copy of any warrant of arrest for that person;
(b) A copy of the judgement of conviction;
(c) Information to demonstrate that the person sought is the one referred to
in the judgement of conviction; and
(d) If the person sought has been sentenced, a copy of the sentence imposed
and, in the case of a sentence for imprisonment, a statement of any time
already served and the time remaining to be served.
4. Upon the request of the Court, a State Party shall consult with the Court, either
generally or with respect to a specific matter, regarding any requirements under its
national law that may apply under paragraph 2 (c). During the consultations, the
State Party shall advise the Court of the specific requirements of its national law.
Article 92
Provisional arrest
1. In urgent cases, the Court may request the provisional arrest of the person sought,
pending presentation of the request for surrender and the documents supporting
the request as specified in article 91.
2. The request for provisional arrest shall be made by any medium capable of
delivering a written record and shall contain:
(a) Information describing the person sought, sufficient to identify the person,
and information as to that person's probable location;
(b) A concise statement of the crimes for which the person's arrest is sought
and of the facts which are alleged to constitute those crimes, including,
where possible, the date and location of the crime;
(c) A statement of the existence of a warrant of arrest or a judgement of
conviction against the person sought; and
(d) A statement that a request for surrender of the person sought will follow.
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3. A person who is provisionally arrested may be released from custody if the
requested State has not received the request for surrender and the documents
supporting the request as specified in article 91 within the time limits specified in
the Rules of Procedure and Evidence. However, the person may consent to
surrender before the expiration of this period if permitted by the law of the
requested State. In such a case, the requested State shall proceed to surrender the
person to the Court as soon as possible.
4. The fact that the person sought has been released from custody pursuant to
paragraph 3 shall not prejudice the subsequent arrest and surrender of that person
if the request for surrender and the documents supporting the request are
delivered at a later date.
Article 93
Other forms of cooperation
1. States Parties shall, in accordance with the provisions of this Part and under
procedures of national law, comply with requests by the Court to provide the
following assistance in relation to investigations or prosecutions:
(a) The identification and whereabouts of persons or the location of items;
(b) The taking of evidence, including testimony under oath, and the
production of evidence, including expert opinions and reports necessary to
the Court;
(c) The questioning of any person being investigated or prosecuted;
(d) The service of documents, including judicial documents;
(e) Facilitating the voluntary appearance of persons as witnesses or experts
before the Court;
(f) The temporary transfer of persons as provided in paragraph 7;
(g) The examination of places or sites, including the exhumation and
examination of grave sites;
(h) The execution of searches and seizures;
(i) The provision of records and documents, including official records and
documents;
(j) The protection of victims and witnesses and the preservation of evidence;
(k) The identification, tracing and freezing or seizure of proceeds, property
and assets and instrumentalities of crimes for the purpose of eventual
forfeiture, without prejudice to the rights of bona fide third parties; and
(l) Any other type of assistance which is not prohibited by the law of
the requested State, with a view to facilitating the investigation and
prosecution of crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court.
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2. The Court shall have the authority to provide an assurance to a witness or an
expert appearing before the Court that he or she will not be prosecuted, detained
or subjected to any restriction of personal freedom by the Court in respect of any
act or omission that preceded the departure of that person from the requested
State.
3. Where execution of a particular measure of assistance detailed in a request
presented under paragraph 1, is prohibited in the requested State on the basis of
an existing fundamental legal principle of general application, the requested State
shall promptly consult with the Court to try to resolve the matter. In the
consultations, consideration should be given to whether the assistance can be
rendered in another manner or subject to conditions. If after consultations the
matter cannot be resolved, the Court shall modify the request as necessary.
4. In accordance with article 72, a State Party may deny a request for assistance, in
whole or in part, only if the request concerns the production of any documents or
disclosure of evidence which relates to its national security.
5. Before denying a request for assistance under paragraph 1 (l), the requested State
shall consider whether the assistance can be provided subject to specified
conditions, or whether the assistance can be provided at a later date or in an
alternative manner, provided that if the Court or the Prosecutor accepts the
assistance subject to conditions, the Court or the Prosecutor shall abide by them.
6. If a request for assistance is denied, the requested State Party shall promptly
inform the Court or the Prosecutor of the reasons for such denial.
7. (a) The Court may request the temporary transfer of a person in custody for
purposes of identification or for obtaining testimony or other assistance.
The person may be transferred if the following conditions are fulfilled:
(i) The person freely gives his or her informed consent to the transfer;
and
(ii) The requested State agrees to the transfer, subject to such conditions
as that State and the Court may agree.
(b) The person being transferred shall remain in custody. When the purposes
of the transfer have been fulfilled, the Court shall return the person
without delay to the requested State.
8. (a) The Court shall ensure the confidentiality of documents and information,
except as required for the investigation and proceedings described in the
request.
(b) The requested State may, when necessary, transmit documents or
information to the Prosecutor on a confidential basis. The Prosecutor may
then use them solely for the purpose of generating new evidence.
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(c) The requested State may, on its own motion or at the request of the
Prosecutor, subsequently consent to the disclosure of such documents or
information. They may then be used as evidence pursuant to the
provisions of Parts 5 and 6 and in accordance with the Rules of Procedure
and Evidence.
9. (a) (i) In the event that a State Party receives competing requests, other
than for surrender or extradition, from the Court and from another
State pursuant to an international obligation, the State Party shall
endeavour, in consultation with the Court and the other State, to
meet both requests, if necessary by postponing or attaching
conditions to one or the other request.
(ii) Failing that, competing requests shall be resolved in accordance
with the principles established in article 90.
(b) Where, however, the request from the Court concerns information,
property or persons which are subject to the control of a third State or an
international organization by virtue of an international agreement, the
requested States shall so inform the Court and the Court shall direct its
request to the third State or international organization.
10. (a) The Court may, upon request, cooperate with and provide assistance to a
State Party conducting an investigation into or trial in respect of conduct
which constitutes a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court or which
constitutes a serious crime under the national law of the requesting State.
(b) (i) The assistance provided under subparagraph (a) shall include,
inter alia:
a. The transmission of statements, documents or other types of
evidence obtained in the course of an investigation or a trial
conducted by the Court; and
b. The questioning of any person detained by order of the Court;
(ii) In the case of assistance under subparagraph (b) (i) a:
a. If the documents or other types of evidence have been
obtained with the assistance of a State, such transmission shall
require the consent of that State;
b. If the statements, documents or other types of evidence have
been provided by a witness or expert, such transmission shall be
subject to the provisions of article 68.
(c) The Court may, under the conditions set out in this paragraph, grant a
request for assistance under this paragraph from a State which is not a
Party to this Statute.
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Article 94
Postponement of execution of a request in respect of ongoing
investigation or prosecution
1. If the immediate execution of a request would interfere with an ongoing
investigation or prosecution of a case different from that to which the request
relates, the requested State may postpone the execution of the request for a period
of time agreed upon with the Court. However, the postponement shall be no
longer than is necessary to complete the relevant investigation or prosecution in
the requested State. Before making a decision to postpone, the requested State
should consider whether the assistance may be immediately provided subject to
certain conditions.
2. If a decision to postpone is taken pursuant to paragraph 1, the Prosecutor
may, however, seek measures to preserve evidence, pursuant to article 93,
paragraph 1 (j).
Article 95
Postponement of execution of a request in respect of an admissibility
challenge
Where there is an admissibility challenge under consideration by the Court pursuant to article
18 or 19, the requested State may postpone the execution of a request under this Part pending
a determination by the Court, unless the Court has specifically ordered that the Prosecutor
may pursue the collection of such evidence pursuant to article 18 or 19.
Article 96
Contents of request for other forms of assistance under article 93
1. A request for other forms of assistance referred to in article 93 shall be made in
writing. In urgent cases, a request may be made by any medium capable of
delivering a written record, provided that the request shall be confirmed through
the channel provided for in article 87, paragraph 1 (a).
2. The request shall, as applicable, contain or be supported by the following:
(a) A concise statement of the purpose of the request and the assistance
sought, including the legal basis and the grounds for the request;
(b) As much detailed information as possible about the location or
identification of any person or place that must be found or identified in
order for the assistance sought to be provided;
(c) A concise statement of the essential facts underlying the request;
(d) The reasons for and details of any procedure or requirement to be
followed;
(e) Such information as may be required under the law of the requested State
in order to execute the request; and
(f) Any other information relevant in order for the assistance sought to be
provided.
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3. Upon the request of the Court, a State Party shall consult with the Court, either
generally or with respect to a specific matter, regarding any requirements under its
national law that may apply under paragraph 2 (e). During the consultations, the
State Party shall advise the Court of the specific requirements of its national law.
4. The provisions of this article shall, where applicable, also apply in respect of a
request for assistance made to the Court.
Article 97
Consultations
Where a State Party receives a request under this Part in relation to which it identifies
problems which may impede or prevent the execution of the request, that State shall consult
with the Court without delay in order to resolve the matter. Such problems may include, inter
alia:
(a) Insufficient information to execute the request;
(b) In the case of a request for surrender, the fact that despite best efforts, the
person sought cannot be located or that the investigation conducted has
determined that the person in the requested State is clearly not the person
named in the warrant; or
(c) The fact that execution of the request in its current form would require the
requested State to breach a pre-existing treaty obligation undertaken with
respect to another State.
Article 98
Cooperation with respect to waiver of immunity and consent to
surrender
1. The Court may not proceed with a request for surrender or assistance which would
require the requested State to act inconsistently with its obligations under
international law with respect to the State or diplomatic immunity of a person or
property of a third State, unless the Court can first obtain the cooperation of that
third State for the waiver of the immunity.
2. The Court may not proceed with a request for surrender which would require the
requested State to act inconsistently with its obligations under international
agreements pursuant to which the consent of a sending State is required to
surrender a person of that State to the Court, unless the Court can first obtain the
cooperation of the sending State for the giving of consent for the surrender.
Article 99
Execution of requests under articles 93 and 96
1. Requests for assistance shall be executed in accordance with the relevant
procedure under the law of the requested State and, unless prohibited by such law,
in the manner specified in the request, including following any procedure outlined
therein or permitting persons specified in the request to be present at and assist in
the execution process.
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2. In the case of an urgent request, the documents or evidence produced in response
shall, at the request of the Court, be sent urgently.
3. Replies from the requested State shall be transmitted in their original language
and form.
4. Without prejudice to other articles in this Part, where it is necessary for the
successful execution of a request which can be executed without any compulsory
measures, including specifically the interview of or taking evidence from a person
on a voluntary basis, including doing so without the presence of the authorities of
the requested State Party if it is essential for the request to be executed, and the
examination without modification of a public site or other public place, the
Prosecutor may execute such request directly on the territory of a State as follows:
(a) When the State Party requested is a State on the territory of which the
crime is alleged to have been committed, and there has been a
determination of admissibility pursuant to article 18 or 19, the Prosecutor
may directly execute such request following all possible consultations with
the requested State Party;
(b) In other cases, the Prosecutor may execute such request following
consultations with the requested State Party and subject to any reasonable
conditions or concerns raised by that State Party. Where the requested
State Party identifies problems with the execution of a request pursuant to
this subparagraph it shall, without delay, consult with the Court to resolve
the matter.
5. Provisions allowing a person heard or examined by the Court under article 72 to
invoke restrictions designed to prevent disclosure of confidential information
connected with national security shall also apply to the execution of requests for
assistance under this article.
Article 100
Costs
1. The ordinary costs for execution of requests in the territory of the requested State
shall be borne by that State, except for the following, which shall be borne by the
Court:
(a) Costs associated with the travel and security of witnesses and experts or
the transfer under article 93 of persons in custody;
(b) Costs of translation, interpretation and transcription;
(c) Travel and subsistence costs of the judges, the Prosecutor, the Deputy
Prosecutors, the Registrar, the Deputy Registrar and staff of any organ of
the Court;
(d) Costs of any expert opinion or report requested by the Court;
(e) Costs associated with the transport of a person being surrendered to the
Court by a custodial State; and
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(f) Following consultations, any extraordinary costs that may result from the
execution of a request.
2. The provisions of paragraph 1 shall, as appropriate, apply to requests from States
Parties to the Court. In that case, the Court shall bear the ordinary costs of
execution.
Article 101
Rule of speciality
1. A person surrendered to the Court under this Statute shall not be proceeded
against, punished or detained for any conduct committed prior to surrender, other
than the conduct or course of conduct which forms the basis of the crimes for
which that person has been surrendered.
2. The Court may request a waiver of the requirements of paragraph 1 from the State
which surrendered the person to the Court and, if necessary, the Court shall
provide additional information in accordance with article 91. States Parties
shall have the authority to provide a waiver to the Court and should endeavour to
do so.
Article 102
Use of terms
For the purposes of this Statute:
(a) "surrender" means the delivering up of a person by a State to the Court,
pursuant to this Statute.
(b) "extradition" means the delivering up of a person by one State to another
as provided by treaty, convention or national legislation.
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Part X Enforcement
Article 103
Role of States in enforcement of sentences of imprisonment
1. (a) A sentence of imprisonment shall be served in a State designated by the
Court from a list of States which have indicated to the Court their
willingness to accept sentenced persons.
(b) At the time of declaring its willingness to accept sentenced persons, a
State may attach conditions to its acceptance as agreed by the Court and in
accordance with this Part.
(c) A State designated in a particular case shall promptly inform the Court
whether it accepts the Court's designation.
2. (a) The State of enforcement shall notify the Court of any circumstances,
including the exercise of any conditions agreed under paragraph 1, which
could materially affect the terms or extent of the imprisonment. The Court
shall be given at least 45 days' notice of any such known or foreseeable
circumstances. During this period, the State of enforcement shall take no
action that might prejudice its obligations under article 110.
(b) Where the Court cannot agree to the circumstances referred to in
subparagraph (a), it shall notify the State of enforcement and proceed in
accordance with article 104, paragraph 1.
3. In exercising its discretion to make a designation under paragraph 1, the Court
shall take into account the following:
(a) The principle that States Parties should share the responsibility for
enforcing sentences of imprisonment, in accordance with principles of
equitable distribution, as provided in the Rules of Procedure and Evidence;
(b) The application of widely accepted international treaty standards
governing the treatment of prisoners;
(c) The views of the sentenced person;
(d) The nationality of the sentenced person;
(e) Such other factors regarding the circumstances of the crime or the person
sentenced, or the effective enforcement of the sentence, as may be
appropriate in designating the State of enforcement.
4. If no State is designated under paragraph 1, the sentence of imprisonment shall be
served in a prison facility made available by the host State, in accordance with the
conditions set out in the headquarters agreement referred to in article 3,
paragraph 2. In such a case, the costs arising out of the enforcement of a sentence
of imprisonment shall be borne by the Court.
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Article 104
Change in designation of State of enforcement
1. The Court may, at any time, decide to transfer a sentenced person to a prison of
another State.
2. A sentenced person may, at any time, apply to the Court to be transferred from the
State of enforcement.
Article 105
Enforcement of the sentence
1. Subject to conditions which a State may have specified in accordance with article
103, paragraph 1 (b), the sentence of imprisonment shall be binding on the States
Parties, which shall in no case modify it.
2. The Court alone shall have the right to decide any application for appeal and
revision. The State of enforcement shall not impede the making of any such
application by a sentenced person.
Article 106
Supervision of enforcement of sentences and conditions of
imprisonment
1. The enforcement of a sentence of imprisonment shall be subject to the supervision
of the Court and shall be consistent with widely accepted international treaty
standards governing treatment of prisoners.
2. The conditions of imprisonment shall be governed by the law of the State
of enforcement and shall be consistent with widely accepted international treaty
standards governing treatment of prisoners; in no case shall such conditions be
more or less favourable than those available to prisoners convicted of similar
offences in the State of enforcement.
3. Communications between a sentenced person and the Court shall be unimpeded
and confidential.
Article 107
Transfer of the person upon completion of sentence
1. Following completion of the sentence, a person who is not a national of the State
of enforcement may, in accordance with the law of the State of enforcement, be
transferred to a State which is obliged to receive him or her, or to another State
which agrees to receive him or her, taking into account any wishes of the person to
be transferred to that State, unless the State of enforcement authorizes the person
to remain in its territory.
2. If no State bears the costs arising out of transferring the person to another State
pursuant to paragraph 1, such costs shall be borne by the Court.
3. Subject to the provisions of article 108, the State of enforcement may also, in
accordance with its national law, extradite or otherwise surrender the person to a
State which has requested the extradition or surrender of the person for purposes
of trial or enforcement of a sentence.
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Article 108
Limitation on the prosecution or punishment of other offences
1. A sentenced person in the custody of the State of enforcement shall not be subject
to prosecution or punishment or to extradition to a third State for any conduct
engaged in prior to that person's delivery to the State of enforcement, unless such
prosecution, punishment or extradition has been approved by the Court at the
request of the State of enforcement.
2. The Court shall decide the matter after having heard the views of the sentenced
person.
3. Paragraph 1 shall cease to apply if the sentenced person remains voluntarily for
more than 30 days in the territory of the State of enforcement after having served
the full sentence imposed by the Court, or returns to the territory of that State
after having left it.
Article 109
Enforcement of fines and forfeiture measures
1. States Parties shall give effect to fines or forfeitures ordered by the Court under
Part 7, without prejudice to the rights of bona fide third parties, and in accordance
with the procedure of their national law.
2. If a State Party is unable to give effect to an order for forfeiture, it shall take
measures to recover the value of the proceeds, property or assets ordered by the
Court to be forfeited, without prejudice to the rights of bona fide third parties.
3. Property, or the proceeds of the sale of real property or, where appropriate, the sale
of other property, which is obtained by a State Party as a result of its enforcement
of a judgement of the Court shall be transferred to the Court.
Article 110
Review by the Court concerning reduction of sentence
1. The State of enforcement shall not release the person before expiry of the sentence
pronounced by the Court.
2. The Court alone shall have the right to decide any reduction of sentence, and shall
rule on the matter after having heard the person.
3. When the person has served two thirds of the sentence, or 25 years in the case of
life imprisonment, the Court shall review the sentence to determine whether it
should be reduced. Such a review shall not be conducted before that time.
4. In its review under paragraph 3, the Court may reduce the sentence if it finds that
one or more of the following factors are present:
(a) The early and continuing willingness of the person to cooperate with the
Court in its investigations and prosecutions;
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(b) The voluntary assistance of the person in enabling the enforcement of the
judgements and orders of the Court in other cases, and in particular
providing assistance in locating assets subject to orders of fine, forfeiture
or reparation which may be used for the benefit of victims; or
(c) Other factors establishing a clear and significant change of circumstances
sufficient to justify the reduction of sentence, as provided in the Rules of
Procedure and Evidence.
5. If the Court determines in its initial review under paragraph 3 that it is not
appropriate to reduce the sentence, it shall thereafter review the question of
reduction of sentence at such intervals and applying such criteria as provided for
in the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
Article 111
Escape
If a convicted person escapes from custody and flees the State of enforcement, that State may,
after consultation with the Court, request the person's surrender from the State in which the
person is located pursuant to existing bilateral or multilateral arrangements, or may request
that the Court seek the person's surrender, in accordance with Part 9. It may direct that the
person be delivered to the State in which he or she was serving the sentence or to another
State designated by the Court.
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Part XI Assembly of states parties
Article 112
Assembly of States Parties
1. An Assembly of States Parties to this Statute is hereby established. Each State
Party shall have one representative in the Assembly who may be accompanied by
alternates and advisers. Other States which have signed this Statute or the Final
Act may be observers in the Assembly.
2. The Assembly shall:
(a) Consider and adopt, as appropriate, recommendations of the Preparatory
Commission;
(b) Provide management oversight to the Presidency, the Prosecutor and the
Registrar regarding the administration of the Court;
(c) Consider the reports and activities of the Bureau established under
paragraph 3 and take appropriate action in regard thereto;
(d) Consider and decide the budget for the Court;
(e) Decide whether to alter, in accordance with article 36, the number of
judges;
(f) Consider pursuant to article 87, paragraphs 5 and 7, any question relating
to non-cooperation;
(g) Perform any other function consistent with this Statute or the Rules of
Procedure and Evidence.
3. (a) The Assembly shall have a Bureau consisting of a President, two
Vice-Presidents and 18 members elected by the Assembly for three-year
terms.
(b) The Bureau shall have a representative character, taking into account, in
particular, equitable geographical distribution and the adequate
representation of the principal legal systems of the world.
(c) The Bureau shall meet as often as necessary, but at least once a year. It
shall assist the Assembly in the discharge of its responsibilities.
4. The Assembly may establish such subsidiary bodies as may be necessary, including
an independent oversight mechanism for inspection, evaluation and investigation
of the Court, in order to enhance its efficiency and economy.
5. The President of the Court, the Prosecutor and the Registrar or their
representatives may participate, as appropriate, in meetings of the Assembly and
of the Bureau.
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6. The Assembly shall meet at the seat of the Court or at the Headquarters of the
United Nations once a year and, when circumstances so require, hold special
sessions. Except as otherwise specified in this Statute, special sessions shall be
convened by the Bureau on its own initiative or at the request of one third of the
States Parties.
7. Each State Party shall have one vote. Every effort shall be made to reach decisions
by consensus in the Assembly and in the Bureau. If consensus cannot be reached,
except as otherwise provided in the Statute:
(a) Decisions on matters of substance must be approved by a two-thirds
majority of those present and voting provided that an absolute majority of
States Parties constitutes the quorum for voting;
(b) Decisions on matters of procedure shall be taken by a simple majority of
States Parties present and voting.
8. A State Party which is in arrears in the payment of its financial contributions
towards the costs of the Court shall have no vote in the Assembly and in the
Bureau if the amount of its arrears equals or exceeds the amount of the
contributions due from it for the preceding two full years. The Assembly may,
nevertheless, permit such a State Party to vote in the Assembly and in the Bureau
if it is satisfied that the failure to pay is due to conditions beyond the control of the
State Party.
9. The Assembly shall adopt its own rules of procedure.
10. The official and working languages of the Assembly shall be those of the General
Assembly of the United Nations.
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Part XII Financing
Article 113
Financial Regulations
Except as otherwise specifically provided, all financial matters related to the Court and the
meetings of the Assembly of States Parties, including its Bureau and subsidiary bodies, shall
be governed by this Statute and the Financial Regulations and Rules adopted by the Assembly
of States Parties.
Article 114
Payment of expenses
Expenses of the Court and the Assembly of States Parties, including its Bureau and subsidiary
bodies, shall be paid from the funds of the Court.
Article 115
Funds of the Court and of the Assembly of States Parties
The expenses of the Court and the Assembly of States Parties, including its Bureau and
subsidiary bodies, as provided for in the budget decided by the Assembly of States Parties,
shall be provided by the following sources:
(a) Assessed contributions made by States Parties;
(b) Funds provided by the United Nations, subject to the approval of the
General Assembly, in particular in relation to the expenses incurred due to
referrals by the Security Council.
Article 116
Voluntary contributions
Without prejudice to article 115, the Court may receive and utilize, as additional funds,
voluntary contributions from Governments, international organizations, individuals,
corporations and other entities, in accordance with relevant criteria adopted by the Assembly
of States Parties.
Article 117
Assessment of contributions
The contributions of States Parties shall be assessed in accordance with an agreed scale of
assessment, based on the scale adopted by the United Nations for its regular budget and
adjusted in accordance with the principles on which that scale is based.
Article 118
Annual audit
The records, books and accounts of the Court, including its annual financial statements, shall
be audited annually by an independent auditor.
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Part XIII Final clauses
Article 119
Settlement of disputes
1. Any dispute concerning the judicial functions of the Court shall be settled by the
decision of the Court.
2. Any other dispute between two or more States Parties relating to the
interpretation or application of this Statute which is not settled through
negotiations within three months of their commencement shall be referred to the
Assembly of States Parties. The Assembly may itself seek to settle the dispute or
may make recommendations on further means of settlement of the dispute,
including referral to the International Court of Justice in conformity with the
Statute of that Court.
Article 120
Reservations
No reservations may be made to this Statute.
Article 121
Amendments
1. After the expiry of seven years from the entry into force of this Statute, any State
Party may propose amendments thereto. The text of any proposed amendment
shall be submitted to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who shall
promptly circulate it to all States Parties.
2. No sooner than three months from the date of notification, the Assembly of States
Parties, at its next meeting, shall, by a majority of those present and voting, decide
whether to take up the proposal. The Assembly may deal with the proposal
directly or convene a Review Conference if the issue involved so warrants.
3. The adoption of an amendment at a meeting of the Assembly of States Parties or
at a Review Conference on which consensus cannot be reached shall require a
two-thirds majority of States Parties.
4. Except as provided in paragraph 5, an amendment shall enter into force for all
States Parties one year after instruments of ratification or acceptance have been
deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations by seven-eighths of
them.
5. Any amendment to articles 5, 6, 7 and 8 of this Statute shall enter into force for
those States Parties which have accepted the amendment one year after the
deposit of their instruments of ratification or acceptance. In respect of a State
Party which has not accepted the amendment, the Court shall not exercise its
jurisdiction regarding a crime covered by the amendment when committed by that
State Party's nationals or on its territory.
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Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court
6. If an amendment has been accepted by seven-eighths of States Parties in
accordance with paragraph 4, any State Party which has not accepted the
amendment may withdraw from this Statute with immediate effect,
notwithstanding article 127, paragraph 1, but subject to article 127, paragraph 2,
by giving notice no later than one year after the entry into force of such
amendment.
7. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall circulate to all States Parties
any amendment adopted at a meeting of the Assembly of States Parties or at a
Review Conference.
Article 122
Amendments to provisions of an institutional nature
1. Amendments to provisions of this Statute which are of an exclusively institutional
nature, namely, article 35, article 36, paragraphs 8 and 9, article 37, article 38,
article 39, paragraphs 1 (first two sentences), 2 and 4, article 42, paragraphs 4 to 9,
article 43, paragraphs 2 and 3, and articles 44, 46, 47 and 49, may be proposed at
any time, notwithstanding article 121, paragraph 1, by any State Party. The text of
any proposed amendment shall be submitted to the Secretary-General of the
United Nations or such other person designated by the Assembly of States Parties
who shall promptly circulate it to all States Parties and to others participating in
the Assembly.
2. Amendments under this article on which consensus cannot be reached shall be
adopted by the Assembly of States Parties or by a Review Conference, by a twothirds
majority of States Parties. Such amendments shall enter into force for all
States Parties six months after their adoption by the Assembly or, as the case may
be, by the Conference.
Article 123
Review of the Statute
1. Seven years after the entry into force of this Statute the Secretary-General of the
United Nations shall convene a Review Conference to consider any amendments
to this Statute. Such review may include, but is not limited to, the list of crimes
contained in article 5. The Conference shall be open to those participating in the
Assembly of States Parties and on the same conditions.
2. At any time thereafter, at the request of a State Party and for the purposes set out
in paragraph 1, the Secretary-General of the United Nations shall, upon approval
by a majority of States Parties, convene a Review Conference.
3. The provisions of article 121, paragraphs 3 to 7, shall apply to the adoption and
entry into force of any amendment to the Statute considered at a Review
Conference.
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Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court
Article 124
Transitional Provision
Notwithstanding article 12, paragraphs 1 and 2, a State, on becoming a party to this Statute,
may declare that, for a period of seven years after the entry into force of this Statute for the
State concerned, it does not accept the jurisdiction of the Court with respect to the category of
crimes referred to in article 8 when a crime is alleged to have been committed by its nationals
or on its territory. A declaration under this article may be withdrawn at any time. The
provisions of this article shall be reviewed at the Review Conference convened in accordance
with article 123, paragraph 1.
Article 125
Signature, ratification, acceptance, approval or accession
1. This Statute shall be open for signature by all States in Rome, at the headquarters
of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, on 17 July 1998.
Thereafter, it shall remain open for signature in Rome at the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs of Italy until 17 October 1998. After that date, the Statute shall
remain open for signature in New York, at United Nations Headquarters, until 31
December 2000.
2. This Statute is subject to ratification, acceptance or approval by signatory States.
Instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval shall be deposited with the
Secretary-General of the United Nations.
3. This Statute shall be open to accession by all States. Instruments of accession shall
be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Article 126
Entry into force
1. This Statute shall enter into force on the first day of the month after the 60th day
following the date of the deposit of the 60th instrument of ratification, acceptance,
approval or accession with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
2. For each State ratifying, accepting, approving or acceding to this Statute after the
deposit of the 60th instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession,
the Statute shall enter into force on the first day of the month after the 60th day
following the deposit by such State of its instrument of ratification, acceptance,
approval or accession.
Article 127
Withdrawal
1. A State Party may, by written notification addressed to the Secretary-General of
the United Nations, withdraw from this Statute. The withdrawal shall take effect
one year after the date of receipt of the notification, unless the notification
specifies a later date.
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Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court
2. A State shall not be discharged, by reason of its withdrawal, from the obligations
arising from this Statute while it was a Party to the Statute, including any financial
obligations which may have accrued. Its withdrawal shall not affect any
cooperation with the Court in connection with criminal investigations and
proceedings in relation to which the withdrawing State had a duty to cooperate
and which were commenced prior to the date on which the withdrawal became
effective, nor shall it prejudice in any way the continued consideration of any
matter which was already under consideration by the Court prior to the date on
which the withdrawal became effective.
Article 128
Authentic texts
The original of this Statute, of which the Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and
Spanish texts are equally authentic, shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the
United Nations, who shall send certified copies thereof to all States.
Inwitness whereof, the undersigned, being duly authorized thereto by their respective
Governments, have signed this Statute.
Done at Rome, this 17th day of July 1998.

Convention (IV) respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land and
its annex: Regulations concerning the Laws and Customs of War on
Land. The Hague, 18 October 1907.
(List of Contracting Parties)
Seeing that while seeking means to preserve peace and prevent armed
conflicts between nations, it is likewise necessary to bear in mind the
case where the appeal to arms has been brought about by events
which their care was unable to avert;
Animated by the desire to serve, even in this extreme case, the
interests of humanity and the ever progressive needs of civilization;
Thinking it important, with this object, to revise the general laws and
customs of war, either with a view to defining them with greater
precision or to confining them within such limits as would mitigate their
severity as far as possible;
Have deemed it necessary to complete and explain in certain
particulars the work of the First Peace Conference, which, following on
the Brussels Conference of 1874, and inspired by the ideas dictated by
a wise and generous forethought, adopted provisions intended to
define land govern the usages of war on land.
According to the views of the High Contracting Parties, these
provisions, the wording of which has been inspired by the desire to
diminish the evils of war, as far as military requirements permit, are
intended to serve as a general rule of conduct for the belligerents in
their mutual relations and in their relations with the inhabitants.
It has not, however, been found possible at present to concert
regulations covering all the circumstances which arise in practice;
On the other hand, the High Contracting Parties clearly do not intend
that unforeseen cases should, in the absence of a written undertaking,
be left to the arbitrary judgment of military commanders.
Until a more complete code of the laws of war has been issued, the
High Contracting Parties deem it expedient to declare that, in cases not
included in the Regulations adopted by them, the inhabitants and the
belligerents remain under the protection and the rule of the principles of
the law of nations, as they result from the usages established among
civilized peoples, from the laws of humanity, and the dictates of the
public conscience.
They declare that it is in this sense especially that Articles I and 2 of
the Regulations adopted must be understood.
The High Contracting Parties, wishing to conclude a fresh Convention
to this effect, have appointed the
following as their Plenipotentiaries:
(Here follow the names of Plenipotentiaries)
Who, after having deposited their full powers, found in good and due
form, have agreed upon the following:
Article 1. The Contracting Powers shall issue instructions to their
armed land forces which shall be in conformity with the Regulations
respecting the laws and customs of war on land, annexed to the
present Convention.
Art. 2. The provisions contained in the Regulations referred to in Article
1, as well as in the present Convention, do not apply except between
Contracting powers, and then only if all the belligerents are parties to
the Convention.
Art. 3. A belligerent party which violates the provisions of the said
Regulations shall, if the case demands, be liable to pay compensation.
It shall be responsible for all acts committed by persons forming part of
its armed forces.
Art. 4. The present Convention, duly ratified, shall as between the
Contracting Powers, be substituted for the Convention of 29 July 1899,
respecting the laws land customs of war on land.
The Convention of 1899 remains in force as between the Powers which
signed it, and which do not also ratify the present Convention.
Art. 5. The present Convention shall be ratified as soon as possible.
The ratifications shall be deposited at The Hague.
The first deposit of ratifications shall be recorded in a procès-verbal
signed by the Representatives of the Powers which take part therein
and by the Netherlands Minister for Foreign Affairs.
The subsequent deposits of ratifications shall be made by means of a
written notification, addressed to the Netherlands Government and
accompanied by the instrument of ratification.
A duly certified copy of the procès-verbal relative to the first deposit of
ratifications, of the notifications mentioned in the preceding paragraph,
as well as of the instruments of ratification, shall be immediately sent
by the Netherlands Government, through the diplomatic channel, to the
powers invited to the Second Peace Conference, as well as to the
other Powers which have adhered to the Convention. In the cases
contemplated in the preceding paragraph the said Government shall at
the same time inform them of the date on which it received the
notification.
Art. 6. Non-Signatory Powers may adhere to the present Convention.
The Power which desires to adhere notifies in writing its intention to the
Netherlands Government, forwarding to it the act of adhesion, which
shall be deposited in the archives of the said Government.
This Government shall at once transmit to all the other Powers a duly
certified copy of the notification as well as of the act of adhesion,
mentioning the date on which it received the notification.
Art. 7. The present Convention shall come into force, in the case of the
Powers which were a party to the first deposit of ratifications, sixty days
after the date of the procès-verbal of this deposit, and, in the case of
the Powers which ratify subsequently or which adhere, sixty days after
the notification of their ratification or of their adhesion has been
received by the Netherlands Government.
Art. 8. In the event of one of the Contracting Powers wishing to
denounce the present Convention, the denunciation shall be notified in
writing to the Netherlands Government, which shall at once
communicate a duly certified copy of the notification to all the other
Powers, informing them of the date on which it was received.
The denunciation shall only have effect in regard to the notifying
Power, land one year after the notification has reached the Netherlands
Government.
Art. 9. A register kept by the Netherlands Ministry for Foreign Affairs
shall give the date of the deposit of ratifications made in virtue of Article
5, paragraphs 3 land 4, as well as the date on which the notifications of
adhesion (Article 6, paragraph 2), or of denunciation (Article 8,
paragraph 1) were received.
Each Contracting Power is entitled to have access to this register and
to be supplied with duly certified extracts.
In faith whereof the Plenipotentiaries have appended their signatures to
the present Convention.
Done at The Hague 18 October 1907, in a single copy, which shall
remain deposited in the archives of the Netherlands Government, and
duly certified copies of which shall be sent, through the diplomatic
channel to the Powers which have been invited to the Second Peace
Conference.
(Here follow signatures)
ANNEX TO THE CONVENTION
REGULATIONS RESPECTING THE LAWS AND CUSTOMS OF WAR
ON LAND
SECTION I
ON BELLIGERENTS
CHAPTER I
The qualifications of belligerents
Article 1. The laws, rights, and duties of war apply not only to armies,
but also to militia and volunteer
corps fulfilling the following conditions:
1. To be commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;
2. To have a fixed distinctive emblem recognizable at a distance;
3. To carry arms openly; and
4. To conduct their operations in accordance with the laws and
customs of war.
In countries where militia or volunteer corps constitute the army, or
form part of it, they are included under the denomination "army."
Art. 2. The inhabitants of a territory which has not been occupied, who,
on the approach of the enemy, spontaneously take up arms to resist
the invading troops without having had time to organize themselves in
accordance with Article 1, shall be regarded as belligerents if they carry
arms openly and if they respect the laws and customs of war.
Art. 3. The armed forces of the belligerent parties may consist of
combatants and non-combatants. In the case of capture by the enemy,
both have a right to be treated as prisoners of war.
CHAPTER II
Prisoners of war
Art. 4. Prisoners of war are in the power of the hostile Government, but
not of the individuals or corps who capture them.
They must be humanely treated.
All their personal belongings, except arms, horses, and military papers,
remain their property.
Art. 5. Prisoners of war may be interned in a town, fortress, camp, or
other place, and bound not to go beyond certain fixed limits; but they
cannot be confined except as in indispensable measure of safety land
only while the circumstances which necessitate the measure continue
to exist.
Art. 6. The State may utilize the labour of prisoners of war according to
their rank and aptitude, officers excepted. The tasks shall not be
excessive and shall have no connection with the operations of the war.
Prisoners may be authorized to work for the public service, for private
persons, or on their own account.
Work done for the State is paid for at the rates in force for work of a
similar kind done by soldiers of the national army, or, if there are none
in force, at a rate according to the work executed.
When the work is for other branches of the public service or for private
persons the conditions are settled in agreement with the military
authorities.
The wages of the prisoners shall go towards improving their position,
and the balance shall be paid them on their release, after deducting the
cost of their maintenance.
Art. 7. The Government into whose hands prisoners of war have fallen
is charged with their maintenance.
In the absence of a special agreement between the belligerents,
prisoners of war shall be treated as regards board, lodging, and
clothing on the same footing as the troops of the Government who
captured them.
Art. 8. Prisoners of war shall be subject to the laws, regulations, and
orders in force in the army of the State in whose power they are. Any
act of insubordination justifies the adoption towards them of such
measures of severity as may be considered necessary.
Escaped prisoners who are retaken before being able to rejoin their
own army or before leaving the territory occupied by the army which
captured them are liable to disciplinary punishment.
Prisoners who, after succeeding in escaping, are again taken
prisoners, are not liable to any punishment on account of the previous
flight.
Art. 9. Every prisoner of war is bound to give, if he is questioned on the
subject, his true name and rank, and if he infringes this rule, he is liable
to have the advantages given to prisoners of his class curtailed.
Art. 10. Prisoners of war may be set at liberty on parole if the laws of
their country allow, and, in such cases, they are bound, on their
personal honour, scrupulously to fulfil, both towards their own
Government and the Government by whom they were made prisoners,
the engagements they have contracted.
In such cases their own Government is bound neither to require of nor
accept from them any service incompatible with the parole given.
Art. 11. A prisoner of war cannot be compelled to accept his liberty on
parole; similarly the hostile Government is not obliged to accede to the
request of the prisoner to be set at liberty on parole.
Art. 12. Prisoners of war liberated on parole and recaptured bearing
arms against the Government to whom they had pledged their honour,
or against the allies of that Government, forfeit their right to be treated
as prisoners of war, and can be brought before the courts.
Art. 13. Individuals who follow an army without directly belonging to it,
such as newspaper correspondents and reporters, sutlers and
contractors, who fall into the enemy's hands and whom the latter thinks
expedient to detain, are entitled to be treated as prisoners of war,
provided they are in possession of a certificate from the military
authorities of the army which they were accompanying.
Art. 14. An inquiry office for prisoners of war is instituted on the
commencement of hostilities in each of the belligerent States, and,
when necessary, in neutral countries which have received belligerents
in their territory. It is the function of this office to reply to all inquiries
about the prisoners. It receives from the various services concerned full
information respecting internments arid transfers. releases on parole,
exchanges, escapes, admissions into hospital, deaths, as well as other
information necessary to enable it to make out land keep up to date an
individual return for each prisoner of war. The office must state in this
return the regimental number, name and surname, age, place of origin,
rank, unit, wounds, date and place of capture, internment, wounding,
and death, as well as any observations of a special character. The
individual return shall be sent to the Government of the other
belligerent after the conclusion of peace.
It is likewise the function of the inquiry office to receive and collect all
objects of personal use, valuables, letters, etc., found on the field of
battle or left by prisoners who have been released on parole, or
exchanged, or who have escaped, or died in hospitals or ambulances,
and to forward them to those concerned.
Art. 15. Relief societies for prisoners of war, which are properly
constituted in accordance with the laws of their country and with the
object of serving as the channel for charitable effort shall receive from
the belligerents, for themselves and their duly accredited agents every
facility for the efficient performance of their humane task within the
bounds imposed by military necessities and administrative regulations.
Agents of these societies may be admitted to the places of internment
for the purpose of distributing relief, as also to the halting places of
repatriated prisoners, if furnished with a personal permit by the military
authorities, and on giving an undertaking in writing to comply with all
measures of order and police which the latter may issue.
Art. 16. Inquiry offices enjoy the privilege of free postage. Letters,
money orders, and valuables, as well as parcels by post, intended for
prisoners of war, or dispatched by them, shall be exempt from all postal
duties in the countries of origin and destination, as well as in the
countries they pass through.
Presents and relief in kind for prisoners of war shall be admitted free of
all import or other duties, as well as of payments for carriage by the
State railways.
Art. 17. Officers taken prisoners shall receive the same rate of pay as
officers of corresponding rank in the country where they are detained,
the amount to be ultimately refunded by their own Government.
Art. 18. Prisoners of war shall enjoy complete liberty in the exercise of
their religion, including attendance at the services of whatever church
they may belong to, on the sole condition that they comply with the
measures of order and police issued by the military authorities.
Art. 19. The wills of prisoners of war are received or drawn up in the
same way as for soldiers of the national army.
The same rules shall be observed regarding death certificates as well
as for the burial of prisoners of war, due regard being paid to their
grade and rank.
Art. 20. After the conclusion of peace, the repatriation of prisoners of
war shall be carried out as quickly as possible.
CHAPTER III
The sick and wounded
Art. 21. The obligations of belligerents with regard to the sick and
wounded are governed by the Geneva Convention.
SECTION II
HOSTILITIES
CHAPTER I
Means of injuring the enemy, sieges, and bombardments
Art. 22. The right of belligerents to adopt means of injuring the enemy
is not unlimited.
Art. 23. In addition to the prohibitions provided by special Conventions,
it is especially forbidden
(a) To employ poison or poisoned weapons;
(b) To kill or wound treacherously individuals belonging to the hostile
nation or army;
(c) To kill or wound an enemy who, having laid down his arms, or
having no longer means of defence, has surrendered at discretion;
(d) To declare that no quarter will be given;
(e) To employ arms, projectiles, or material calculated to cause
unnecessary suffering;
(f) To make improper use of a flag of truce, of the national flag or of the
military insignia and uniform of the enemy, as well as the distinctive
badges of the Geneva Convention;
(g) To destroy or seize the enemy's property, unless such destruction
or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war;
(h) To declare abolished, suspended, or inadmissible in a court of law
the rights and actions of the nationals of the hostile party. A belligerent
is likewise forbidden to compel the nationals of the hostile party to take
part in the operations of war directed against their own country, even if
they were in the belligerent's service before the commencement of the
war.
Art. 24. Ruses of war and the employment of measures necessary for
obtaining information about the enemy and the country are considered
permissible.
Art. 25. The attack or bombardment, by whatever means, of towns,
villages, dwellings, or buildings which are undefended is prohibited.
Art. 26. The officer in command of an attacking force must, before
commencing a bombardment, except in cases of assault, do all in his
power to warn the authorities.
Art. 27. In sieges and bombardments all necessary steps must be
taken to spare, as far as possible, buildings dedicated to religion, art,
science, or charitable purposes, historic monuments, hospitals, and
places where the sick and wounded are collected, provided they are
not being used at the time for military purposes.
It is the duty of the besieged to indicate the presence of such buildings
or places by distinctive and visible signs, which shall be notified to the
enemy beforehand.
Art. 28. The pillage of a town or place, even when taken by assault, is
prohibited.
CHAPTER II
Spies
Art. 29. A person can only be considered a spy when, acting
clandestinely or on false pretences, he obtains or endeavours to obtain
information in the zone of operations of a belligerent, with the intention
of communicating it to the hostile party.
Thus, soldiers not wearing a disguise who have penetrated into the
zone of operations of the hostile army, for the purpose of obtaining
information, are not considered spies. Similarly, the following are not
considered spies: Soldiers and civilians, carrying out their mission
openly, entrusted with the delivery of despatches intended either for
their own army or for the enemy's army. To this class belong likewise
persons sent in balloons for the purpose of carrying despatches and,
generally, of maintaining communications between the different parts of
an army or a territory.
Art. 30. A spy taken in the act shall not be punished without previous
trial.
Art. 31. A spy who, after rejoining the army to which he belongs, is
subsequently captured by the enemy, is treated as a prisoner of war,
and incurs no responsibility for his previous acts of espionage.
CHAPTER III
Flags of truce
Art. 32. A person is regarded as a parlementaire who has been
authorized by one of the belligerents to enter into communication with
the other, and who advances bearing a white flag. He has a right to
inviolability, as well as the trumpeter, bugler or drummer, the flagbearer
and interpreter who may accompany him.
Art. 33. The commander to whom a parlementaire is sent is not in all
cases obliged to receive him.
He may take all the necessary steps to prevent the parlementaire
taking advantage of his mission to obtain information.
In case of abuse, he has the right to detain the parlementaire
temporarily.
Art. 34. The parlementaire loses his rights of inviolability if it is proved
in a clear and incontestable manner that he has taken advantage of his
privileged position to provoke or commit an act of treason.
CHAPTER IV
Capitulations
Art. 35. Capitulations agreed upon between the Contracting Parties
must take into account the rules of military honour.
Once settled, they must be scrupulously observed by both parties.
CHAPTER V
Armistices
Art. 36. An armistice suspends military operations by mutual
agreement between the belligerent parties. If its duration is not defined,
the belligerent parties may resume operations at any time, provided
always that the enemy is warned within the time agreed upon, in
accordance with the terms of the armistice.
Art. 37. An armistice may be general or local. The first suspends the
military operations of the belligerent States everywhere; the second
only between certain fractions of the belligerent armies and within a
fixed radius.
Art. 38. An armistice must be notified officially and in good time to the
competent authorities and to the troops. Hostilities are suspended
immediately after the notification, or on the date fixed.
Art. 39. It rests with the Contracting Parties to settle, in the terms of the
armistice, what communications may be held in the theatre of war with
the inhabitants and between the inhabitants of one belligerent State
and those of the other.
Art. 40. Any serious violation of the armistice by one of the parties
gives the other party the right of denouncing it, and even, in cases of
urgency, of recommencing hostilities immediately.
Art. 41. A violation of the terms of the armistice by private persons
acting on their own initiative only entitles the injured party to demand
the punishment of the offenders or, if necessary, compensation for the
losses sustained.
SECTION III
MILITARY AUTHORITY OVER THE TERRITORY OF THE HOSTILE
STATE
Art. 42. Territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed
under the authority of the hostile army.
The occupation extends only to the territory where such authority has
been established and can be exercised.
Art. 43. The authority of the legitimate power having in fact passed into
the hands of the occupant, the latter shall take all the measures in his
power to restore, and ensure, as far as possible, public order and
safety, while respecting, unless absolutely prevented, the laws in force
in the country.
Art. 44. A belligerent is forbidden to force the inhabitants of territory
occupied by it to furnish information about the army of the other
belligerent, or about its means of defense.
Art. 45. It is forbidden to compel the inhabitants of occupied territory to
swear allegiance to the hostile Power.
Art. 46. Family honour and rights, the lives of persons, and private
property, as well as religious convictions and practice, must be
respected.
Private property cannot be confiscated.
Art. 47. Pillage is formally forbidden.
Art. 48. If, in the territory occupied, the occupant collects the taxes,
dues, and tolls imposed for the benefit of the State, he shall do so, as
far as is possible, in accordance with the rules of assessment and
incidence in force, and shall in consequence be bound to defray the
expenses of the administration of the occupied territory to the same
extent as the legitimate Government was so bound.
Art. 49. If, in addition to the taxes mentioned in the above article, the
occupant levies other money contributions in the occupied territory, this
shall only be for the needs of the army or of the administration of the
territory in question.
Art. 50. No general penalty, pecuniary or otherwise, shall be inflicted
upon the population on account of the acts of individuals for which they
cannot be regarded as jointly and severally responsible.
Art. 51. No contribution shall be collected except under a written order,
and on the responsibility of a commander-in-chief.
The collection of the said contribution shall only be effected as far as
possible in accordance with the rules of assessment and incidence of
the taxes in force.
For every contribution a receipt shall be given to the contributors.
Art. 52. Requisitions in kind and services shall not be demanded from
municipalities or inhabitants except for the needs of the army of
occupation. They shall be in proportion to the resources of the country,
and of such a nature as not to involve the inhabitants in the obligation
of taking part in military operations against their own country.
Such requisitions and services shall only be demanded on the authority
of the commander in the locality occupied.
Contributions in kind shall as far is possible be paid for in cash; if not, a
receipt shall be given land the payment of the amount due shall be
made as soon as possible.
Art. 53. An army of occupation can only take possession of cash,
funds, and realizable securities which are strictly the property of the
State, depots of arms, means of transport, stores and supplies, and,
generally, all movable property belonging to the State which may be
used for military operations.
All appliances, whether on land, at sea, or in the air, adapted for the
transmission of news, or for the transport of persons or things,
exclusive of cases governed by naval law, depots of arms, and,
generally, all kinds of munitions of war, may be seized, even if they
belong to private individuals, but must be restored and compensation
fixed when peace is made.
Art. 54. Submarine cables connecting an occupied territory with a
neutral territory shall not be seized or destroyed except in the case of
absolute necessity. They must likewise be restored and compensation
fixed when peace is made.
Art. 55. The occupying State shall be regarded only as administrator
and usufructuary of public buildings, real estate, forests, and
agricultural estates belonging to the hostile State, and situated in the
occupied country. It must safeguard the capital of these properties, and
administer them in accordance with the rules of usufruct.
Art. 56. The property of municipalities, that of institutions dedicated to
religion, charity and education, the arts and sciences, even when State
property, shall be treated as private property.
All seizure of, destruction or wilful damage done to institutions of this
character, historic monuments, works of art and science, is forbidden,
and should be made the subject of legal proceedings.

Proclaimed by General Assembly resolution 36/55 of 25 November 1981
The General Assembly,
Considering that one of the basic principles of the Charter of the United Nations is that of the dignity
and equality inherent in all human beings, and that all Member States have pledged themselves to
take joint and separate action in co-operation with the Organization to promote and encourage
universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without
distinction as to race, sex, language or religion,
Considering that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenants on Human
Rights proclaim the principles of non-discrimination and equality before the law and the right to
freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief,
Considering that the disregard and infringement of human rights and fundamental freedoms, in
particular of the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion or whatever belief, have brought,
directly or indirectly, wars and great suffering to mankind, especially where they serve as a means of
foreign interference in the internal affairs of other States and amount to kindling hatred between
peoples and nations,
Considering that religion or belief, for anyone who professes either, is one of the fundamental
elements in his conception of life and that freedom of religion or belief should be fully respected and
guaranteed,
Considering that it is essential to promote understanding, tolerance and respect in matters relating to
freedom of religion and belief and to ensure that the use of religion or belief for ends inconsistent with
the Charter of the United Nations, other relevant instruments of the United Nations and the purposes
and principles of the present Declaration is inadmissible,
Convinced that freedom of religion and belief should also contribute to the attainment of the goals of
world peace, social justice and friendship among peoples and to the elimination of ideologies or
practices of colonialism and racial discrimination,
Noting with satisfaction the adoption of several, and the coming into force of some, conventions, under
the aegis of the United Nations and of the specialized agencies, for the elimination of various forms of
discrimination,
Concerned by manifestations of intolerance and by the existence of discrimination in matters of religion
or belief still in evidence in some areas of the world,
Resolved to adopt all necessary measures for the speedy elimination of such intolerance in all its forms
and manifestations and to prevent and combat discrimination on the ground of religion or belief,
Proclaims this Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on
Religion or Belief:
Article 1
1. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include
freedom to have a religion or whatever belief of his choice, and freedom, either individually or in
community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship,
observance, practice and teaching.
2. No one shall be subject to coercion which would impair his freedom to have a religion or belief of his
choice.
2
3. Freedom to manifest one's religion or belief may be subject only to such limitations as are
prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health or morals or the
fundamental rights and freedoms of others.
Article 2
1. No one shall be subject to discrimination by any State, institution, group of persons, or person on
the grounds of religion or other belief.
2. For the purposes of the present Declaration, the expression "intolerance and discrimination based
on religion or belief" means any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on religion or
belief and having as its purpose or as its effect nullification or impairment of the recognition,
enjoyment or exercise of human rights and fundamental freedoms on an equal basis.
Article 3
Discrimination between human beings on the grounds of religion or belief constitutes an affront to
human dignity and a disavowal of the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and shall be
condemned as a violation of the human rights and fundamental freedoms proclaimed in the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights and enunciated in detail in the International Covenants on Human Rights,
and as an obstacle to friendly and peaceful relations between nations.
Article 4
1. All States shall take effective measures to prevent and eliminate discrimination on the grounds of
religion or belief in the recognition, exercise and enjoyment of human rights and fundamental
freedoms in all fields of civil, economic, political, social and cultural life.
2. All States shall make all efforts to enact or rescind legislation where necessary to prohibit any such
discrimination, and to take all appropriate measures to combat intolerance on the grounds of religion
or other beliefs in this matter.
Article 5
1. The parents or, as the case may be, the legal guardians of the child have the right to organize the
life within the family in accordance with their religion or belief and bearing in mind the moral education
in which they believe the child should be brought up.
2. Every child shall enjoy the right to have access to education in the matter of religion or belief in
accordance with the wishes of his parents or, as the case may be, legal guardians, and shall not be
compelled to receive teaching on religion or belief against the wishes of his parents or legal guardians,
the best interests of the child being the guiding principle.
3. The child shall be protected from any form of discrimination on the ground of religion or belief. He
shall be brought up in a spirit of understanding, tolerance, friendship among peoples, peace and
universal brotherhood, respect for freedom of religion or belief of others, and in full consciousness that
his energy and talents should be devoted to the service of his fellow men.
4. In the case of a child who is not under the care either of his parents or of legal guardians, due
account shall be taken of their expressed wishes or of any other proof of their wishes in the matter of
religion or belief, the best interests of the child being the guiding principle.
5. Practices of a religion or belief in which a child is brought up must not be injurious to his physical or
mental health or to his full development, taking into account article 1, paragraph 3, of the present
Declaration.
Article 6
3
In accordance with article 1 of the present Declaration, and subject to the provisions of article 1,
paragraph 3, the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief shall include, inter alia , the
following freedoms:
( a ) To worship or assemble in connection with a religion or belief, and to establish and maintain
places for these purposes;
( b ) To establish and maintain appropriate charitable or humanitarian institutions;
( c ) To make, acquire and use to an adequate extent the necessary articles and materials related to
the rites or customs of a religion or belief;
( d ) To write, issue and disseminate relevant publications in these areas;
( e ) To teach a religion or belief in places suitable for these purposes;
( f ) To solicit and receive voluntary financial and other contributions from individuals and institutions;
( g ) To train, appoint, elect or designate by succession appropriate leaders called for by the
requirements and standards of any religion or belief;
( h ) To observe days of rest and to celebrate holidays and ceremonies in accordance with the precepts
of one's religion or belief;
( i ) To establish and maintain communications with individuals and communities in matters of religion
and belief at the national and international levels.
Article 7
The rights and freedoms set forth in the present Declaration shall be accorded in national legislation in
such a manner that everyone shall be able to avail himself of such rights and freedoms in practice.
Article 8
Nothing in the present Declaration shall be construed as restricting or derogating from any right
defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenants on Human
Rights.

Adopted on 27 June 1989 by the General Conference
of the International Labour Organisation at its
seventy-sixth session
Entry into force: 5 September 1991
The General Conference of the International Labour Organisation,
Having been convened at Geneva by the Governing Body of the International Labour Office,
and having met in its seventy-sixth session on 7 June 1989, and
Noting the international standards contained in the Indigenous and Tribal Populations
Convention and Recommendation, 1957, and
Recalling the terms of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant
on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights, and the many international instruments on the prevention of discrimination, and
Considering that the developments which have taken place in international law since 1957, as
well as developments in the situation of indigenous and tribal peoples in all regions of the
world, have made it appropriate to adopt new international standards on the subject with a
view to removing the assimilationist orientation of the earlier standards, and
Recognising the aspirations of these peoples to exercise control over their own institutions,
ways of life and economic development and to maintain and develop their identities,
languages and religions, within the framework of the States in which they live, and
Noting that in many parts of the world these peoples are unable to enjoy their fundamental
human rights to the same degree as the rest of the population of the States within which they
live, and that their laws, values, customs and perspectives have often been eroded, and
Calling attention to the distinctive contributions of indigenous and tribal peoples to the
cultural diversity and social and ecological harmony of humankind and to international
co-operation and understanding, and
Noting that the following provisions have been framed with the co-operation of the United
Nations, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the United Nations
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the World Health Organization, as well
as of the Inter-American Indian Institute, at appropriate levels and in their respective fields,
and that it is proposed to continue this co-operation in promoting and securing the application
of these provisions, and
Having decided upon the adoption of certain proposals with regard to the partial revision of
the Indigenous and Tribal Populations Convention, 1957 (No. 107), which is the fourth item
on the agenda of the session, and
Having determined that these proposals shall take the form of an international Convention
revising the Indigenous and Tribal Populations Convention, 1957,
Adopts this twenty-seventh day of June of the year one thousand nine hundred and
eighty-nine the following Convention, which may be cited as the Indigenous and Tribal
Peoples Convention, 1989:
Part I. General policy
Article 1
1. This Convention applies to:
(a) Tribal peoples in independent countries whose social, cultural and economic conditions
distinguish them from other sections of the national community, and whose status is
regulated wholly or partially by their own customs or traditions or by special laws or
regulations;
(b) Peoples in independent countries who are regarded as indigenous on account of their
descent from the populations which inhabited the country, or a geographical region to which
the country belongs, at the time of conquest or colonisation or the establishment of present
State boundaries and who, irrespective of their legal status, retain some or all of their own
social, economic, cultural and political institutions.
2. Self-identification as indigenous or tribal shall be regarded as a fundamental criterion for
determining the groups to which the provisions of this Convention apply.
3. The use of the term "peoples" in this Convention shall not be construed as having any
implications as regards the rights which may attach to the term under international law.
Article 2
1. Governments shall have the responsibility for developing, with the participation of the
peoples concerned, co-ordinated and systematic action to protect the rights of these peoples
and to guarantee respect for their integrity.
2. Such action shall include measures for:
(a) Ensuring that members of these peoples benefit on an equal footing from the rights and
opportunities which national laws and regulations grant to other members of the population;
(b) Promoting the full realisation of the social, economic and cultural rights of these peoples
with respect for their social and cultural identity, their customs and traditions and their
institutions;
(c) Assisting the members of the peoples concerned to eliminate socio-economic gaps that
may exist between indigenous and other members of the national community, in a manner
compatible with their aspirations and ways of life.
Article 3
1. Indigenous and tribal peoples shall enjoy the full measure of human rights and
fundamental freedoms without hindrance or discrimination. The provisions of the Convention
shall be applied without discrimination to male and female members of these peoples.
2. No form of force or coercion shall be used in violation of the human rights and fundamental
freedoms of the peoples concerned, including the rights contained in this Convention.
Article 4
1. Special measures shall be adopted as appropriate for safeguarding the persons,
institutions, property, labour, cultures and environment of the peoples concerned.
2. Such special measures shall not be contrary to the freely-expressed wishes of the peoples
concerned.
3. Enjoyment of the general rights of citizenship, without discrimination, shall not be
prejudiced in any way by such special measures.
Article 5
In applying the provisions of this Convention:
(a) The social, cultural, religious and spiritual values and practices of these peoples shall be
recognised and protected, and due account shall be taken of the nature of the problems
which face them both as groups and as individuals;
(b) The integrity of the values, practices and institutions of these peoples shall be respected;
(c) Policies aimed at mitigating the difficulties experienced by these peoples in facing new
conditions of life and work shall be adopted, with the participation and co-operation of the
peoples affected.
Article 6
1. In applying the provisions of this Convention, Governments shall:
(a) Consult the peoples concerned, through appropriate procedures and in particular through
their representative institutions, whenever consideration is being given to legislative or
administrative measures which may affect them directly;
(b) Establish means by which these peoples can freely participate, to at least the same extent
as other sectors of the population, at all levels of decision-making in elective institutions and
administrative and other bodies responsible for policies and programmes which concern
them;
(c) Establish means for the full development of these peoples' own institutions and initiatives,
and in appropriate cases provide the resources necessary for this purpose.
2. The consultations carried out in application of this Convention shall be undertaken, in good
faith and in a form appropriate to the circumstances, with the objective of achieving
agreement or consent to the proposed measures.
Article 7
1. The peoples concerned shall have the right to decide their own priorities for the process of
development as it affects their lives, beliefs, institutions and spiritual well-being and the lands
they occupy or otherwise use, and to exercise control, to the extent possible, over their own
economic, social and cultural development. In addition, they shall participate in the
formulation, implementation and evaluation of plans and programmes for national and
regional development which may affect them directly.
2. The improvement of the conditions of life and work and levels of health and education of
the peoples concerned, with their participation and co-operation, shall be a matter of priority
in plans for the overall economic development of areas they inhabit. Special projects for
development of the areas in question shall also be so designed as to promote such
improvement.
3. Governments shall ensure that, whenever appropriate, studies are carried out, in
co-operation with the peoples concerned, to assess the social, spiritual, cultural and
environmental impact on them of planned development activities. The results of these studies
shall be considered as fundamental criteria for the implementation of these activities.
4. Governments shall take measures, in co-operation with the peoples concerned, to protect
and preserve the environment of the territories they inhabit.
Article 8
1. In applying national laws and regulations to the peoples concerned, due regard shall be
had to their customs or customary laws.
2. These peoples shall have the right to retain their own customs and institutions, where
these are not incompatible with fundamental rights defined by the national legal system and
with internationally recognized human rights. Procedures shall be established, whenever
necessary, to resolve conflicts which may arise in the application of this principle.
3. The application of paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Article shall not prevent members of these
peoples from exercising the rights granted to all citizens and from assuming the
corresponding duties.
Article 9
1. To the extent compatible with the national legal system and internationally recognised
human rights, the methods customarily practised by the peoples concerned for dealing with
offences committed by their members shall be respected.
2. The customs of these peoples in regard to penal matters shall be taken into consideration
by the authorities and courts dealing with such cases.
Article 10
1. In imposing penalties laid down by general law on members of these peoples account shall
be taken of their economic, social and cultural characteristics.
2. Preference shall be given to methods of punishment other than confinement in prison.
Article 11
The exaction from members of the peoples concerned of compulsory personal services in any
form, whether paid or unpaid, shall be prohibited and punishable by law, except in cases
prescribed by law for all citizens.
Article 12
The peoples concerned shall be safeguarded against the abuse of their rights and shall be
able to take legal proceedings, either individually or through their representative bodies, for
the effective protection of these rights. Measures shall be taken to ensure that members of
these peoples can understand and be understood in legal proceedings, where necessary
through the provision of interpretation or by other effective means.
Part II. Land
Article 13
1. In applying the provisions of this Part of the Convention governments shall respect the
special importance for the cultures and spiritual values of the peoples concerned of their
relationship with the lands or territories, or both as applicable, which they occupy or
otherwise use, and in particular the collective aspects of this relationship.
2. The use of the term "lands" in Articles 15 and 16 shall include the concept of territories,
which covers the total environment of the areas which the peoples concerned occupy or
otherwise use.
Article 14
1. The rights of ownership and possession of the peoples concerned over the lands which they
traditionally occupy shall be recognised. In addition, measures shall be taken in appropriate
cases to safeguard the right of the peoples concerned to use lands not exclusively occupied
by them, but to which they have traditionally had access for their subsistence and traditional
activities. Particular attention shall be paid to the situation of nomadic peoples and shifting
cultivators in this respect.
2. Governments shall take steps as necessary to identify the lands which the peoples
concerned traditionally occupy, and to guarantee effective protection of their rights of
ownership and possession.
3. Adequate procedures shall be established within the national legal system to resolve land
claims by the peoples concerned.
Article 15
1. The rights of the peoples concerned to the natural resources pertaining to their lands shall
be specially safeguarded. These rights include the right of these peoples to participate in the
use, management and conservation of these resources.
2. In cases in which the State retains the ownership of mineral or sub-surface resources or
rights to other resources pertaining to lands, governments shall establish or maintain
procedures through which they shall consult these peoples, with a view to ascertaining
whether and to what degree their interests would be prejudiced, before undertaking or
permitting any programmes for the exploration or exploitation of such resources pertaining to
their lands. The peoples concerned shall wherever possible participate in the benefits of such
activities, and shall receive fair compensation for any damages which they may sustain as a
result of such activities.
Article 16
1. Subject to the following paragraphs of this Article, the peoples concerned shall not be
removed from the lands which they occupy.
2. Where the relocation of these peoples is considered necessary as an exceptional measure,
such relocation shall take place only with their free and informed consent. Where their
consent cannot be obtained, such relocation shall take place only following appropriate
procedures established by national laws and regulations, including public inquiries where
appropriate, which provide the opportunity for effective representation of the peoples
concerned.
3. Whenever possible, these peoples shall have the right to return to their traditional lands,
as soon as the grounds for relocation cease to exist.
4. When such return is not possible, as determined by agreement or, in the absence of such
agreement, through appropriate procedures, these peoples shall be provided in all possible
cases with lands of quality and legal status at least equal to that of the lands previously
occupied by them, suitable to provide for their present needs and future development. Where
the peoples concerned express a preference for compensation in money or in kind, they shall
be so compensated under appropriate guarantees.
5. Persons thus relocated shall be fully compensated for any resulting loss or injury.
Article 17
1. Procedures established by the peoples concerned for the transmission of land rights among
members of these peoples shall be respected.
2. The peoples concerned shall be consulted whenever consideration is being given to their
capacity to alienate their lands or otherwise transmit their rights outside their own
community.
3. Persons not belonging to these peoples shall be prevented from taking advantage of their
customs or of lack of understanding of the laws on the part of their members to secure the
ownership, possession or use of land belonging to them.
Article 18
Adequate penalties shall be established by law for unauthorised intrusion upon, or use of, the
lands of the peoples concerned, and governments shall take measures to prevent such
offences.
Article 19
National agrarian programmes shall secure to the peoples concerned treatment equivalent to
that accorded to other sectors of the population with regard to:
(a) The provision of more land for these peoples when they have not the area necessary for
providing the essentials of a normal existence, or for any possible increase in their numbers;
(b) The provision of the means required to promote the development of the lands which these
peoples already possess.
Part III. Recruitment and conditions of employment
Article 20
1. Governments shall, within the framework of national laws and regulations, and in
co-operation with the peoples concerned, adopt special measures to ensure the effective
protection with regard to recruitment and conditions of employment of workers belonging to
these peoples, to the extent that they are not effectively protected by laws applicable to
workers in general.
2. Governments shall do everything possible to prevent any discrimination between workers
belonging to the peoples concerned and other workers, in particular as regards:
(a) Admission to employment, including skilled employment, as well as measures for
promotion and advancement;
(b) Equal remuneration for work of equal value;
(c) Medical and social assistance, occupational safety and health, all social security benefits
and any other occupationally related benefits, and housing;
(d) The right of association and freedom for all lawful trade union activities, and the right to
conclude collective agreements with employers or employers' organisations.
3. The measures taken shall include measures to ensure:
(a) That workers belonging to the peoples concerned, including seasonal, casual and migrant
workers in agricultural and other employment, as well as those employed by labour
contractors, enjoy the protection afforded by national law and practice to other such workers
in the same sectors, and that they are fully informed of their rights under labour legislation
and of the means of redress available to them;
(b) That workers belonging to these peoples are not subjected to working conditions
hazardous to their health, in particular through exposure to pesticides or other toxic
substances;
(c) That workers belonging to these peoples are not subjected to coercive recruitment
systems, including bonded labour and other forms of debt servitude;
(d) That workers belonging to these peoples enjoy equal opportunities and equal treatment in
employment for men and women, and protection from sexual harassment.
4. Particular attention shall be paid to the establishment of adequate labour inspection
services in areas where workers belonging to the peoples concerned undertake wage
employment, in order to ensure compliance with the provisions of this Part of this
Convention.
Part IV. Vocational training, handicrafts and rural industries
Article 21
Members of the peoples concerned shall enjoy opportunities at least equal to those of other
citizens in respect of vocational training measures.
Article 22
1. Measures shall be taken to promote the voluntary participation of members of the peoples
concerned in vocational training programmes of general application.
2. Whenever existing programmes of vocational training of general application do not meet
the special needs of the peoples concerned, governments shall, with the participation of these
peoples, ensure the provision of special training programmes and facilities.
3. Any special training programmes shall be based on the economic environment, social and
cultural conditions and practical needs of the peoples concerned. Any studies made in this
connection shall be carried out in co-operation with these peoples, who shall be consulted on
the organisation and operation of such programmes. Where feasible, these peoples shall
progressively assume responsibility for the organisation and operation of such special training
programmes, if they so decide.
Article 23
1. Handicrafts, rural and community-based industries, and subsistence economy and
traditional activities of the peoples concerned, such as hunting, fishing, trapping and
gathering, shall be recognised as important factors in the maintenance of their cultures and in
their economic self-reliance and development. Governments shall, with the participation of
these peoples and whenever appropriate, ensure that these activities are strengthened and
promoted.
2. Upon the request of the peoples concerned, appropriate technical and financial assistance
shall be provided wherever possible, taking into account the traditional technologies and
cultural characteristics of these peoples, as well as the importance of sustainable and
equitable development.
Part V. Social security and health
Article 24
Social security schemes shall be extended progressively to cover the peoples concerned, and
applied without discrimination against them.
Article 25
1. Governments shall ensure that adequate health services are made available to the peoples
concerned, or shall provide them with resources to allow them to design and deliver such
services under their own responsibility and control, so that they may enjoy the highest
attainable standard of physical and mental health.
2. Health services shall, to the extent possible, be community-based. These services shall be
planned and administered in co-operation with the peoples concerned and take into account
their economic, geographic, social and cultural conditions as well as their traditional
preventive care, healing practices and medicines.
3. The health care system shall give preference to the training and employment of local
community health workers, and focus on primary health care while maintaining strong links
with other levels of health care services.
4. The provision of such health services shall be co-ordinated with other social, economic and
cultural measures in the country.
Part VI. Education and means of communication
Article 26
Measures shall be taken to ensure that members of the peoples concerned have the
opportunity to acquire education at all levels on at least an equal footing with the rest of the
national community.
Article 27
1. Education programmes and services for the peoples concerned shall be developed and
implemented in co-operation with them to address their special needs, and shall incorporate
their histories, their knowledge and technologies, their value systems and their further social,
economic and cultural aspirations.
2. The competent authority shall ensure the training of members of these peoples and their
involvement in the formulation and implementation of education programmes, with a view to
the progressive transfer of responsibility for the conduct of these programmes to these
peoples as appropriate.
3. In addition, governments shall recognise the right of these peoples to establish their own
educational institutions and facilities, provided that such institutions meet minimum
standards established by the competent authority in consultation with these peoples.
Appropriate resources shall be provided for this purpose.
Article 28
1. Children belonging to the peoples concerned shall, wherever practicable, be taught to read
and write in their own indigenous language or in the language most commonly used by the
group to which they belong. When this is not practicable, the competent authorities shall
undertake consultations with these peoples with a view to the adoption of measures to
achieve this objective.
2. Adequate measures shall be taken to ensure that these peoples have the opportunity to
attain fluency in the national language or in one of the official languages of the country.
3. Measures shall be taken to preserve and promote the development and practice of the
indigenous languages of the peoples concerned.
Article 29
The imparting of general knowledge and skills that will help children belonging to the peoples
concerned to participate fully and on an equal footing in their own community and in the
national community shall be an aim of education for these peoples.
Article 30
1. Governments shall adopt measures appropriate to the traditions and cultures of the
peoples concerned, to make known to them their rights and duties, especially in regard to
labour, economic opportunities, education and health matters, social welfare and their rights
deriving from this Convention.
2. If necessary, this shall be done by means of written translations and through the use of
mass communications in the languages of these peoples.
Article 31
Educational measures shall be taken among all sections of the national community, and
particularly among those that are in most direct contact with the peoples concerned, with the
object of eliminating prejudices that they may harbour in respect of these peoples. To this
end, efforts shall be made to ensure that history textbooks and other educational materials
provide a fair, accurate and informative portrayal of the societies and cultures of these
peoples.
Part VII. Contacts and co-operation across borders
Article 32
Governments shall take appropriate measures, including by means of international
agreements, to facilitate contacts and co-operation between indigenous and tribal peoples
across borders, including activities in the economic, social, cultural, spiritual and
environmental fields.
Part VIII. Administration
Article 33
1. The governmental authority responsible for the matters covered in this Convention shall
ensure that agencies or other appropriate mechanisms exist to administer the programmes
affecting the peoples concerned, and shall ensure that they have the means necessary for the
proper fulfilment of the functions assigned to them.
2. These programmes shall include:
(a) The planning, co-ordination, execution and evaluation, in co-operation with the peoples
concerned, of the measures provided for in this Convention;
(b) The proposing of legislative and other measures to the competent authorities and
supervision of the application of the measures taken, in co-operation with the peoples
concerned.
Part IX. General provisions
Article 34
The nature and scope of the measures to be taken to give effect to this Convention shall be
determined in a flexible manner, having regard to the conditions characteristic of each
country.
Article 35
The application of the provisions of this Convention shall not adversely affect rights and
benefits of the peoples concerned pursuant to other Conventions and Recommendations,
international instruments, treaties, or national laws, awards, custom or agreements.
Part X. Final provisions
Article 36
This Convention revises the Indigenous and Tribal Populations Convention, 1957.
Article 37
The formal ratifications of this Convention shall be communicated to the Director-General of
the International Labour Office for registration.
Article 38
1. This Convention shall be binding only upon those Members of the International Labour
Organisation whose ratifications have been registered with the Director-General.
2. It shall come into force twelve months after the date on which the ratifications of two
Members have been registered with the Director-General.
3. Thereafter, this Convention shall come into force for any Member twelve months after the
date on which its ratification has been registered.
Article 39
1. A Member which has ratified this Convention may denounce it after the expiration of ten
years from the date on which the Convention first comes into force, by an act communicated
to the Director-General of the International Labour Office for registration. Such denunciation
shall not take effect until one year after the date on which it is registered.
2. Each Member which has ratified this Convention and which does not, within the year
following the expiration of the period of ten years mentioned in the preceding paragraph,
exercise the right of denunciation provided for in this Article, will be bound for another period
of ten years and, thereafter, may denounce this Convention at the expiration of each period
of ten years under the terms provided for in this Article.
Article 40
1. The Director-General of the International Labour Office shall notify all Members of the
International Labour Organisation of the registration of all ratifications and denunciations
communicated to him by the Members of the Organisation.
2. When notifying the Members of the Organisation of the registration of the second
ratification communicated to him, the Director-General shall draw the attention of the
Members of the Organisation to the date upon which the Convention will come into force.
Article 41
The Director-General of the International Labour Office shall communicate to the
Secretary-General of the United Nations for registration in accordance with Article 102 of the
Charter of the United Nations full particulars of all ratifications and acts of denunciation
registered by him in accordance with the provisions of the preceding Articles.
Article 42
At such times as it may consider necessary the Governing Body of the International Labour
Office shall present to the General Conference a report on the working of this Convention and
shall examine the desirability of placing on the agenda of the Conference the question of its
revision in whole or in part.
Article 43
1. Should the Conference adopt a new Convention revising this Convention in whole or in
part, then, unless the new Convention otherwise provides:
(a) The ratification by a Member of the new revising Convention shall ipso jure involve the
immediate denunciation of this Convention, notwithstanding the provisions of Article 39
above, if and when the new revising Convention shall have come into force;
(b) As from the date when the new revising Convention comes into force this Convention
shall cease to be open to ratification by the Members.
2. This Convention shall in any case remain in force in its actual form and content for those
Members which have ratified it but have not ratified the revising Convention.
Article 44
The English and French versions of the text of this Convention are equally authoritative.

Adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General Assembly
resolution 44/25 of 20 November 1989
entry into force 2 September 1990, in accordance with article 49
Preamble
The States Parties to the present Convention,
Considering that, in accordance with the principles proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations,
recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human
family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
Bearing in mind that the peoples of the United Nations have, in the Charter, reaffirmed their faith in
fundamental human rights and in the dignity and worth of the human person, and have determined to
promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,
Recognizing that the United Nations has, in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the
International Covenants on Human Rights, proclaimed and agreed that everyone is entitled to all the
rights and freedoms set forth therein, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex,
language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status,
Recalling that, in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations has proclaimed that
childhood is entitled to special care and assistance,
Convinced that the family, as the fundamental group of society and the natural environment for the
growth and well-being of all its members and particularly children, should be afforded the necessary
protection and assistance so that it can fully assume its responsibilities within the community,
Recognizing that the child, for the full and harmonious development of his or her personality, should
grow up in a family environment, in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding,
Considering that the child should be fully prepared to live an individual life in society, and brought up
in the spirit of the ideals proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations, and in particular in the spirit
of peace, dignity, tolerance, freedom, equality and solidarity,
Bearing in mind that the need to extend particular care to the child has been stated in the Geneva
Declaration of the Rights of the Child of 1924 and in the Declaration of the Rights of the Child adopted
by the General Assembly on 20 November 1959 and recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights, in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (in particular in articles 23 and 24), in
the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (in particular in article 10) and in
the statutes and relevant instruments of specialized agencies and international organizations
concerned with the welfare of children,
Bearing in mind that, as indicated in the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, "the child, by reason of
his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal
protection, before as well as after birth",
Recalling the provisions of the Declaration on Social and Legal Principles relating to the Protection and
Welfare of Children, with Special Reference to Foster Placement and Adoption Nationally and
Internationally; the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice
(The Beijing Rules) ; and the Declaration on the Protection of Women and Children in Emergency and
Armed Conflict, Recognizing that, in all countries in the world, there are children living in exceptionally
difficult conditions, and that such children need special consideration,
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Taking due account of the importance of the traditions and cultural values of each people for the
protection and harmonious development of the child, Recognizing the importance of international cooperation
for improving the living conditions of children in every country, in particular in the
developing countries,
Have agreed as follows:
PART I
Article 1
For the purposes of the present Convention, a child means every human being below the age of
eighteen years unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier.
Article 2
1. States Parties shall respect and ensure the rights set forth in the present Convention to each child
within their jurisdiction without discrimination of any kind, irrespective of the child's or his or her
parent's or legal guardian's race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national,
ethnic or social origin, property, disability, birth or other status.
2. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that the child is protected against all
forms of discrimination or punishment on the basis of the status, activities, expressed opinions, or
beliefs of the child's parents, legal guardians, or family members.
Article 3
1. In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare
institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child
shall be a primary consideration.
2. States Parties undertake to ensure the child such protection and care as is necessary for his or her
well-being, taking into account the rights and duties of his or her parents, legal guardians, or other
individuals legally responsible for him or her, and, to this end, shall take all appropriate legislative and
administrative measures.
3. States Parties shall ensure that the institutions, services and facilities responsible for the care or
protection of children shall conform with the standards established by competent authorities,
particularly in the areas of safety, health, in the number and suitability of their staff, as well as
competent supervision.
Article 4
States Parties shall undertake all appropriate legislative, administrative, and other measures for the
implementation of the rights recognized in the present Convention. With regard to economic, social
and cultural rights, States Parties shall undertake such measures to the maximum extent of their
available resources and, where needed, within the framework of international co-operation.
Article 5
States Parties shall respect the responsibilities, rights and duties of parents or, where applicable, the
members of the extended family or community as provided for by local custom, legal guardians or
other persons legally responsible for the child, to provide, in a manner consistent with the evolving
capacities of the child, appropriate direction and guidance in the exercise by the child of the rights
recognized in the present Convention.
Article 6
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1. States Parties recognize that every child has the inherent right to life. 2. States Parties shall ensure
to the maximum extent possible the survival and development of the child.
Article 7
1. The child shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have the right from birth to a name,
the right to acquire a nationality and. as far as possible, the right to know and be cared for by his or
her parents.
2. States Parties shall ensure the implementation of these rights in accordance with their national law
and their obligations under the relevant international instruments in this field, in particular where the
child would otherwise be stateless.
Article 8
1. States Parties undertake to respect the right of the child to preserve his or her identity, including
nationality, name and family relations as recognized by law without unlawful interference.
2. Where a child is illegally deprived of some or all of the elements of his or her identity, States Parties
shall provide appropriate assistance and protection, with a view to re-establishing speedily his or her
identity.
Article 9
1. States Parties shall ensure that a child shall not be separated from his or her parents against their
will, except when competent authorities subject to judicial review determine, in accordance with
applicable law and procedures, that such separation is necessary for the best interests of the child.
Such determination may be necessary in a particular case such as one involving abuse or neglect of
the child by the parents, or one where the parents are living separately and a decision must be made
as to the child's place of residence.
2. In any proceedings pursuant to paragraph 1 of the present article, all interested parties shall be
given an opportunity to participate in the proceedings and make their views known.
3. States Parties shall respect the right of the child who is separated from one or both parents to
maintain personal relations and direct contact with both parents on a regular basis, except if it is
contrary to the child's best interests.
4. Where such separation results from any action initiated by a State Party, such as the detention,
imprisonment, exile, deportation or death (including death arising from any cause while the person is
in the custody of the State) of one or both parents or of the child, that State Party shall, upon request,
provide the parents, the child or, if appropriate, another member of the family with the essential
information concerning the whereabouts of the absent member(s) of the family unless the provision of
the information would be detrimental to the well-being of the child. States Parties shall further ensure
that the submission of such a request shall of itself entail no adverse consequences for the person(s)
concerned.
Article 10
1. In accordance with the obligation of States Parties under article 9, paragraph 1, applications by a
child or his or her parents to enter or leave a State Party for the purpose of family reunification shall
be dealt with by States Parties in a positive, humane and expeditious manner. States Parties shall
further ensure that the submission of such a request shall entail no adverse consequences for the
applicants and for the members of their family.
2. A child whose parents reside in different States shall have the right to maintain on a regular basis,
save in exceptional circumstances personal relations and direct contacts with both parents. Towards
that end and in accordance with the obligation of States Parties under article 9, paragraph 1, States
Parties shall respect the right of the child and his or her parents to leave any country, including their
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own, and to enter their own country. The right to leave any country shall be subject only to such
restrictions as are prescribed by law and which are necessary to protect the national security, public
order (ordre public), public health or morals or the rights and freedoms of others and are consistent
with the other rights recognized in the present Convention.
Article 11
1. States Parties shall take measures to combat the illicit transfer and non-return of children abroad.
2. To this end, States Parties shall promote the conclusion of bilateral or multilateral agreements or
accession to existing agreements.
Article 12
1. States Parties shall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to
express those views freely in all matters affecting the child, the views of the child being given due
weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child.
2. For this purpose, the child shall in particular be provided the opportunity to be heard in any judicial
and administrative proceedings affecting the child, either directly, or through a representative or an
appropriate body, in a manner consistent with the procedural rules of national law.
Article 13
1. The child shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek,
receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or
in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of the child's choice.
2. The exercise of this right may be subject to certain restrictions, but these shall only be such as are
provided by law and are necessary:
(a) For respect of the rights or reputations of others; or
(b) For the protection of national security or of public order (ordre public), or of public health or
morals.
Article 14
1. States Parties shall respect the right of the child to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
2. States Parties shall respect the rights and duties of the parents and, when applicable, legal
guardians, to provide direction to the child in the exercise of his or her right in a manner consistent
with the evolving capacities of the child.
3. Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs may be subject only to such limitations as are
prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health or morals, or the
fundamental rights and freedoms of others.
Article 15
1. States Parties recognize the rights of the child to freedom of association and to freedom of peaceful
assembly.
2. No restrictions may be placed on the exercise of these rights other than those imposed in
conformity with the law and which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national
security or public safety, public order (ordre public), the protection of public health or morals or the
protection of the rights and freedoms of others.
Article 16
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1. No child shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his or her privacy, family, home
or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his or her honour and reputation.
2. The child has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
Article 17
States Parties recognize the important function performed by the mass media and shall ensure that the
child has access to information and material from a diversity of national and international sources,
especially those aimed at the promotion of his or her social, spiritual and moral well-being and physical
and mental health.
To this end, States Parties shall:
(a) Encourage the mass media to disseminate information and material of social and cultural benefit to
the child and in accordance with the spirit of article 29;
(b) Encourage international co-operation in the production, exchange and dissemination of such
information and material from a diversity of cultural, national and international sources;
(c) Encourage the production and dissemination of children's books;
(d) Encourage the mass media to have particular regard to the linguistic needs of the child who
belongs to a minority group or who is indigenous;
(e) Encourage the development of appropriate guidelines for the protection of the child from
information and material injurious to his or her well-being, bearing in mind the provisions of articles 13
and 18.
Article 18
1. States Parties shall use their best efforts to ensure recognition of the principle that both parents
have common responsibilities for the upbringing and development of the child. Parents or, as the case
may be, legal guardians, have the primary responsibility for the upbringing and development of the
child. The best interests of the child will be their basic concern.
2. For the purpose of guaranteeing and promoting the rights set forth in the present Convention,
States Parties shall render appropriate assistance to parents and legal guardians in the performance of
their child-rearing responsibilities and shall ensure the development of institutions, facilities and
services for the care of children.
3. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that children of working parents have
the right to benefit from child-care services and facilities for which they are eligible.
Article 19
1. States Parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures
to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent
treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal
guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child.
2. Such protective measures should, as appropriate, include effective procedures for the establishment
of social programmes to provide necessary support for the child and for those who have the care of the
child, as well as for other forms of prevention and for identification, reporting, referral, investigation,
treatment and follow-up of instances of child maltreatment described heretofore, and, as appropriate,
for judicial involvement.
Article 20
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1. A child temporarily or permanently deprived of his or her family environment, or in whose own best
interests cannot be allowed to remain in that environment, shall be entitled to special protection and
assistance provided by the State.
2. States Parties shall in accordance with their national laws ensure alternative care for such a child.
3. Such care could include, inter alia, foster placement, kafalah of Islamic law, adoption or if necessary
placement in suitable institutions for the care of children. When considering solutions, due regard shall
be paid to the desirability of continuity in a child's upbringing and to the child's ethnic, religious,
cultural and linguistic background.
Article 21
States Parties that recognize and/or permit the system of adoption shall ensure that the best interests
of the child shall be the paramount consideration and they shall:
(a) Ensure that the adoption of a child is authorized only by competent authorities who determine, in
accordance with applicable law and procedures and on the basis of all pertinent and reliable
information, that the adoption is permissible in view of the child's status concerning parents, relatives
and legal guardians and that, if required, the persons concerned have given their informed consent to
the adoption on the basis of such counselling as may be necessary;
(b) Recognize that inter-country adoption may be considered as an alternative means of child's care, if
the child cannot be placed in a foster or an adoptive family or cannot in any suitable manner be cared
for in the child's country of origin;
(c) Ensure that the child concerned by inter-country adoption enjoys safeguards and standards
equivalent to those existing in the case of national adoption;
(d) Take all appropriate measures to ensure that, in inter-country adoption, the placement does not
result in improper financial gain for those involved in it;
(e) Promote, where appropriate, the objectives of the present article by concluding bilateral or
multilateral arrangements or agreements, and endeavour, within this framework, to ensure that the
placement of the child in another country is carried out by competent authorities or organs.
Article 22
1. States Parties shall take appropriate measures to ensure that a child who is seeking refugee status
or who is considered a refugee in accordance with applicable international or domestic law and
procedures shall, whether unaccompanied or accompanied by his or her parents or by any other
person, receive appropriate protection and humanitarian assistance in the enjoyment of applicable
rights set forth in the present Convention and in other international human rights or humanitarian
instruments to which the said States are Parties.
2. For this purpose, States Parties shall provide, as they consider appropriate, co-operation in any
efforts by the United Nations and other competent intergovernmental organizations or nongovernmental
organizations co-operating with the United Nations to protect and assist such a child and
to trace the parents or other members of the family of any refugee child in order to obtain information
necessary for reunification with his or her family. In cases where no parents or other members of the
family can be found, the child shall be accorded the same protection as any other child permanently or
temporarily deprived of his or her family environment for any reason , as set forth in the present
Convention.
Article 23
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1. States Parties recognize that a mentally or physically disabled child should enjoy a full and decent
life, in conditions which ensure dignity, promote self-reliance and facilitate the child's active
participation in the community.
2. States Parties recognize the right of the disabled child to special care and shall encourage and
ensure the extension, subject to available resources, to the eligible child and those responsible for his
or her care, of assistance for which application is made and which is appropriate to the child's condition
and to the circumstances of the parents or others caring for the child.
3. Recognizing the special needs of a disabled child, assistance extended in accordance with paragraph
2 of the present article shall be provided free of charge, whenever possible, taking into account the
financial resources of the parents or others caring for the child, and shall be designed to ensure that
the disabled child has effective access to and receives education, training, health care services,
rehabilitation services, preparation for employment and recreation opportunities in a manner conducive
to the child's achieving the fullest possible social integration and individual development, including his
or her cultural and spiritual development
4. States Parties shall promote, in the spirit of international cooperation, the exchange of appropriate
information in the field of preventive health care and of medical, psychological and functional
treatment of disabled children, including dissemination of and access to information concerning
methods of rehabilitation, education and vocational services, with the aim of enabling States Parties to
improve their capabilities and skills and to widen their experience in these areas. In this regard,
particular account shall be taken of the needs of developing countries.
Article 24
1. States Parties recognize the right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of
health and to facilities for the treatment of illness and rehabilitation of health. States Parties shall
strive to ensure that no child is deprived of his or her right of access to such health care services.
2. States Parties shall pursue full implementation of this right and, in particular, shall take appropriate
measures:
(a) To diminish infant and child mortality;
(b) To ensure the provision of necessary medical assistance and health care to all children with
emphasis on the development of primary health care;
(c) To combat disease and malnutrition, including within the framework of primary health care,
through, inter alia, the application of readily available technology and through the provision of
adequate nutritious foods and clean drinking-water, taking into consideration the dangers and risks of
environmental pollution;
(d) To ensure appropriate pre-natal and post-natal health care for mothers;
(e) To ensure that all segments of society, in particular parents and children, are informed, have
access to education and are supported in the use of basic knowledge of child health and nutrition, the
advantages of breastfeeding, hygiene and environmental sanitation and the prevention of accidents;
(f) To develop preventive health care, guidance for parents and family planning education and
services.
3. States Parties shall take all effective and appropriate measures with a view to abolishing traditional
practices prejudicial to the health of children.
4. States Parties undertake to promote and encourage international co-operation with a view to
achieving progressively the full realization of the right recognized in the present article. In this regard,
particular account shall be taken of the needs of developing countries.
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Article 25
States Parties recognize the right of a child who has been placed by the competent authorities for the
purposes of care, protection or treatment of his or her physical or mental health, to a periodic review
of the treatment provided to the child and all other circumstances relevant to his or her placement.
Article 26
1. States Parties shall recognize for every child the right to benefit from social security, including social
insurance, and shall take the necessary measures to achieve the full realization of this right in
accordance with their national law.
2. The benefits should, where appropriate, be granted, taking into account the resources and the
circumstances of the child and persons having responsibility for the maintenance of the child, as well
as any other consideration relevant to an application for benefits made by or on behalf of the child.
Article 27
1. States Parties recognize the right of every child to a standard of living adequate for the child's
physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development.
2. The parent(s) or others responsible for the child have the primary responsibility to secure, within
their abilities and financial capacities, the conditions of living necessary for the child's development.
3. States Parties, in accordance with national conditions and within their means, shall take appropriate
measures to assist parents and others responsible for the child to implement this right and shall in
case of need provide material assistance and support programmes, particularly with regard to
nutrition, clothing and housing.
4. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to secure the recovery of maintenance for the
child from the parents or other persons having financial responsibility for the child, both within the
State Party and from abroad. In particular, where the person having financial responsibility for the
child lives in a State different from that of the child, States Parties shall promote the accession to
international agreements or the conclusion of such agreements, as well as the making of other
appropriate arrangements.
Article 28
1. States Parties recognize the right of the child to education, and with a view to achieving this right
progressively and on the basis of equal opportunity, they shall, in particular:
(a) Make primary education compulsory and available free to all;
(b) Encourage the development of different forms of secondary education, including general and
vocational education, make them available and accessible to every child, and take appropriate
measures such as the introduction of free education and offering financial assistance in case of need;
(c) Make higher education accessible to all on the basis of capacity by every appropriate means;
(d) Make educational and vocational information and guidance available and accessible to all children;
(e) Take measures to encourage regular attendance at schools and the reduction of drop-out rates.
2. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that school discipline is administered in
a manner consistent with the child's human dignity and in conformity with the present Convention.
3. States Parties shall promote and encourage international cooperation in matters relating to
education, in particular with a view to contributing to the elimination of ignorance and illiteracy
9
throughout the world and facilitating access to scientific and technical knowledge and modern teaching
methods. In this regard, particular account shall be taken of the needs of developing countries.
Article 29
1. States Parties agree that the education of the child shall be directed to:
(a) The development of the child's personality, talents and mental and physical abilities to their fullest
potential;
(b) The development of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and for the principles
enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations;
(c) The development of respect for the child's parents, his or her own cultural identity, language and
values, for the national values of the country in which the child is living, the country from which he or
she may originate, and for civilizations different from his or her own;
(d) The preparation of the child for responsible life in a free society, in the spirit of understanding,
peace, tolerance, equality of sexes, and friendship among all peoples, ethnic, national and religious
groups and persons of indigenous origin;
(e) The development of respect for the natural environment.
2. No part of the present article or article 28 shall be construed so as to interfere with the liberty of
individuals and bodies to establish and direct educational institutions, subject always to the observance
of the principle set forth in paragraph 1 of the present article and to the requirements that the
education given in such institutions shall conform to such minimum standards as may be laid down by
the State.
Article 30
In those States in which ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities or persons of indigenous origin exist, a
child belonging to such a minority or who is indigenous shall not be denied the right, in community
with other members of his or her group, to enjoy his or her own culture, to profess and practise his or
her own religion, or to use his or her own language.
Article 31
1. States Parties recognize the right of the child to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational
activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts.
2. States Parties shall respect and promote the right of the child to participate fully in cultural and
artistic life and shall encourage the provision of appropriate and equal opportunities for cultural,
artistic, recreational and leisure activity.
Article 32
1. States Parties recognize the right of the child to be protected from economic exploitation and from
performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the child's education, or to be
harmful to the child's health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development.
2. States Parties shall take legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to ensure the
implementation of the present article. To this end, and having regard to the relevant provisions of
other international instruments, States Parties shall in particular:
(a) Provide for a minimum age or minimum ages for admission to employment;
(b) Provide for appropriate regulation of the hours and conditions of employment;
10
(c) Provide for appropriate penalties or other sanctions to ensure the effective enforcement of the
present article.
Article 33
States Parties shall take all appropriate measures, including legislative, administrative, social and
educational measures, to protect children from the illicit use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic
substances as defined in the relevant international treaties, and to prevent the use of children in the
illicit production and trafficking of such substances.
Article 34
States Parties undertake to protect the child from all forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse.
For these purposes, States Parties shall in particular take all appropriate national, bilateral and
multilateral measures to prevent:
(a) The inducement or coercion of a child to engage in any unlawful sexual activity;
(b) The exploitative use of children in prostitution or other unlawful sexual practices;
(c) The exploitative use of children in pornographic performances and materials.
Article 35
States Parties shall take all appropriate national, bilateral and multilateral measures to prevent the
abduction of, the sale of or traffic in children for any purpose or in any form.
Article 36
States Parties shall protect the child against all other forms of exploitation prejudicial to any aspects of
the child's welfare.
Article 37
States Parties shall ensure that:
(a) No child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or
punishment. Neither capital punishment nor life imprisonment without possibility of release shall be
imposed for offences committed by persons below eighteen years of age;
(b) No child shall be deprived of his or her liberty unlawfully or arbitrarily. The arrest, detention or
imprisonment of a child shall be in conformity with the law and shall be used only as a measure of last
resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time;
(c) Every child deprived of liberty shall be treated with humanity and respect for the inherent dignity of
the human person, and in a manner which takes into account the needs of persons of his or her age.
In particular, every child deprived of liberty shall be separated from adults unless it is considered in
the child's best interest not to do so and shall have the right to maintain contact with his or her family
through correspondence and visits, save in exceptional circumstances;
(d) Every child deprived of his or her liberty shall have the right to prompt access to legal and other
appropriate assistance, as well as the right to challenge the legality of the deprivation of his or her
liberty before a court or other competent, independent and impartial authority, and to a prompt
decision on any such action.
Article 38
1. States Parties undertake to respect and to ensure respect for rules of international humanitarian law
applicable to them in armed conflicts which are relevant to the child.
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2. States Parties shall take all feasible measures to ensure that persons who have not attained the age
of fifteen years do not take a direct part in hostilities.
3. States Parties shall refrain from recruiting any person who has not attained the age of fifteen years
into their armed forces. In recruiting among those persons who have attained the age of fifteen years
but who have not attained the age of eighteen years, States Parties shall endeavour to give priority to
those who are oldest.
4. In accordance with their obligations under international humanitarian law to protect the civilian
population in armed conflicts, States Parties shall take all feasible measures to ensure protection and
care of children who are affected by an armed conflict.
Article 39
States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to promote physical and psychological recovery and
social reintegration of a child victim of: any form of neglect, exploitation, or abuse; torture or any
other form of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; or armed conflicts. Such recovery
and reintegration shall take place in an environment which fosters the health, self-respect and dignity
of the child.
Article 40
1. States Parties recognize the right of every child alleged as, accused of, or recognized as having
infringed the penal law to be treated in a manner consistent with the promotion of the child's sense of
dignity and worth, which reinforces the child's respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms
of others and which takes into account the child's age and the desirability of promoting the child's
reintegration and the child's assuming a constructive role in society.
2. To this end, and having regard to the relevant provisions of international instruments, States Parties
shall, in particular, ensure that:
(a) No child shall be alleged as, be accused of, or recognized as having infringed the penal law by
reason of acts or omissions that were not prohibited by national or international law at the time they
were committed;
(b) Every child alleged as or accused of having infringed the penal law has at least the following
guarantees:
(i) To be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law;
(ii) To be informed promptly and directly of the charges against him or her, and, if appropriate,
through his or her parents or legal guardians, and to have legal or other appropriate assistance in the
preparation and presentation of his or her defence;
(iii) To have the matter determined without delay by a competent, independent and impartial authority
or judicial body in a fair hearing according to law, in the presence of legal or other appropriate
assistance and, unless it is considered not to be in the best interest of the child, in particular, taking
into account his or her age or situation, his or her parents or legal guardians;
(iv) Not to be compelled to give testimony or to confess guilt; to examine or have examined adverse
witnesses and to obtain the participation and examination of witnesses on his or her behalf under
conditions of equality;
(v) If considered to have infringed the penal law, to have this decision and any measures imposed in
consequence thereof reviewed by a higher competent, independent and impartial authority or judicial
body according to law;
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(vi) To have the free assistance of an interpreter if the child cannot understand or speak the language
used;
(vii) To have his or her privacy fully respected at all stages of the proceedings.
3. States Parties shall seek to promote the establishment of laws, procedures, authorities and
institutions specifically applicable to children alleged as, accused of, or recognized as having infringed
the penal law, and, in particular:
(a) The establishment of a minimum age below which children shall be presumed not to have the
capacity to infringe the penal law;
(b) Whenever appropriate and desirable, measures for dealing with such children without resorting to
judicial proceedings, providing that human rights and legal safeguards are fully respected. 4. A variety
of dispositions, such as care, guidance and supervision orders; counselling; probation; foster care;
education and vocational training programmes and other alternatives to institutional care shall be
available to ensure that children are dealt with in a manner appropriate to their well-being and
proportionate both to their circumstances and the offence.
Article 41
Nothing in the present Convention shall affect any provisions which are more conducive to the
realization of the rights of the child and which may be contained in:
(a) The law of a State party; or
(b) International law in force for that State.
PART II
Article 42
States Parties undertake to make the principles and provisions of the Convention widely known, by
appropriate and active means, to adults and children alike.
Article 43
1. For the purpose of examining the progress made by States Parties in achieving the realization of the
obligations undertaken in the present Convention, there shall be established a Committee on the
Rights of the Child, which shall carry out the functions hereinafter provided.
2. The Committee shall consist of ten experts of high moral standing and recognized competence in
the field covered by this Convention. The members of the Committee shall be elected by States Parties
from among their nationals and shall serve in their personal capacity, consideration being given to
equitable geographical distribution, as well as to the principal legal systems.
3. The members of the Committee shall be elected by secret ballot from a list of persons nominated by
States Parties. Each State Party may nominate one person from among its own nationals.
4. The initial election to the Committee shall be held no later than six months after the date of the
entry into force of the present Convention and thereafter every second year. At least four months
before the date of each election, the Secretary-General of the United Nations shall address a letter to
States Parties inviting them to submit their nominations within two months. The Secretary-General
shall subsequently prepare a list in alphabetical order of all persons thus nominated, indicating States
Parties which have nominated them, and shall submit it to the States Parties to the present
Convention.
5. The elections shall be held at meetings of States Parties convened by the Secretary-General at
United Nations Headquarters. At those meetings, for which two thirds of States Parties shall constitute
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a quorum, the persons elected to the Committee shall be those who obtain the largest number of votes
and an absolute majority of the votes of the representatives of States Parties present and voting.
6. The members of the Committee shall be elected for a term of four years. They shall be eligible for
re-election if renominated. The term of five of the members elected at the first election shall expire at
the end of two years; immediately after the first election, the names of these five members shall be
chosen by lot by the Chairman of the meeting.
7. If a member of the Committee dies or resigns or declares that for any other cause he or she can no
longer perform the duties of the Committee, the State Party which nominated the member shall
appoint another expert from among its nationals to serve for the remainder of the term, subject to the
approval of the Committee.
8. The Committee shall establish its own rules of procedure.
9. The Committee shall elect its officers for a period of two years.
10. The meetings of the Committee shall normally be held at United Nations Headquarters or at any
other convenient place as determined by the Committee. The Committee shall normally meet annually.
The duration of the meetings of the Committee shall be determined, and reviewed, if necessary, by a
meeting of the States Parties to the present Convention, subject to the approval of the General
Assembly.
11. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall provide the necessary staff and facilities for the
effective performance of the functions of the Committee under the present Convention.
12. With the approval of the General Assembly, the members of the Committee established under the
present Convention shall receive emoluments from United Nations resources on such terms and
conditions as the Assembly may decide.
Article 44
1. States Parties undertake to submit to the Committee, through the Secretary-General of the United
Nations, reports on the measures they have adopted which give effect to the rights recognized herein
and on the progress made on the enjoyment of those rights
(a) Within two years of the entry into force of the Convention for the State Party concerned;
(b) Thereafter every five years.
2. Reports made under the present article shall indicate factors and difficulties, if any, affecting the
degree of fulfilment of the obligations under the present Convention. Reports shall also contain
sufficient information to provide the Committee with a comprehensive understanding of the
implementation of the Convention in the country concerned.
3. A State Party which has submitted a comprehensive initial report to the Committee need not, in its
subsequent reports submitted in accordance with paragraph 1 (b) of the present article, repeat basic
information previously provided.
4. The Committee may request from States Parties further information relevant to the implementation
of the Convention.
5. The Committee shall submit to the General Assembly, through the Economic and Social Council,
every two years, reports on its activities.
6. States Parties shall make their reports widely available to the public in their own countries.
Article 45
14
In order to foster the effective implementation of the Convention and to encourage international cooperation
in the field covered by the Convention:
(a) The specialized agencies, the United Nations Children's Fund, and other United Nations organs shall
be entitled to be represented at the consideration of the implementation of such provisions of the
present Convention as fall within the scope of their mandate. The Committee may invite the
specialized agencies, the United Nations Children's Fund and other competent bodies as it may
consider appropriate to provide expert advice on the implementation of the Convention in areas falling
within the scope of their respective mandates. The Committee may invite the specialized agencies, the
United Nations Children's Fund, and other United Nations organs to submit reports on the
implementation of the Convention in areas falling within the scope of their activities;
(b) The Committee shall transmit, as it may consider appropriate, to the specialized agencies, the
United Nations Children's Fund and other competent bodies, any reports from States Parties that
contain a request, or indicate a need, for technical advice or assistance, along with the Committee's
observations and suggestions, if any, on these requests or indications;
(c) The Committee may recommend to the General Assembly to request the Secretary-General to
undertake on its behalf studies on specific issues relating to the rights of the child;
(d) The Committee may make suggestions and general recommendations based on information
received pursuant to articles 44 and 45 of the present Convention. Such suggestions and general
recommendations shall be transmitted to any State Party concerned and reported to the General
Assembly, together with comments, if any, from States Parties.
PART III
Article 46
The present Convention shall be open for signature by all States.
Article 47
The present Convention is subject to ratification. Instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the
Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Article 48
The present Convention shall remain open for accession by any State. The instruments of accession
shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Article 49
1. The present Convention shall enter into force on the thirtieth day following the date of deposit with
the Secretary-General of the United Nations of the twentieth instrument of ratification or accession.
2. For each State ratifying or acceding to the Convention after the deposit of the twentieth instrument
of ratification or accession, the Convention shall enter into force on the thirtieth day after the deposit
by such State of its instrument of ratification or accession.
Article 50
1. Any State Party may propose an amendment and file it with the Secretary-General of the United
Nations. The Secretary-General shall thereupon communicate the proposed amendment to States
Parties, with a request that they indicate whether they favour a conference of States Parties for the
purpose of considering and voting upon the proposals. In the event that, within four months from the
date of such communication, at least one third of the States Parties favour such a conference, the
Secretary-General shall convene the conference under the auspices of the United Nations. Any
15
amendment adopted by a majority of States Parties present and voting at the conference shall be
submitted to the General Assembly for approval.
2. An amendment adopted in accordance with paragraph 1 of the present article shall enter into force
when it has been approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations and accepted by a twothirds
majority of States Parties.
3. When an amendment enters into force, it shall be binding on those States Parties which have
accepted it, other States Parties still being bound by the provisions of the present Convention and any
earlier amendments which they have accepted.
Article 51
1. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall receive and circulate to all States the text of
reservations made by States at the time of ratification or accession.
2. A reservation incompatible with the object and purpose of the present Convention shall not be
permitted.
3. Reservations may be withdrawn at any time by notification to that effect addressed to the
Secretary-General of the United Nations, who shall then inform all States. Such notification shall take
effect on the date on which it is received by the Secretary-General
Article 52
A State Party may denounce the present Convention by written notification to the Secretary-General of
the United Nations. Denunciation becomes effective one year after the date of receipt of the
notification by the Secretary-General.
Article 53
The Secretary-General of the United Nations is designated as the depositary of the present
Convention.
Article 54
The original of the present Convention, of which the Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and
Spanish texts are equally authentic, shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United
Nations. IN WITNESS THEREOF the undersigned plenipotentiaries, being duly authorized thereto by
their respective governments, have signed the present Convention.

OPTIONAL PROTOCOL TO THE CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE
CHILD ON THE INVOLVEMENT OF CHILDREN IN ARMED CONFLICT
The States Parties to the present Protocol,
Encouraged by the overwhelming support for the Convention on the Rights of the
Child, demonstrating the widespread commitment that exists to strive for the promotion
and protection of the rights of the child,
Reaffirming that the rights of children require special protection, and calling for continuous
improvement of the situation of children without distinction, as well as for their development
and education in conditions of peace and security,
Disturbed by the harmful and widespread impact of armed conflict on children and the
long-term consequences this has for durable peace, security and development,
Condemning the targeting of children in situations of armed conflict and direct attacks
on objects protected under international law, including places generally having a significant
presence of children, such as schools and hospitals,
Noting the adoption of the Statute of the International Criminal Court and, in particular,
its inclusion as a war crime of conscripting or enlisting children under the age of 15
years or using them to participate actively in hostilities in both international and non-international
armed conflicts,
Considering, therefore, that to strengthen further the implementation of rights recognized
in the Convention on the Rights of the Child there is a need to increase the protection
of children from involvement in armed conflict,
Noting that article 1 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child specifies that, for the
purposes of that Convention, a child means every human being below the age of 18 years
unless, under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier,
Convinced that an optional protocol to the Convention raising the age of possible recruitment
of persons into armed forces and their participation in hostilities will contribute
effectively to the implementation of the principle that the best interests of the child are to
be a primary consideration in all actions concerning children,
Noting that the twenty-sixth international Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent
in December 1995 recommended, inter alia, that parties to conflict take every feasible
step to ensure that children under the age of 18 years do not take part in hostilities,
Welcoming the unanimous adoption, in June 1999, of International Labour Organization
Convention No. 182 on the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of
the Worst Forms of Child Labour, which prohibits, inter alia, forced or compulsory recruitment
of children for use in armed conflict,
Condemning with the gravest concern the recruitment, training and use within and
across national borders of children in hostilities by armed groups distinct from the armed
forces of a State, and recognizing the responsibility of those who recruit, train and use children
in this regard,
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Recalling the obligation of each party to an armed conflict to abide by the provisions
of international humanitarian law,
Stressing that this Protocol is without prejudice to the purposes and principles contained
in the Charter of the United Nations, including Article 51, and relevant norms of humanitarian
law,
Bearing in mind that conditions of peace and security based on full respect of the purposes
and principles contained in the Charter and observance of applicable human rights
instruments are indispensable for the full protection of children, in particular during armed
conflicts and foreign occupation,
Recognizing the special needs of those children who are particularly vulnerable to recruitment
or use in hostilities contrary to this Protocol owing to their economic or social
status or gender,
Mindful of the necessity of taking into consideration the economic, social and political
root causes of the involvement of children in armed conflicts,
Convinced of the need to strengthen international cooperation in the implementation
of this Protocol, as well as the physical and psychosocial rehabilitation and social reintegration
of children who are victims of armed conflict,
Encouraging the participation of the community and, in particular, children and child
victims in the dissemination of informational and educational programmes concerning the
implementation of the Protocol,
Have agreed as follows:
Article 1
States Parties shall take all feasible measures to ensure that members of their armed
forces who have not attained the age of 18 years do not take a direct part in hostilities.
Article 2
States Parties shall ensure that persons who have not attained the age of 18 years are
not compulsorily recruited into their armed forces.
Article 3
1. States Parties shall raise the minimum age for the voluntary recruitment of persons
into their national armed forces from that set out in article 38, paragraph 3, of the Convention
on the Rights of the Child, taking account of the principles contained in that article and
recognizing that under the Convention persons under 18 are entitled to special protection.
2. Each State Party shall deposit a binding declaration upon ratification of or accession
to this Protocol that sets forth the minimum age at which it will permit voluntary recruitment
into its national armed forces and a description of the safeguards that it has
adopted to ensure that such recruitment is not forced or coerced.
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3. States Parties that permit voluntary recruitment into their national armed forces
under the age of 18 shall maintain safeguards to ensure, as a minimum, that:
(a) Such recruitment is genuinely voluntary;
(b) Such recruitment is done with the informed consent of the person=s parents or
legal guardians;
(c) Such persons are fully informed of the duties involved in such military service;
(d) Such persons provide reliable proof of age prior to acceptance into national military
service.
4. Each State Party may strengthen its declaration at any time by notification to that
effect addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who shall inform all States
Parties. Such notification shall take effect on the date on which it is received by the Secretary-
General.
5. The requirement to raise the age in paragraph 1 of the present article does not apply
to schools operated by or under the control of the armed forces of the States Parties, in keeping
with articles 28 and 29 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Article 4
1. Armed groups that are distinct from the armed forces of a State should not, under
any circumstances, recruit or use in hostilities persons under the age of 18 years.
2. States Parties shall take all feasible measures to prevent such recruitment and use,
including the adoption of legal measures necessary to prohibit and criminalize such practices.
3. The application of the present article under this Protocol shall not affect the legal
status of any party to an armed conflict.
Article 5
Nothing in the present Protocol shall be construed as precluding provisions in the law
of a State Party or in international instruments and international humanitarian law that are
more conducive to the realization of the rights of the child.
Article 6
1. Each State Party shall take all necessary legal, administrative and other measures
to ensure the effective implementation and enforcement of the provisions of this Protocol
within its jurisdiction.
2. States Parties undertake to make the principles and provisions of the present Protocol
widely known and promoted by appropriate means, to adults and children alike.
3. States Parties shall take all feasible measures to ensure that persons within their
jurisdiction recruited or used in hostilities contrary to this Protocol are demobilized or otherwise
released from service. States Parties shall, when necessary, accord to these persons
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all appropriate assistance for their physical and psychological recovery and their social reintegration.
Article 7
1. States Parties shall cooperate in the implementation of the present Protocol, including
in the prevention of any activity contrary to the Protocol and in the rehabilitation
and social reintegration of persons who are victims of acts contrary to this Protocol, including
through technical cooperation and financial assistance. Such assistance and cooperation
will be undertaken in consultation with concerned States Parties and relevant international
organizations.
2. States Parties in a position to do so shall provide such assistance through existing
multilateral, bilateral or other programmes, or, inter alia, through a voluntary fund established
in accordance with the rules of the General Assembly.
Article 8
1. Each State Party shall submit, within two years following the entry into force of
the Protocol for that State Party, a report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child providing
comprehensive information on the measures it has taken to implement the provisions
of the Protocol, including the measures taken to implement the provisions on
participation and recruitment.
2. Following the submission of the comprehensive report, each State Party shall include
in the reports they submit to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, in accordance
with article 44 of the Convention, any further information with respect to the implementation
of the Protocol. Other States Parties to the Protocol shall submit a report every five
years.
3. The Committee on the Rights of the Child may request from States Parties further
information relevant to the implementation of this Protocol.
Article 9
1. The present Protocol is open for signature by any State that is a party to the Convention
or has signed it.
2. The present Protocol is subject to ratification and is open to accession by any State.
Instruments of ratification or accession shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the
United Nations.
3. The Secretary-General, in his capacity as depositary of the Convention and the Protocol,
shall inform all States Parties to the Convention and all States that have signed the
Convention of each instrument of declaration pursuant to article 13.
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Article 10
1. The present Protocol shall enter into force three months after the deposit of the
tenth instrument of ratification or accession.
2. For each State ratifying the present Protocol or acceding to it after its entry into
force, the present Protocol shall enter into force one month after the date of the deposit of
its own instrument of ratification or accession.
Article 11
1. Any State Party may denounce the present Protocol at any time by written notification
to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who shall thereafter inform the other
States Parties to the Convention and all States that have signed the Convention. The denunciation
shall take effect one year after the date of receipt of the notification by the Secretary-
General. If, however, on the expiry of that year the denouncing State Party is engaged in
armed conflict, the denunciation shall not take effect before the end of the armed conflict.
2. Such a denunciation shall not have the effect of releasing the State Party from its
obligations under the present Protocol in regard to any act that occurs prior to the date on
which the denunciation becomes effective. Nor shall such a denunciation prejudice in any
way the continued consideration of any matter that is already under consideration by the
Committee prior to the date on which the denunciation becomes effective.
Article 12
1. Any State Party may propose an amendment and file it with the Secretary-General
of the United Nations. The Secretary-General shall thereupon communicate the proposed
amendment to States Parties, with a request that they indicate whether they favour a conference
of States Parties for the purpose of considering and voting upon the proposals. In
the event that, within four months from the date of such communication, at least one third
of the States Parties favour such a conference, the Secretary-General shall convene the conference
under the auspices of the United Nations. Any amendment adopted by a majority
of States Parties present and voting at the conference shall be submitted to the General Assembly
for approval.
2. An amendment adopted in accordance with paragraph 1 of the present article shall
enter into force when it has been approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations
and accepted by a two-thirds majority of States Parties.
3. When an amendment enters into force, it shall be binding on those States Parties
that have accepted it, other States Parties still being bound by the provisions of the present
Protocol and any earlier amendments that they have accepted.
Article 13
1. The present Protocol, of which the Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and
Spanish texts are equally authentic, shall be deposited in the archives of the United Nations.
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2. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall transmit certified copies of the
present Protocol to all States Parties to the Convention and all States that have signed the
Convention.

Adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General Assembly resolution 39/46 of 10 December 1984 entry into force 26 June 1987, in accordance with article 27 (1)
The States Parties to this Convention,
Considering that, in accordance with the principles proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations, recognition of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
Recognizing that those rights derive from the inherent dignity of the human person,
Considering the obligation of States under the Charter, in particular Article 55, to promote universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms,
Having regard to article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, both of which provide that no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,
Having regard also to the Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Being Subjected to Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, adopted by the General Assembly on 9 December 1975,
Desiring to make more effective the struggle against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment throughout the world,
Have agreed as follows:
PART I
Article 1
1. For the purposes of this Convention, the term "torture" means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.
2. This article is without prejudice to any international instrument or national legislation which does or may contain provisions of wider application.
Article 2
1. Each State Party shall take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under its jurisdiction.
2. No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.
3. An order from a superior officer or a public authority may not be invoked as a justification of torture.
Article 3
1. No State Party shall expel, return ("refouler") or extradite a person to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture.
2. For the purpose of determining whether there are such grounds, the competent authorities shall take into account all relevant considerations including, where applicable, the existence in the State concerned of a consistent pattern of gross, flagrant or mass violations of human rights.
Article 4
1. Each State Party shall ensure that all acts of torture are offences under its criminal law. The same shall apply to an attempt to commit torture and to an act by any person which constitutes complicity or participation in torture. 2. Each State Party shall make these offences punishable by appropriate penalties which take into account their grave nature.
Article 5
1. Each State Party shall take such measures as may be necessary to establish its jurisdiction over the offences referred to in article 4 in the following cases:
(a) When the offences are committed in any territory under its jurisdiction or on board a ship or aircraft registered in that State;
(b) When the alleged offender is a national of that State;
(c) When the victim is a national of that State if that State considers it appropriate.
2. Each State Party shall likewise take such measures as may be necessary to establish its jurisdiction over such offences in cases where the alleged offender is present in any territory
under its jurisdiction and it does not extradite him pursuant to article 8 to any of the States mentioned in paragraph I of this article.
3. This Convention does not exclude any criminal jurisdiction exercised in accordance with internal law.
Article 6
1. Upon being satisfied, after an examination of information available to it, that the circumstances so warrant, any State Party in whose territory a person alleged to have committed any offence referred to in article 4 is present shall take him into custody or take other legal measures to ensure his presence. The custody and other legal measures shall be as provided in the law of that State but may be continued only for such time as is necessary to enable any criminal or extradition proceedings to be instituted.
2. Such State shall immediately make a preliminary inquiry into the facts.
3. Any person in custody pursuant to paragraph I of this article shall be assisted in communicating immediately with the nearest appropriate representative of the State of which he is a national, or, if he is a stateless person, with the representative of the State where he usually resides.
4. When a State, pursuant to this article, has taken a person into custody, it shall immediately notify the States referred to in article 5, paragraph 1, of the fact that such person is in custody and of the circumstances which warrant his detention. The State which makes the preliminary inquiry contemplated in paragraph 2 of this article shall promptly report its findings to the said States and shall indicate whether it intends to exercise jurisdiction.
Article 7
1. The State Party in the territory under whose jurisdiction a person alleged to have committed any offence referred to in article 4 is found shall in the cases contemplated in article 5, if it does not extradite him, submit the case to its competent authorities for the purpose of prosecution.
2. These authorities shall take their decision in the same manner as in the case of any ordinary offence of a serious nature under the law of that State. In the cases referred to in article 5, paragraph 2, the standards of evidence required for prosecution and conviction shall in no way be less stringent than those which apply in the cases referred to in article 5, paragraph 1.
3. Any person regarding whom proceedings are brought in connection with any of the offences referred to in article 4 shall be guaranteed fair treatment at all stages of the proceedings.
Article 8
1. The offences referred to in article 4 shall be deemed to be included as extraditable offences in any extradition treaty existing between States Parties. States Parties undertake to include such offences as extraditable offences in every extradition treaty to be concluded between them.
2. If a State Party which makes extradition conditional on the existence of a treaty receives a request for extradition from another State Party with which it has no extradition treaty, it may consider this Convention as the legal basis for extradition in respect of such offences. Extradition shall be subject to the other conditions provided by the law of the requested State.
3. States Parties which do not make extradition conditional on the existence of a treaty shall recognize such offences as extraditable offences between themselves subject to the conditions provided by the law of the requested State.
4. Such offences shall be treated, for the purpose of extradition between States Parties, as if they had been committed not only in the place in which they occurred but also in the territories of the States required to establish their jurisdiction in accordance with article 5, paragraph 1.
Article 9
1. States Parties shall afford one another the greatest measure of assistance in connection with criminal proceedings brought in respect of any of the offences referred to in article 4, including the supply of all evidence at their disposal necessary for the proceedings.
2. States Parties shall carry out their obligations under paragraph I of this article in conformity with any treaties on mutual judicial assistance that may exist between them.
Article 10
1. Each State Party shall ensure that education and information regarding the prohibition against torture are fully included in the training of law enforcement personnel, civil or military, medical personnel, public officials and other persons who may be involved in the custody, interrogation or treatment of any individual subjected to any form of arrest, detention or imprisonment.
2. Each State Party shall include this prohibition in the rules or instructions issued in regard to the duties and functions of any such person.
Article 11
Each State Party shall keep under systematic review interrogation rules, instructions, methods and practices as well as arrangements for the custody and treatment of persons subjected to any form of arrest, detention or imprisonment in any territory under its jurisdiction, with a view to preventing any cases of torture.
Article 12
Each State Party shall ensure that its competent authorities proceed to a prompt and impartial investigation, wherever there is reasonable ground to believe that an act of torture has been committed in any territory under its jurisdiction.
Article 13
Each State Party shall ensure that any individual who alleges he has been subjected to torture in any territory under its jurisdiction has the right to complain to, and to have his case promptly and impartially examined by, its competent authorities. Steps shall be taken to ensure that the complainant and witnesses are protected against all ill-treatment or intimidation as a consequence of his complaint or any evidence given.
Article 14
1. Each State Party shall ensure in its legal system that the victim of an act of torture obtains redress and has an enforceable right to fair and adequate compensation, including the means for as full rehabilitation as possible. In the event of the death of the victim as a result of an act of torture, his dependants shall be entitled to compensation.
2. Nothing in this article shall affect any right of the victim or other persons to compensation which may exist under national law.
Article 15
Each State Party shall ensure that any statement which is established to have been made as a result of torture shall not be invoked as evidence in any proceedings, except against a person accused of torture as evidence that the statement was made.
Article 16
1. Each State Party shall undertake to prevent in any territory under its jurisdiction other acts of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment which do not amount to torture as defined in article I, when such acts are committed by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. In particular, the obligations contained in articles 10, 11, 12 and 13 shall apply with the substitution for references to torture of references to other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
2. The provisions of this Convention are without prejudice to the provisions of any other international instrument or national law which prohibits cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment or which relates to extradition or expulsion.
PART II
Article 17
1. There shall be established a Committee against Torture (hereinafter referred to as the Committee) which shall carry out the functions hereinafter provided. The Committee shall consist of ten experts of high moral standing and recognized competence in the field of human rights, who shall serve in their personal capacity. The experts shall be elected by the States Parties, consideration being given to equitable geographical distribution and to the usefulness of the participation of some persons having legal experience.
2. The members of the Committee shall be elected by secret ballot from a list of persons nominated by States Parties. Each State Party may nominate one person from among its own nationals. States Parties shall bear in mind the usefulness of nominating persons who are also members of the Human Rights Committee established under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and who are willing to serve on the Committee against Torture.
3. Elections of the members of the Committee shall be held at biennial meetings of States Parties convened by the Secretary-General of the United Nations. At those meetings, for which two thirds of the States Parties shall constitute a quorum, the persons elected to the Committee shall be those who obtain the largest number of votes and an absolute majority of the votes of the representatives of States Parties present and voting.
4. The initial election shall be held no later than six months after the date of the entry into force of this Convention. At. Ieast four months before the date of each election, the Secretary-General of the United Nations shall address a letter to the States Parties inviting them to submit their nominations within three months. The Secretary-General shall prepare a list in alphabetical order of all persons thus nominated, indicating the States Parties which have nominated them, and shall submit it to the States Parties.
5. The members of the Committee shall be elected for a term of four years. They shall be eligible for re-election if renominated. However, the term of five of the members elected at the first election shall expire at the end of two years; immediately after the first election the names of these five members shall be chosen by lot by the chairman of the meeting referred to in paragraph 3 of this article.
6. If a member of the Committee dies or resigns or for any other cause can no longer perform his Committee duties, the State Party which nominated him shall appoint another expert from among its nationals to serve for the remainder of his term, subject to the approval of the majority of the States Parties. The approval shall be considered given unless half or more of the States Parties respond negatively within six weeks after having been informed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations of the proposed appointment.
7. States Parties shall be responsible for the expenses of the members of the Committee while they are in performance of Committee duties.
Article 18
1. The Committee shall elect its officers for a term of two years. They may be re-elected.
2. The Committee shall establish its own rules of procedure, but these rules shall provide, inter alia, that:
(a) Six members shall constitute a quorum;
(b) Decisions of the Committee shall be made by a majority vote of the members present.
3. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall provide the necessary staff and facilities for the effective performance of the functions of the Committee under this Convention.
4. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall convene the initial meeting of the Committee. After its initial meeting, the Committee shall meet at such times as shall be provided in its rules of procedure.
5. The States Parties shall be responsible for expenses incurred in connection with the holding of meetings of the States Parties and of the Committee, including reimbursement to the United Nations for any expenses, such as the cost of staff and facilities, incurred by the United Nations pursuant to paragraph 3 of this article.
Article 19
1. The States Parties shall submit to the Committee, through the Secretary-General of the United Nations, reports on the measures they have taken to give effect to their undertakings under this Convention, within one year after the entry into force of the Convention for the State Party concerned. Thereafter the States Parties shall submit supplementary reports every four years on any new measures taken and such other reports as the Committee may request.
2. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall transmit the reports to all States Parties.
3. Each report shall be considered by the Committee which may make such general comments on the report as it may consider appropriate and shall forward these to the State Party concerned. That State Party may respond with any observations it chooses to the Committee.
4. The Committee may, at its discretion, decide to include any comments made by it in accordance with paragraph 3 of this article, together with the observations thereon received from the State Party concerned, in its annual report made in accordance with article 24. If so requested by the State Party concerned, the Committee may also include a copy of the report submitted under paragraph I of this article.
Article 20
1. If the Committee receives reliable information which appears to it to contain well-founded indications that torture is being systematically practised in the territory of a State Party, the Committee shall invite that State Party to co-operate in the examination of the information and to this end to submit observations with regard to the information concerned.
2. Taking into account any observations which may have been submitted by the State Party concerned, as well as any other relevant information available to it, the Committee may, if it decides that this is warranted, designate one or more of its members to make a confidential inquiry and to report to the Committee urgently.
3. If an inquiry is made in accordance with paragraph 2 of this article, the Committee shall seek the co-operation of the State Party concerned. In agreement with that State Party, such an inquiry may include a visit to its territory.
4. After examining the findings of its member or members submitted in accordance with paragraph 2 of this article, the Commission shall transmit these findings to the State Party concerned together with any comments or suggestions which seem appropriate in view of the situation.
5. All the proceedings of the Committee referred to in paragraphs I to 4 of th is article s hall be con fidential , and at all stages of the proceedings the co-operation of the State Party shall be sought. After such proceedings have been completed with regard to an inquiry made in accordance with paragraph 2, the Committee may, after consultations with the State Party concerned, decide to include a summary account of the results of the proceedings in its annual report made in accordance with article 24.
Article 21
1. A State Party to this Convention may at any time declare under this article that it recognizes the competence of the Committee to receive and consider communications to the effect that a State Party claims that another State Party is not fulfilling its obligations under this Convention. Such communications may be received and considered according to the procedures laid down in this article only if submitted by a State Party which has made a declaration recognizing in regard to itself the competence of the Committee. No communication shall be dealt with by the Committee under this article if it concerns a State Party which has not made such a declaration. Communications received under this article shall be dealt with in accordance with the following procedure;
(a) If a State Party considers that another State Party is not giving effect to the provisions ofthis Convention, it may, by written communication, bring the matter to the attention of that State Party. Within three months after the receipt of the communication the receiving State shall afford the State which sent the communication an explanation or any other statement in writing clarifying the matter, which should include, to the extent possible and pertinent, reference to domestic procedures and remedies taken, pending or available in the matter;
(b) If the matter is not adjusted to the satisfaction of both States Parties concerned within six months after the receipt by the receiving State of the initial communication, either State shall have the right to refer the matter to the Committee, by notice given to the Committee and to the other State;
(c) The Committee shall deal with a matter referred to it under this article only after it has ascertained that all domestic remedies have been invoked and exhausted in the matter, in conformity with the generally recognized principles of international law. This shall not be the rule where the application of the remedies is unreasonably prolonged or is unlikely to bring effective relief to the person who is the victim of the violation of this Convention;
(d) The Committee shall hold closed meetings when examining communications under this article; (e) Subject to the provisions of subparagraph
(e), the Committee shall make available its good offices to the States Parties concerned with a view to a friendly solution of the matter on the basis of respect for the obligations provided for in this Convention. For this purpose, the Committee may, when appropriate, set up an ad hoc conciliation commission;
(f) In any matter referred to it under this article, the Committee may call upon the States Parties concerned, referred to in subparagraph (b), to supply any relevant information;
(g) The States Parties concerned, referred to in subparagraph (b), shall have the right to be represented when the matter is being considered by the Committee and to make submissions orally and/or in writing;
(h) The Committee shall, within twelve months after the date of receipt of notice under subparagraph (b), submit a report:
(i) If a solution within the terms of subparagraph (e) is reached, the Committee shall confine its report to a brief statement of the facts and of the solution reached;
(ii) If a solution within the terms of subparagraph (e) is not reached, the Committee shall confine its report to a brief statement of the facts; the written submissions and record of the oral submissions made by the States Parties concerned shall be attached to the report.
In every matter, the report shall be communicated to the States Parties concerned.
2. The provisions of this article shall come into force when five States Parties to this Convention have made declarations under paragraph 1 of this article. Such declarations shall be deposited by the States Parties with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who shall transmit copies thereof to the other States Parties. A declaration may be withdrawn at any time by notification to the Secretary-General. Such a withdrawal shall not prejudice the consideration of any matter which is the subject of a communication already transmitted under this article; no further communication by any State Party shall be received under this article after the notification of withdrawal of the declaration has been received by the Secretary-General, unless the State Party concerned has made a new declaration.
Article 22
1. A State Party to this Convention may at any time declare under this article that it recognizes the competence of the Committee to receive and consider communications from or on behalf of individuals subject to its jurisdiction who claim to be victims of a violation by a State Party of the provisions of the Convention. No communication shall be received by the Committee if it concerns a State Party which has not made such a declaration.
2. The Committee shall consider inadmissible any communication under this article which is anonymous or which it considers to be an abuse of the right of submission of such communications or to be incompatible with the provisions of this Convention.
3. Subject to the provisions of paragraph 2, the Committee shall bring any communications submitted to it under this article to the attention of the State Party to this Convention which has made a declaration under paragraph I and is alleged to be violating any provisions of the Convention. Within six months, the receiving State shall submit to the Committee written explanations or statements clarifying the matter and the remedy, if any, that may have been taken by that State.
4. The Committee shall consider communications received under this article in the light of all information made available to it by or on behalf of the individual and by the State Party concerned. 5. The Committee shall not consider any communications from an individual under this article unless it has ascertained that:
(a) The same matter has not been, and is not being, examined under another procedure of international investigation or settlement;
(b) The individual has exhausted all available domestic remedies; this shall not be the rule where the application of the remedies is unreasonably prolonged or is unlikely to bring effective reliefto the person who is the victim of the violation of this Convention.
6. The Committee shall hold closed meetings when examining communications under this article.
7. The Committee shall forward its views to the State Party concerned and to the individual.
8. The provisions of this article shall come into force when five States Parties to this Convention have made declarations under paragraph 1 of this article. Such declarations shall be deposited by the States Parties with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who shall transmit copies thereof to the other States Parties. A declaration may be withdrawn at any time by notification to the Secretary-General. Such a withdrawal shall not prejudice the consideration of any matter which is the subject of a communication already transmitted under this article; no further communication by or on behalf of an individual shall be received under this article after the notification of withdrawal of the declaration has been received by the SecretaryGeneral, unless the State Party has made a new declaration.
Article 23
The members of the Committee and of the ad hoc conciliation commissions which may be appointed under article 21, paragraph I (e), shall be entitled to the facilities, privileges and immunities of experts on mission for the United Nations as laid down in the relevant sections of the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations.
Article 24
The Committee shall submit an annual report on its activities under this Convention to the States Parties and to the General Assembly of the United Nations.
PART III
Article 25
1. This Convention is open for signature by all States. 2. This Convention is subject to ratification. Instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Article 26
This Convention is open to accession by all States. Accession shall be effected by the deposit of an instrument of accession with the SecretaryGeneral of the United Nations.
Article 27
1. This Convention shall enter into force on the thirtieth day after the date of the deposit with the Secretary-General of the United Nations of the twentieth instrument of ratification or accession.
2. For each State ratifying this Convention or acceding to it after the deposit of the twentieth instrument of ratification or accession, the Convention shall enter into force onthe thirtieth day after the date of the deposit of its own instrument of ratification or accession.
Article 28
1. Each State may, at the time of signature or ratification of this Convention or accession thereto, declare that it does not recognize the competence of the Committee provided for in article 20.
2. Any State Party having made a reservation in accordance with paragraph I of this article may, at any time, withdraw this reservation by notification to the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Article 29
1 . Any State Party to this Convention may propose an amendment and file it with the Secretary-General of the United Nations. The SecretaryGeneral shall thereupon communicate the proposed amendment to the States Parties with a request that they notify him whether they favour a
conference of States Parties for the purpose of considering an d voting upon the proposal. In the event that within four months from the date of such communication at least one third of the States Parties favours such a conference, the SecretaryGeneral shall convene the conference under the auspices of the United Nations. Any amendment adopted by a majority of the States Parties present and voting at the conference shall be submitted by the Secretary-General to all the States Parties for acceptance.
2. An amendment adopted in accordance with paragraph I of this article shall enter into force when two thirds of the States Parties to this Convention have notified the Secretary-General of the United Nations that they have accepted it in accordance with their respective constitutional processes.
3. When amendments enter into force, they shall be binding on those States Parties which have accepted them, other States Parties still being bound by the provisions of this Convention and any earlier amendments which they have accepted.
Article 30
1. Any dispute between two or more States Parties concerning the interpretation or application of this Convention which cannot be settled through negotiation shall, at the request of one of them, be submitted to arbitration. If within six months from thc date of the request for arbitration the Parties are unable to agree on the organization of the arbitration, any one of those Parties may refer the dispute to the International Court of Justice by request in conformity with the Statute of the Court.
2. Each State may, at the time of signature or ratification of this Con vention or accession thereto, declare that it does not consider itself bound by paragraph I of this article. The other States Parties shall not be bound by paragraph I of this article with respect to any State Party having made such a reservation.
3. Any State Party having made a reservation in accordance with paragraph 2 of this article may at any time withdraw this reservation by notification to the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Article 31
1. A State Party may denounce this Convention by written notification to the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Denunciation becomes effective one year after the date of receipt of- the notification by the Secretary-General .
2. Such a denunciation shall not have the effect of releasing the State Party from its obligations under this Convention in regard to any act or omission which occurs prior to the date at which the denunciation becomes effective, nor shall denunciation prejudice in any way the continued consideration of any matter which is already under consideration by the Committee prior to the date at which the denunciation becomes effective.
3. Following the date at which the denunciation of a State Party becomes effective, the Committee shall not commence consideration of any new matter regarding that State.
Article 32
The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall inform all States Members of the United Nations and all States which have signed this Convention or acceded to it of the following:
(a) Signatures, ratifications and accessions under articles 25 and 26;
(b) The date of entry into force of this Convention under article 27 and the date of the entry into force of any amendments under article 29;
(c) Denunciations under article 31.
Article 33
1. This Convention, of which the Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish texts are equally authentic, shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
2. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall transmit certified copies of this Convention to all States.

Proclaimed by General Assembly resolution 2856 (XXVI) of 20 December 1971
The General Assembly ,
Mindful of the pledge of the States Members of the United Nations under the Charter to take joint and
separate action in co-operation with the Organization to promote higher standards of living, full
employment and conditions of economic and social progress and development,
Reaffirming faith in human rights and fundamental freedoms and in the principles of peace, of the
dignity and worth of the human person and of social justice proclaimed in the Charter,
Recalling the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants on
Human Rights, the Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the standards already set for social
progress in the constitutions, conventions, recommendations and resolutions of the International
Labour Organisation, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the World
Health Organization, the United Nations Children's Fund and other organizations concerned,
Emphasizing that the Declaration on Social Progress and Development has proclaimed the necessity of
protecting the rights and assuring the welfare and rehabilitation of the physically and mentally
disadvantaged,
Bearing in mind the necessity of assisting mentally retarded persons to develop their abilities in
various fields of activities and of promoting their integration as far as possible in normal life,
Aware that certain countries, at their present stage of development, can devote only limited efforts to
this end,
Proclaims this Declaration on the Rights of Mentally Retarded Persons and calls for national and
international action to en sure that it will be used as a common basis and frame of reference for the
protection of these rights:
1. The mentally retarded person has, to the maximum degree of feasibility, the same rights as other
human beings.
2. The mentally retarded person has a right to proper medical care and physical therapy and to such
education, training, rehabilitation and guidance as will enable him to develop his ability and maximum
potential.
3. The mentally retarded person has a right to economic security and to a decent standard of living. He
has a right to perform productive work or to engage in any other meaningful occupation to the fullest
possible extent of his capabilities.
4. Whenever possible, the mentally retarded person should live with his own family or with foster
parents and participate in different forms of community life. The family with which he lives should
receive assistance. If care in an institution becomes necessary, it should be provided in surroundings
and other circumstances as close as possible to those of normal life.
5. The mentally retarded person has a right to a qualified guardian when this is required to protect his
personal well-being and interests.
6. The mentally retarded person has a right to protection from exploitation, abuse and degrading
treatment. If prosecuted for any offence, he shall have a right to due process of law with full
recognition being given to his degree of mental responsibility.
7. Whenever mentally retarded persons are unable, because of the severity of their handicap, to
exercise all their rights in a meaningful way or it should become necessary to restrict or deny some or
2
all of these rights, the procedure used for that restriction or denial of rights must contain proper legal
safeguards against every form of abuse. This procedure must be based on an evaluation of the social
capability of the mentally retarded person by qualified experts and must be subject to periodic review
and to the right of appeal to higher authorities.

Adopted and proclaimed by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organization at its twentieth session, on 27 November 1978
Preamble
The General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization,
meeting at Paris at its twentieth session, from 24 October to 28 November 1978,
Whereas it is stated in the Preamble to the Constitution of UNESCO, adopted on 16 November 1945,
that "the great and terrible war which has now ended was a war made possible by the denial of the
democratic principles of the dignity, equality and mutual respect of men, and by the propagation, in
their place, through ignorance and prejudice, of the doctrine of the inequality of men and races", and
whereas, according to Article 1 of the said Constitution, the purpose of UNESCO "is to contribute to
peace and security by promoting collaboration among the nations through education, science and
culture in order to further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and
fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex,
language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations",
Recognizing that, more than three decades after the founding of UNESCO, these principles are just as
significant as they were when they were embodied in its Constitution,
Mindful of the process of decolonization and other historical changes which have led most of the
peoples formerly under foreign rule to recover their sovereignty, making the international community a
universal and diversified whole and creating new opportunities of eradicating the scourge of racism and
of putting an end to its odious manifestations in all aspects of social and political life, both nationally
and internationally,
Convinced that the essential unity of the human race and consequently the fundamental equality of all
human beings and all peoples, recognized in the loftiest expressions of philosophy, morality and
religion, reflect an ideal towards which ethics and science are converging today,
Convinced that all peoples and all human groups, whatever their composition or ethnic origin,
contribute according to their own genius to the progress of the civilizations and cultures which, in their
plurality and as a result of their interpenetration, constitute the common heritage of mankind,
Confirming its attachment to the principles proclaimed in the United Nations Charter and the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights and its determination to promote the implementation of the International
Covenants on Human Rights as well as the Declaration on the Establishment of a New International
Economic Order,
Determined also to promote the implementation of the United Nations Declaration and the
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination,
Noting the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, the International
Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid and the Convention on the
Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity,
Recalling also the international instruments already adopted by UNESCO, including in particular the
Convention and Recommendation against Discrimination in Education, the Recommendation concerning
the Status of Teachers, the Declaration of the Principles of International Cultural Co-operation, the
Recommendation concerning Education for International Understanding, Co-operation and Peace and
Education relating to Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the Recommendations on the Status
of Scientific Researchers, and the Recommendation on participation by the people at large in cultural
life and their contribution to it,
Bearing in mind the four statements on the race question adopted by experts convened by UNESCO,
2
Reaffirming its desire to play a vigorous and constructive part in the implementation of the programme
of the Decade for Action to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination, as defined by the General
Assembly of the United Nations at its twenty-eighth session,
Noting with the gravest concern that racism, racial discrimination, colonialism and apartheid continue
to afflict the world in ever-changing forms, as a result both of the continuation of legislative provisions
and government and administrative practices contrary to the principles of human rights and also of the
continued existence of political and social structures, and of relationships and attitudes, characterized
by injustice and contempt for human beings and leading to the exclusion, humiliation and exploitation,
or to the forced assimilation, of the members of disadvantaged groups,
Expressing its indignation at these offences against human dignity, deploring the obstacles they place
in the way of mutual understanding between peoples and alarmed at the danger of their seriously
disturbing international peace and security,
Adopts and solemnly proclaims this Declaration on Race and Racial Prejudice:
Article 1
1. All human beings belong to a single species and are descended from a common stock. They are
born equal in dignity and rights and all form an integral part of humanity.
2. All individuals and groups have the right to be different, to consider themselves as different and to
be regarded as such. However, the diversity of life styles and the right to be different may not, in any
circumstances, serve as a pretext for racial prejudice; they may not justify either in law or in fact any
discriminatory practice whatsoever, nor provide a ground for the policy of apartheid , which is the
extreme form of racism.
3. Identity of origin in no way affects the fact that human beings can and may live differently, nor does
it preclude the existence of differences based on cultural, environmental and historical diversity nor the
right to maintain cultural identity.
4. All peoples of the world possess equal faculties for attaining the highest level in intellectual,
technical, social, economic, cultural and political development.
5. The differences between the achievements of the different peoples are entirely attributable to
geographical, historical, political, economic, social and cultural factors. Such differences can in no case
serve as a pretext for any rank-ordered classification of nations or peoples.
Article 2
1. Any theory which involves the claim that racial or ethnic groups are inherently superior or inferior,
thus implying that some would be entitled to dominate or eliminate others, presumed to be inferior, or
which bases value judgements on racial differentiation, has no scientific foundation and is contrary to
the moral and ethical principles of humanity.
2. Racism includes racist ideologies, prejudiced attitudes, discriminatory behaviour, structural
arrangements and institutionalized practices resulting in racial inequality as well as the fallacious
notion that discriminatory relations between groups are morally and scientifically justifiable; it is
reflected in discriminatory provisions in legislation or regulations and discriminatory practices as well
as in anti-social beliefs and acts; it hinders the development of its victims, perverts those who practise
it, divides nations internally, impedes international co-operation and gives rise to political tensions
between peoples; it is contrary to the fundamental principles of international law and, consequently,
seriously disturbs international peace and security.
3. Racial prejudice, historically linked with inequalities in power, reinforced by economic and social
differences between individuals and groups, and still seeking today to justify such inequalities, is
totally without justification.
3
Article 3
Any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, ethnic or national origin or
religious intolerance motivated by racist considerations, which destroys or compromises the sovereign
equality of States and the right of peoples to self-determination, or which limits in an arbitrary or
discriminatory manner the right of every human being and group to full development is incompatible
with the requirements of an international order which is just and guarantees respect for human rights;
the right to full development implies equal access to the means of personal and collective
advancement and fulfilment in a climate of respect for the values of civilizations and cultures, both
national and world-wide.
Article 4
1. Any restriction on the complete self-fulfilment of human beings and free communication between
them which is based on racial or ethnic considerations is contrary to the principle of equality in dignity
and rights; it cannot be admitted.
2. One of the most serious violations of this principle is represented by apartheid , which, like
genocide, is a crime against humanity, and gravely disturbs international peace and security.
3. Other policies and practices of racial segregation and discrimination constitute crimes against the
conscience and dignity of mankind and may lead to political tensions and gravely endanger
international peace and security.
Article 5
1. Culture, as a product of all human beings and a common heritage of mankind, and education in its
broadest sense, offer men and women increasingly effective means of adaptation, enabling them not
only to affirm that they are born equal in dignity and rights, but also to recognize that they should
respect the right of all groups to their own cultural identity and the development of their distinctive
cultural life within the national and international contexts, it being understood that it rests with each
group to decide in complete freedom on the maintenance, and, if appropriate, the adaptation or
enrichment of the values which it regards as essential to its identity.
2. States, in accordance with their constitutional principles and procedures, as well as all other
competent authorities and the entire teaching profession, have a responsibility to see that the
educational resources of all countries are used to combat racism, more especially by ensuring that
curricula and textbooks include scientific and ethical considerations concerning human unity and
diversity and that no invidious distinctions are made with regard to any people; by training teachers to
achieve these ends; by making the resources of the educational system available to all groups of the
population without racial restriction or discrimination; and by taking appropriate steps to remedy the
handicaps from which certain racial or ethnic groups suffer with regard to their level of education and
standard of living and in particular to prevent such handicaps from being passed on to children.
3. The mass media and those who control or serve them, as well as all organized groups within
national communities, are urged-with due regard to the principles embodied in the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, particularly the principle of freedom of expression-to promote
understanding, tolerance and friendship among individuals and groups and to contribute to the
eradication of racism, racial discrimination and racial prejudice, in particular by refraining from
presenting a stereotyped, partial, unilateral or tendentious picture of individuals and of various human
groups. Communication between racial and ethnic groups must be a reciprocal process, enabling them
to express themselves and to be fully heard without let or hindrance. The mass media should therefore
be freely receptive to ideas of individuals and groups which facilitate such communication.
Article 6
1. The State has prime responsibility for ensuring human rights and fundamental freedoms on an
entirely equal footing in dignity and rights for all individuals and all groups.
4
2. So far as its competence extends and in accordance with its constitutional principles and
procedures, the State should take all appropriate steps, inter alia by legislation, particularly in the
spheres of education, culture and communication, to prevent, prohibit and eradicate racism, racist
propaganda, racial segregation and apartheid and to encourage the dissemination of knowledge and
the findings of appropriate research in natural and social sciences on the causes and prevention of
racial prejudice and racist attitudes, with due regard to the principles embodied in the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights and in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
3. Since laws proscribing racial discrimination are not in themselves sufficient, it is also incumbent on
States to supplement them by administrative machinery for the systematic investigation of instances
of racial discrimination, by a comprehensive framework of legal remedies against acts of racial
discrimination, by broadly based education and research programmes designed to combat racial
prejudice and racial discrimination and by programmes of positive political, social, educational and
cultural measures calculated to promote genuine mutual respect among groups. Where circumstances
warrant, special programmes should be undertaken to promote the advancement of disadvantaged
groups and, in the case of nationals, to ensure their effective participation in the decision-making
processes of the community.
Article 7
In addition to political, economic and social measures, law is one of the principal means of ensuring
equality in dignity and rights among individuals, and of curbing any propaganda, any form of
organization or any practice which is based on ideas or theories referring to the alleged superiority of
racial or ethnic groups or which seeks to justify or encourage racial hatred and discrimination in any
form. States should adopt such legislation as is appropriate to this end and see that it is given effect
and applied by all their services, with due regard to the principles embodied in the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights. Such legislation should form part of a political, economic and social
framework conducive to its implementation. Individuals and other legal entities, both public and
private, must conform with such legislation and use all appropriate means to help the population as a
whole to understand and apply it.
Article 8
1. Individuals, being entitled to an economic, social, cultural and legal order, on the national and
international planes, such as to allow them to exercise all their capabilities on a basis of entire equality
of rights and opportunities, have corresponding duties towards their fellows, towards the society in
which they live and towards the international community. They are accordingly under an obligation to
promote harmony among the peoples, to combat racism and racial prejudice and to assist by every
means available to them in eradicating racial discrimination in all its forms.
2. In the field of racial prejudice and racist attitudes and practices, specialists in natural and social
sciences and cultural studies, as well as scientific organizations and associations, are called upon to
undertake objective research on a wide interdisciplinary basis; all States should encourage them to
this end.
3. It is, in particular, incumbent upon such specialists to ensure, by all means available to them, that
their research findings are not misinterpreted, and also that they assist the public in understanding
such findings.
Article 9
1. The principle of the equality in dignity and rights of all human beings and all peoples, irrespective of
race, colour and origin, is a generally accepted and recognized principle of international law.
Consequently any form of racial discrimination practised by a State constitutes a violation of
international law giving rise to its international responsibility.
2. Special measures must be taken to ensure equality in dignity and rights for individuals and groups
wherever necessary, while ensuring that they are not such as to appear racially discriminatory. In this
respect, particular attention should be paid to racial or ethnic groups which are socially or economically
5
disadvantaged, so as to afford them, on a completely equal footing and without discrimination or
restriction, the protection of the laws and regulations and the advantages of the social measures in
force, in particular in regard to housing, employment and health; to respect the authenticity of their
culture and values; and to facilitate their social and occupational advancement, especially through
education.
3. Population groups of foreign origin, particularly migrant workers and their families who contribute to
the development of the host country, should benefit from appropriate measures designed to afford
them security and respect for their dignity and cultural values and to facilitate their adaptation to the
host environment and their professional advancement with a view to their subsequent reintegration in
their country of origin and their contribution to its development; steps should be taken to make it
possible for their children to be taught their mother tongue.
4. Existing disequilibria in international economic relations contribute to the exacerbation of racism and
racial prejudice; all States should consequently endeavour to contribute to the restructuring of the
international economy on a more equitable basis.
Article 10
International organizations, whether universal or regional, governmental or non-governmental, are
called upon to co-operate and assist, so far as their respective fields of competence and means allow,
in the full and complete implementation of the principles set out in this Declaration, thus contributing
to the legitimate struggle of all men, born equal in dignity and rights, against the tyranny and
oppression of racism, racial segregation, apartheid and genocide, so that all the peoples of the world
may be forever delivered from these scourges.

Proclaimed by General Assembly resolution 3318 (XXIX)
of 14 December 1974
The General Assembly ,
Having considered the recommendation of the Economic and Social Council contained in its
resolution 1861 (LVI) of 16 May 1974,
Expressing its deep concern over the sufferings of women and children belonging to the
civilian population who in periods of emergency and armed conflict in the struggle for peace,
self-determination, national liberation and independence are too often the victims of inhuman
acts and consequently suffer serious harm,
Aware of the suffering of women and children in many areas of the world, especially in those
areas subject to suppression, aggression, colonialism, racism, alien domination and foreign
subjugation,
Deeply concerned by the fact that, despite general and unequivocal condemnation,
colonialism, racism and alien and foreign domination continue to subject many peoples under
their yoke, cruelly suppressing the national liberation movements and inflicting heavy losses
and incalculable sufferings on the populations under their domination, including women and
children,
Deploring the fact that grave attacks are still being made on fundamental freedoms and the
dignity of the human person and that colonial and racist foreign domination Powers continue
to violate international humanitarian law,
Recalling the relevant provisions contained in the instruments of international humanitarian
law relative to the protection of women and children in time of peace and war,
Recalling , among other important documents, its resolutions 2444 (XXIII) of 19 December
1968, 2597 (XXIV) of 16 December 1969 and 2674 (XXV) and 2675 (XXV) of 9 December
1970, on respect for human rights and on basic principles for the protection of civilian
populations in armed conflicts, as well as Economic and Social Council resolution 1515 (XLVIII)
of 28 May 1970 in which the Council requested the General Assembly to consider the
possibility of drafting a declaration on the protection of women and children in emergency or
wartime,
Conscious of its responsibility for the destiny of the rising generation and for the destiny of
mothers, who play an important role in society, in the family and particularly in the upbringing
of children,
Bearing in mind the need to provide special protection of women and children belonging to the
civilian population,
Solemnly proclaims this Declaration on the Protection of Women and Children in Emergency
and Armed Conflict and calls for the strict observance of the Declaration by all Member States:
1. Attacks and bombings on the civilian population, inflicting incalculable suffering, especially
on women and children, who are the most vulnerable members of the population, shall be
prohibited, and such acts shall be condemned.
2
2. The use of chemical and bacteriological weapons in the course of military operations
constitutes one of the most flagrant violations of the Geneva Protocol of 1925, the Geneva
Conventions of 1949 and the principles of international humanitarian law and inflicts heavy
losses on civilian populations, including defenceless women and children, and shall be severely
condemned.
3. All States shall abide fully by their obligations under the Geneva Protocol of 1925 and the
Geneva Conventions of 1949, as well as other instruments of international law relative to
respect for human rights in armed conflicts, which offer important guarantees for the
protection of women and children.
4. All efforts shall be made by States involved in armed conflicts, military operations in foreign
territories or military operations in territories still under colonial domination to spare women
and children from the ravages of war. All the necessary steps shall be taken to ensure the
prohibition of measures such as persecution, torture, punitive measures, degrading treatment
and violence, particularly against that part of the civilian population that consists of women
and children.
5. All forms of repression and cruel and inhuman treatment of women and children, including
imprisonment, torture, shooting, mass arrests, collective punishment, destruction of dwellings
and forcible eviction, committed by belligerents in the course of military operations or in
occupied territories shall be considered criminal.
6. Women and children belonging to the civilian population and finding themselves in
circumstances of emergency and armed conflict in the struggle for peace, self-determination,
national liberation and independence, or who live in occupied territories, shall not be deprived
of shelter, food, medical aid or other inalienable rights, in accordance with the provisions of
the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Declaration of
the Rights of the Child or other instruments of international law.

Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious
and Linguistic Minorities
Adopted in New York 18 December 1992
(GA resolution 47/135)
The General Assembly,
Reaffirming that one of the main purposes of
the United Nations, as proclaimed in the
Charter of the United Nations, is to achieve
international cooperation in promoting and
encouraging respect for human rights and
for fundamental freedoms for all without
distinction as to race, sex, language or religion,
Noting the importance of the even more
effective implementation of international
human rights instruments with regard to the
rights of persons belonging to national or
ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities,
Welcoming the increased attention given by
human rights treaty bodies to the nondiscrimination
and protection of minorities,
Aware of the provisions of article 27 of the
International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights 1 concerning the rights of persons
belonging to ethnic, religious or linguistic
minorities,
Considering that the United Nations has an
increasingly important role to play regarding
the protection of minorities,
Bearing in mind the work done so far within
the United Nations system, in particular
through the relevant mechanisms of the
Commission on Human Rights and the Subcommission
on Prevention of Discrimination
and Protection of Minorities, in promoting
and protecting the rights of persons
belonging to national or ethnic, religious and
linguistic minorities,
Recognizing the important achievements in
this regard in regional, subregional and bilateral
frameworks, which can provide a useful
source of inspiration for future United Nations
activities,
Stressing the need to ensure for all, without
discrimination of any kind, full enjoyment
1 See resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.
and exercise of human rights and fundamental
freedoms, and emphasizing the importance
of the draft Declaration on the Rights
of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic,
Religious and Linguistic Minorities in that
regard,
Recalling its resolution 46/115 of 17 December
1991 and taking note of Commission
on Human Rights resolution 1992/16
of 21 February 1992,2 by which the Commission
approved the text of the draft declaration
on the rights of persons belonging to
national or ethnic, religious and linguistic
minorities, and Economic and Social Council
resolution 1992/4 of 20 July 1992, in
which the Council recommended it to the
General Assembly for adoption and further
action,
Having considered the note by the Secretary-
General,3
1. Adopts the Declaration on the Rights of
Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic,
Religious and Linguistic Minorities, the
text of which is annexed to the present
resolution;
2. Requests the Secretary-General to ensure
the distribution of the Declaration as
widely as possible and to include the text
of the Declaration in the next edition of
Human Rights: A Compilation o f International
Instruments;
3. Invites United Nations agencies and organizations
and intergovernmental and
non-governmental organizations to intensify
their efforts with a view to disseminating
information on the Declaration
and to promoting understanding thereof;
4. Invites the relevant organs and bodies of
the United Nations, including treaty bodies,
as well as representatives of the
2 See Official Records of the Economic and Social Council,
1992. Supplement No. 2 (E/1992/22), chap. II, sect. A.
3 A/47/501.
DECLARATION ON THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS BELONGING TO NATIONAL OR ETHNIC, RELIGIOUS
AND LINGUISTIC MINORITIES
2
Commission on Human Rights and the
Subcommission on Prevention of Discrimination
and Protection of Minorities,
to give due regard to the Declaration
within their mandates;
5. Requests the Secretary-General to consider
appropriate ways for the effective promotion
of the Declaration and to make proposals
thereon;
6. Also requests the Secretary-General to report
to the General Assembly at its fortyeighth
session on the implementation of
the present resolution under the item entitled
»Human rights questions».
92nd plenary meeting
18 December 1992
The General Assembly,
Reaffirming that one of the basic aims of the
United Nations, as proclaimed in the Charter,
is to promote and encourage respect for
human rights and for fundamental freedoms
for all, without distinction as to race, sex,
language or religion,
Reaffirming faith in fundamental human
rights, in the dignity and worth of the human
person, in the equal rights of men and
women and of nations large and small,
Desiring to promote the realization of the
principles contained in the Charter, the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, 4 the
convention on the Prevention and Punishment
of the Crime of Genocide,5 the International
Convention on the Elimination of
All Forms of Racial Discrimination, 6 the
International Covenant on Civil and political
Rights,7 the International Covenant on Economic,
Social and Cultural Rights,8 the Declaration
on the Elimination of All Forms of
Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on
Religion or Belief,9 and the Convention on
the Rights of the Child,10 as well as other
4 Resolution 217 A (III).
5 Resolution 260 A (III), annex.
6 Resolution 2106 A (XX), annex.
7 See resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.
8 See resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.
9 Resolution 36/55.
10 Resolution 44/25, annex.
relevant international instruments that have
been adopted at the universal or regional
level and those concluded between individual
States Members of the United Nations,
Inspired by the provisions of article 27 of
the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights concerning the rights of persons
belonging to ethnic, religious or linguistic
minorities,
Considering that the promotion and protection
of the rights of persons belonging to
national or ethnic, religious and linguistic
minorities contribute to the political and
social stability of States in which they live,
Emphasizing that the constant promotion
and realization of the rights of persons belonging
to national or ethnic, religious and
linguistic minorities, as an integral part of
the development of society as a whole and
within a democratic framework based on the
rule of law, would contribute to the
strengthening of friendship and cooperation
among peoples and States,
Considering that the United Nations has an
important role to play regarding the protection
of minorities,
Bearing in mind the work done so far within
the United Nations system, in particular by
the Commission on Human Rights, the Subcommission
on Prevention of Discrimination
and Protection of Minorities and the
bodies established pursuant to the International
Covenants on Human Rights 11 and
other relevant international human rights
instruments in promoting and protecting the
rights of persons belonging to national or
ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities,
Taking into account the important work
which is done by intergovernmental and
non-governmental organizations in protecting
minorities and in promoting and protecting
the rights of persons belonging to national
or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities,
Recognizing the need to ensure even more
effective implementation of international
human rights instruments with regard to the
rights of persons belonging to national or
ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities,
11 See resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.
DECLARATION ON THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS BELONGING TO NATIONAL OR ETHNIC, RELIGIOUS
AND LINGUISTIC MINORITIES
3
Proclaims this Declaration on the Rights of
Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic,
Religious and Linguistic Minorities:
Article 1
1. States shall protect the existence and the
national or ethnic, cultural, religious and
linguistic identity of minorities within
their respective territories and shall encourage
conditions for the promotion of
that identity.
2. States shall adopt appropriate legislative
and other measures to achieve those
ends.
Article 2
1. Persons belonging to national or ethnic,
religious and linguistic minorities (hereinafter
referred to as persons belonging to
minorities) have the right to enjoy their
own culture, to profess and practise their
own religion, and to use their own language,
in private and in public, freely and
without interference or any form of discrimination.
2. Persons belonging to minorities have the
right to participate effectively in cultural,
religious, social, economic and public life.
3. Persons belonging to minorities have the
right to participate effectively in decisions
on the national and, where appropriate,
regional level concerning the minority to
which they be long or the regions in
which they live, in a manner not incompatible
with national legislation.
4. Persons belonging to minorities have the
right to establish and maintain their own
associations.
5. Persons belonging to minorities have the
right to establish and maintain, without
any discrimination, free and peaceful contacts
with other members of their group
and with persons belonging to other minorities,
as well as contacts across frontiers
with citizens of other States to
whom they are related by national or ethnic,
religious or linguistic ties.
Article 3
1. Persons belonging to minorities may exercise
their rights, including those set forth
in the present Declaration, individually as
well as in community with other members
of their group, without any discrimination.
2. No disadvantage shall result for any person
belonging to a minority as the consequence
of the exercise or non-exercise of
the rights set forth in the present Declaration.
Article 4
1. States shall take measures where required
to ensure that persons belonging to minorities
may exercise fully and effectively
all their human rights and fundamental
freedoms without any discrimination and
in full equality before the law.
2. States shall take measures to create favourable
conditions to enable persons belonging
to minorities to express their
characteristics and to develop their culture,
language, religion, traditions and
customs, except where specific practices
are in violation of national law and contrary
to international standards.
3. States should take appropriate measures
so that, wherever possible, persons belonging
to minorities may have adequate
opportunities to learn their mother
tongue or to have instruction in their
mother tongue.
4. States should, where appropriate, take
measures in the field of education, in order
to encourage knowledge of the history,
traditions, language and culture of
the minorities existing within their territory.
Persons belonging to minorities
should have adequate opportunities to
gain knowledge of the society as a whole.
5. States should consider appropriate measures
so that persons belonging to minorities
may participate fully in the economic
progress and development in their country.
Article 5
1. National policies and programmes shall be
planned and implemented with due regard
for the legitimate interests of persons
belonging to minorities.
2. Programmes of cooperation and assistance
among States should be planned
DECLARATION ON THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS BELONGING TO NATIONAL OR ETHNIC, RELIGIOUS
AND LINGUISTIC MINORITIES
4
and implemented with due regard for the
legitimate interests of persons belonging
to minorities.
Article 6
States should cooperate on questions relating
to persons belonging to minorities, inter
alia, exchanging information and experiences,
in order to promote mutual understanding
and confidence.
Article 7
States should cooperate in order to promote
respect for the rights set forth in the present
Declaration.
Article 8
1. Nothing in the present Declaration shall
prevent the fulfilment of international
obligations of States in relation to persons
belonging to minorities. In particular
States shall fulfil in good faith the obligations
and commitments they have assumed
under international treaties and
agreements to which they are parties.
2. The exercise of the rights set forth in the
present Declaration shall not prejudice
the enjoyment by all persons of universally
recognized human rights and fundamental
freedoms.
3. Measures taken by States to ensure the
effective enjoyment of the rights set forth
in the present Declaration shall not prima
facie be considered contrary to the principle
of equality contained in the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights.
4. Nothing in the present Declaration may
be construed as permitting any activity
contrary to the purposes and principles of
the United Nations, including sovereign
equality, territorial integrity and political
independence of States.
Article 9
The specialized agencies and other organizations
of the United Nations system shall
contribute to the full realization of the rights
and principles set forth in the present Declaration,
within their respective fields of competence.

By Djamchid Momtaz
Professor, University of Teheran
Former Chairman of the International Law Commission
At the conclusion of the first International Conference on Human Rights, held in
Teheran from 22 April to 13 May 1968 at the invitation of the United Nations General
Assembly (resolution 2081 (XX) of 20 December 1965), the representatives of the 120
participating States adopted the Proclamation of Teheran by consensus. It was annexed to
the Final Act of the Conference (A/CONF.32/41) and endorsed that same year by the
General Assembly in its resolution 2442 (XXIII) of 19 December 1968. The Proclamation
assessed progress achieved since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights on 10 December 1948 and set forth a plan of action for the future.
The assertion, at the beginning of the Proclamation, that the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights “constitutes an obligation for the members of the
international community” (para. 2) did little to settle the dispute over the Declaration’s
legal standing. Certainly, the statement bolstered the position of those who, at the time,
wanted the Declaration to be treated as an authentic interpretation of the human rights
provisions of the Charter of the United Nations. It appears that the drafters of the
Proclamation were aware of the position taken in that regard a few months earlier in the
Montreal Statement of the Assembly for Human Rights, which was adopted on 27 March
1968 by a group of experts gathered in Montreal at the initiative of Louis Bruno Sohn.
The Proclamation took the same approach to the Declaration on the Granting of
Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples (General Assembly resolution 1514
(XV) of 14 December 1960), asserting that States should “conform” to it (para. 3).
While recognizing that since the adoption of the Declaration, substantial progress
had been made in defining standards for the enjoyment and protection of human rights,
the Proclamation recognized that much remained to be done to ensure the genuine
exercise of those rights. Two key areas were the eradication of apartheid and
decolonization (paras. 7 and 9). The Proclamation appeared to assign greater importance
to combating apartheid, which it described as a crime against humanity, echoing the
position taken two years earlier by the General Assembly in its resolution 2202 A (XXI)
of 16 December 1966. It went on to state that “the struggle against apartheid is recognized
as legitimate” (para. 7). The exact meaning of this statement is unclear. Short of
interpreting it as justifying a potential recourse to armed force, it can only be regarded as
an expression of support for the various activities conducted by United Nations organs in
the context of the struggle against apartheid.
However, when it came to the ongoing struggle to put an end to the colonial
powers’ policies that prevented indigenous peoples from exercising their right to selfdetermination,
the Proclamation lagged strangely behind the positions taken by the
General Assembly. It chose not to reiterate the Assembly’s characterization of the
violation of the economic and political rights of colonial peoples as a crime against
humanity (resolution 2184 (XXI) of 12 December 1966). Similarly, while the Assembly
had recognized “the legitimacy of the struggle by peoples under colonial rule” (resolution
2105 (XX) of 20 December 1965), the Proclamation made no mention of that issue.
Economic underdevelopment was cited, along with discrimination on the basis of
race, religion or belief, as an impediment to the full realization of human rights (paras. 11
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2
and 12). The question of the economic basis of human rights was a matter of some
concern at the Teheran conference. A study devoted to the subject (A/CONF.32/2) was
the basis for the adoption by that Conference of resolution XVII, entitled “Economic
Development and Human Rights”. The main idea behind this resolution, that human
rights are indivisible and that the full realization of civil and political rights without the
enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights is impossible, is echoed in the
Proclamation (para. 13). The idea of the indivisibility of human rights remains
controversial along lines that reflect the North-South ideological divide, with the
emphasis placed by the poorest States on the right to economic development viewed by
opponents as an obstacle to progress in the field of human rights.
The future plan of action envisaged in the Proclamation emphasized protection
of the most vulnerable, in particular illiterate persons and women. The Proclamation
pronounced the existence of over 700 million illiterates an “enormous obstacle” to all
efforts at realizing the aims and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations and the
provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and called for urgent
international action aimed at eradicating the scourge of illiteracy (para. 14). To this day,
the international community has not put forward an adequate response to this problem.
The Proclamation devoted two paragraphs to women’s rights. One maintains that
an inferior status for women is contrary to the Charter of the United Nations and the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights (para. 15). In what was unquestionably a first, the
Proclamation also recognized the basic right of parents “to determine freely and
responsibly the number and the spacing of their children” (para. 16), implicitly
recognizing the right of women to terminate a pregnancy that is at the root of national
family planning policies.
Lastly, the Proclamation of Teheran heralded the emergence of third-generation
human rights, later called “solidarity rights”. Specifically, it mentions the right to peace,
noting that aggression and armed conflict produce massive denials of human rights and
that it is the obligation of the international community to cooperate in eradicating such
scourges (para. 10). It is in this context that we must place the Proclamation’s assertion
that scientific and technological progress may endanger the rights and freedoms of
individuals (para. 18). The experience of the two world wars had shown that scientific
discoveries had helped develop weapons of enormous destructive capacity. Thus, the
Proclamation stated that “general and complete disarmament is one of the highest
aspirations of all peoples” and that human and material resources devoted to military
purposes should be used for the promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms
(para. 19).
Despite its many innovations, the Proclamation of Teheran aroused little interest
within the United Nations system. The General Assembly has never made reference to it
except in its resolution 33/165 of 20 December 1978 on the status of persons refusing
service in military or police forces used to enforce apartheid. Of the human rights
monitoring bodies, it appears that only the Sub-Commission on Prevention of
Discrimination and Protection of Minorities has ever mentioned it, citing the Proclamation
in its condemnation of Pakistan’s 28 April 1984 Ordinance declaring the practices of the
Ahmadi community to be apostasy. The Sub-Commission deemed that Ordinance to be a
flagrant violation of the right to freedom of conscience and religion (Sub-Commission on
Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities resolution 1985/21 of 29
August 1985 (E/CN.4/1986/5)) recognized in the Proclamation of Teheran.
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Related Materials
A. Documents
General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV) of 14 December 1960 (Declaration on the
Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples)
General Assembly resolution 2081 (XX) of 20 December 1965 (International Year of
Human Rights)
General Assembly resolution 2105 (XX) of 20 December 1965 (Implementation of the
Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples)
General Assembly resolution 2184 (XXI) of 12 December 1966 (Question of territories
under Portuguese administration)
General Assembly resolution 2202 A (XXI) of 16 December 1966 (The policies of
apartheid of the government of the republic of South Africa)
General Assembly resolution 2442 (XXIII) of 19 December 1968 (International
Conference on Human Rights)
General Assembly resolution 33/165 of 20 December 1978 (Status of persons refusing
Service in Military or Police forces used to enforce apartheid)
Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities resolution
1985/21 of 29 August 1985 (The situation in Pakistan), reproduced in the Report of the
Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities on its
thirty-eighth session (E/CN.4/1986/5)
B. Doctrine
United Nations Action in the Field of Human Rights, New York, United Nations, 1974.
René Cassin, « Droits de l’homme et méthode comparative », Revue de droit international
comparé, vol. 20, 1968, pp. 449-492.
Jo M. Pasqualucci, Louis Sohn: “Grandfather of International Human Rights Law in the
United States”, Human Rights Quarterly, vol. 20, 1998, pp. 924-944.

By Edward McWhinney
Professor of international law
The Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 14 December 1960. The deliberate location of the United Nations vote – in the General Assembly rather than in the Security Council where a permanent member’s veto would always be available to any one or more of the three permanent members that still had “colonial” legal ties or associations – was an obvious enough choice for the political activist States sponsoring resolution 1514 (XV). And the timing of the vote – in 1960, when the decolonisation process was already well under way – was hardly fortuitous. A working majority in favour of a patently anti-colonialist measure would not become politically possible until the General Assembly’s transformation from its original very narrow base of representation limited to the States members of the victorious wartime Alliance against Fascism to something more nearly reflective in cultural and ideological terms of the world community at large. By 1960, this had begun to be achieved, albeit on an intermittent, or casual, step-by-step basis, over the decade and a half from War’s end. The numerical breakthrough had occurred as late as 1955, when 16 new States had been admitted in one big step to membership, bringing the total to 76. In 1960 itself, 19 new States had been admitted, sealing the emergence of what became, in Cold War terms, a neutralist or uncommitted, majority voting coalition variously styled as the Non-Aligned bloc, the Group of 77, the Bandoeng group, the Developing or Third World countries. It was this informal electoral alliance, that provided the intellectual cohesiveness and also the political-tactical competence to secure the adoption of resolution 1514 (XV) without a single expressed dissent in the General Assembly.
Why a Declaration, and not something with more obvious and immediate concrete political and legal consequences? The answer must be that it was partly tactical, to convert potential negative votes in the General Assembly into softer, legally ineffective abstentions. But it also has something to do with the patently French civiliste, legal-systemic influences on its styling and drafting. The paradigm-model for resolution 1514 (XV) must be the great French Déclaration des droits de l’homme et du citoyen (Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen) of 1789. Resolution 1514 (XV), like that historical example, is short and succinct, and written in clear, non-technical, often poetic language.
In the end, the persuasiveness, in both political and legal terms, of resolution 1514 (XV) as Declaration must rest upon its claims to be an authoritative, interpretive gloss upon the Charter of the United Nations as originally written, amplifying and extending the Charter’s original historical imperatives so as to encompass the new historical reality of the post-World War II international society of the drives for access to full sovereignty and independence of erstwhile subject-peoples, in an emerging new, culturally inclusive, representative, pluralist world community.
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In its substantive law stipulations, the Declaration postulates what may be described
as ordering principles, intended to guide the progressive development of international law
in accordance with the General Assembly’s own explicit mandate under Article 13,
paragraph 1 (a), of the Charter of the United Nations:
– that the subjection of peoples to alien subjugation, domination and exploitation
constitutes a denial of fundamental human rights (art. 1);
– that all peoples have the right to self-determination, but that this necessarily
includes the right freely to determine their political status and freely to pursue their
economic, social and cultural development (art. 2);
– that all armed action or repressive measures of all kinds directed against
dependent peoples shall cease (art. 4);
– that immediate steps shall be taken, in United Nations Trust and Non-Self-
Governing Territories or all other territories which have not yet attained
independence, to transfer all powers to the peoples of those territories (art. 5).
And there is the warning, in the premonition of possible future post-decolonisation
conflicts (as, at the time, in the former Belgian Congo), against any attempt aimed at the
partial or total disruption of the national unity and the territorial integrity of a (postdecolonisation)
country (art. 6); and as to the obligation of all States to observe the Charter
of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as to equality and
non-interference in the internal affairs of all States, and respect for the sovereign rights of
all peoples and their territorial integrity (art. 7).
The Declaration’s subsequent history, as a call for legislative activism – affirmative
action – within the General Assembly (and, if politically opportune, within the Security
Council) and certainly also for parallel initiatives in other coordinate United Nations
institutions and agencies (the International Court of Justice in particular), has helped in a
process of elevating the Declaration’s claimed juridical status to the rank of imperative
principles of international law (jus cogens), binding, as such, on the United Nations as
authoritative interpretation of the Charter’s norms and entering into general international
law in the result.
The Declaration was at the core of Security Council and General Assembly
legislative initiatives that provided a legal base for reference to the International Court of
Justice for Advisory Opinion in Namibia in 1971. The Declaration is also reflected, in its
full spirit, in the International Court’s Advisory Opinion ruling on Western Sahara in
1975.
In the immediate political context of the drafting and the diplomatic lobbying
leading on to its adoption, the Declaration was generally understood as being directed to
“salt-water” Colonialism – occupation of the lands and territories of indigenous, native or
aboriginal peoples, in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean, who were physically separated by
the oceans from their colonial Powers. There is nothing in the language or the spirit of
resolution 1514 (XV) inhibiting its legal extension to situations involving relations
between European colonial Powers and other European or European-derived peoples
overseas. In a major ruling, the International Court of Justice, being seised of a legal
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complaint of military and paramilitary support by the United States Government for forces
from outside Nicaragua attempting to overthrow Nicaragua’s elected government, may
have come close in its strong judicial majorities to making such a connection.
Within the General Assembly itself, the Declaration gave birth immediately to
further legislative acts whose ties of consanguinity to resolution 1514 (XV) are clear:
resolution 1515 (XV) of 15 December 1960, on the sovereign right of States to dispose of
their own wealth and natural resources and resolution 1803 (XVII) of 14 December 1962,
on States’ permanent sovereignty over those natural resources. The further Declaration on
the Establishment of a New International Economic Order and the related Programme of
Action (resolutions 3201 (S-VI) and 3202 (S-VI) of 1 May 1974), and the Charter of
Economic Rights and Duties of States (resolution 3281 (XXIX) of 12 December 1974) are
demonstrations of the prophetic quality of resolution 1514 (XV) in providing an inevitable
legal linkage between self-determination and its goal of decolonisation, and a postulated
new international law-based right of freedom also in economic self-determination.
Collateral questions arising from resolution 1514 (XV) concern its consequences for
the continued validity in legal terms of the former territorial frontiers from the colonial era
in the post-decolonisation context. The new Organisation of African Unity had displayed,
in the early post-decolonisation period, a concern for avoiding the internecine conflicts
over territorial frontiers and the resultant pursuit by military means of “natural frontiers”.
The pragmatic conclusion was that it might be wisest for the new African States to accept,
at least for the moment, the legitimacy of their own newly-inherited territorial
demarcations even where, as very often happened, they had arbitrarily divided indigenous
peoples or “nations” belonging to distinct ethno-cultural communities. Openings in judicial
terms to the Latin American legal doctrine of uti possidetis, as in the legal discussion in
Frontier Dispute (Burkina Faso/Mali), a ruling in 1986 by a Special Chamber of the
International Court of Justice, perhaps do not take full account of that doctrine’s own
special, intrinsically regional character as a concept limited to disputes inter se of the
South American Succession States to the former Spanish and Portuguese colonial Powers.
The Badinter Commission’s attempt in 1992 to extrapolate the Latin American uti
possidetis doctrine to the international boundaries of the succession States to the Former
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia may be questioned substantively on the same
basis.
The large conclusion must be that the Declaration has essentially fulfilled its
original legislative objective of consolidating the political process, already entered upon, of
legally terminating the old Colonial Empires, and of pressing on with all deliberate speed
to successful conclusion of the process. With political and economic self-determination
now assured for the new succession States, and their control over their own natural and
other economic resources guaranteed, the way would be open to pursuing supervening,
collateral issues now being canvassed – rectification of inherited frontiers, autonomous
development of economic resources on a fully regional basis, and related regional security
questions – under other, different legal categories and in other, predominantly diplomaticlegal
arenas in aid to the General Assembly’s original great legislative act.
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Related materials
A. Jurisprudence
International Court of Justice, South West Africa (Ethiopia v. South Africa; Liberia v.
South Africa). Second Phase, Judgment, I.C.J. Reports 1966, p. 6.
International Court of Justice, Legal Consequences for States of the Continued Presence of
South Africa in Namibia (South West Africa) notwithstanding Security Council Resolution
276 (1970), Advisory Opinion, I.C.J. Reports 1971, p. 16.
International Court of Justice, Western Sahara, Advisory Opinion, I.C.J. Reports 1975, p.
12.
International Court of Justice, Frontier Dispute (Burkina Faso/Mali), Judgment, I.C.J.
Reports 1986, p. 554.
International Court of Justice, Military and Paramilitary Activities in and against
Nicaragua (Nicaragua v. United States of America), Merits, Judgment, I.C.J. Reports
1986, p. 14.
B. Doctrine
M. Bedjaoui, Terra nullius, ‘droits’ historiques et autodétérmination, The Hague: Sijthoff,
1975.
M. Bedjaoui, “Non-alignement et droit international”, Recueil des Cours, vol. 151, 1976,
p.406.
B. Boutros-Ghali, “The Arab League 1945-1970”, Revue Egyptienne de Droit
International, vol. 25, 1969, p.67.
C.J.R. Dugard, “Organisation of African Unity and Colonisation”, International and
Comparative Law Quarterly, vol. 16, 1967, pp. 157-190.
E. McWhinney, Self-Determination of Peoples and Plural-Ethnic States in Contemporary
International Law, Leiden, Boston, Martinus Nijhoff, 2007, particularly chapters 1-4.
E. McWhinney, United Nations Law Making: Cultural and Ideological Relativism and
International Law Making for an Era of Transition, Paris, UNESCO; New York, Holmes
and Meier, 1984, particularly Chapter 9 [French version: Les Nations Unies et la formation
du Droit, Paris, UNESCO, Pedone, 1986].
E. McWhinney, The World Court and the Contemporary International Law-Making
Process, Alphen aan den Rijn, Sithoff & Noordhoff, 1979, particularly Chapters 2 and 4.
M. Mushkat, “Process of Decolonisation: International Legal Aspects”, University of
Baltimore Law Review, vol. 2, 1972-1973, pp. 16-34.
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United Nations Audiovisual Library of International Law
A. Zamora R. (ed.), Actividades Militares y Paramilitares en y contra Nicaragua,
(Nicaragua c. Estados Unidos), (Corte Internacional de Justicia), Managua, Nicaragua,
1999.
Copyright

Adopted by the World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna on 25 June 1993
The World Conference on Human Rights ,
Considering that the promotion and protection of human rights is a matter of priority for the
international community, and that the Conference affords a unique opportunity to carry out a
comprehensive analysis of the international human rights system and of the machinery for the
protection of human rights, in order to enhance and thus promote a fuller observance of those rights,
in a just and balanced manner,
Recognizing and affirming that all human rights derive from the dignity and worth inherent in the
human person, and that the human person is the central subject of human rights and fundamental
freedoms, and consequently should be the principal beneficiary and should participate actively in the
realization of these rights and freedoms,
Reaffirming their commitment to the purposes and principles contained in the Charter of the United
Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
Reaffirming the commitment contained in Article 56 of the Charter of the United Nations to take joint
and separate action, placing proper emphasis on developing effective international cooperation for the
realization of the purposes set out in Article 55, including universal respect for, and observance of,
human rights and fundamental freedoms for all,
Emphasizing the responsibilities of all States, in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations, to
develop and encourage respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction
as to race, sex, language or religion,
Recalling the Preamble to the Charter of the United Nations, in particular the determination to reaffirm
faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, and in the equal
rights of men and women and of nations large and small,
Recalling also the determination expressed in the Preamble of the Charter of the United Nations to
save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, to establish conditions under which justice and
respect for obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained,
to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom, to practice tolerance and
good neighbourliness, and to employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and
social advancement of all peoples,
Emphasizing that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which constitutes a common standard of
achievement for all peoples and all nations, is the source of inspiration and has been the basis for the
United Nations in making advances in standard setting as contained in the existing international
human rights instruments, in particular the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights,
Considering the major changes taking place on the international scene and the aspirations of all the
peoples for an international order based on the principles enshrined in the Charter of the United
Nations, including promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for
all and respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, peace, democracy,
justice, equality, rule of law, pluralism, development, better standards of living and solidarity,
Deeply concerned by various forms of discrimination and violence, to which women continue to be
exposed all over the world,
Recognizing that the activities of the United Nations in the field of human rights should be rationalized
and enhanced in order to strengthen the United Nations machinery in this field and to further the
objectives of universal respect for observance of international human rights standards,
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Having taken into account the Declarations adopted by the three regional meetings at Tunis, San José
and Bangkok and the contributions made by Governments, and bearing in mind the suggestions made
by intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, as well as the studies prepared by
independent experts during the preparatory process leading to the World Conference on Human
Rights,
Welcoming the International Year of the World's Indigenous People 1993 as a reaffirmation of the
commitment of the international community to ensure their enjoyment of all human rights and
fundamental freedoms and to respect the value and diversity of their cultures and identities,
Recognizing also that the international community should devise ways and means to remove the
current obstacles and meet challenges to the full realization of all human rights and to prevent the
continuation of human rights violations resulting therefrom throughout the world,
Invoking the spirit of our age and the realities of our time which call upon the peoples of the world and
all States Members of the United Nations to rededicate themselves to the global task of promoting and
protecting all human rights and fundamental freedoms so as to secure full and universal enjoyment of
these rights,
Determined to take new steps forward in the commitment of the international community with a view
to achieving substantial progress in human rights endeavours by an increased and sustained effort of
international cooperation and solidarity,
Solemnly adopts the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action.
I
1. The World Conference on Human Rights reaffirms the solemn commitment of all States to fulfil their
obligations to promote universal respect for, and observance and protection of, all human rights and
fundamental freedoms for all in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, other instruments
relating to human rights, and international law. The universal nature of these rights and freedoms is
beyond question.
In this framework, enhancement of international cooperation in the field of human rights is essential
for the full achievement of the purposes of the United Nations.
Human rights and fundamental freedoms are the birthright of all human beings; their protection and
promotion is the first responsibility of Governments.
2. All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their
political status, and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.
Taking into account the particular situation of peoples under colonial or other forms of alien domination
or foreign occupation, the World Conference on Human Rights recognizes the right of peoples to take
any legitimate action, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, to realize their inalienable
right of self-determination. The World Conference on Human Rights considers the denial of the right of
self-determination as a violation of human rights and underlines the importance of the effective
realization of this right.
In accordance with the Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and
Cooperation Among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, this shall not be
construed as authorizing or encouraging any action which would dismember or impair, totally or in
part, the territorial integrity or political unity of sovereign and independent States conducting
themselves in compliance with the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples and thus
possessed of a Government representing the whole people belonging to the territory without distinction
of any kind.
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3. Effective international measures to guarantee and monitor the implementation of human rights
standards should be taken in respect of people under foreign occupation, and effective legal protection
against the violation of their human rights should be provided, in accordance with human rights norms
and international law, particularly the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons
in Time of War, of 14 August 1949, and other applicable norms of humanitarian law.
4. The promotion and protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms must be considered as
a priority objective of the United Nations in accordance with its purposes and principles, in particular
the purpose of international cooperation. In the framework of these purposes and principles, the
promotion and protection of all human rights is a legitimate concern of the international community.
The organs and specialized agencies related to human rights should therefore further enhance the
coordination of their activities based on the consistent and objective application of international human
rights instruments.
5. All human rights are universal, indivisible and interdependent and interrelated. The international
community must treat human rights globally in a fair and equal manner, on the same footing, and with
the same emphasis. While the significance of national and regional particularities and various
historical, cultural and religious backgrounds must be borne in mind, it is the duty of States, regardless
of their political, economic and cultural systems, to promote and protect all human rights and
fundamental freedoms.
6. The efforts of the United Nations system towards the universal respect for, and observance of,
human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, contribute to the stability and well-being necessary for
peaceful and friendly relations among nations, and to improved conditions for peace and security as
well as social and economic development, in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations.
7. The processes of promoting and protecting human rights should be conducted in conformity with the
purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and international law.
8. Democracy, development and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms are
interdependent and mutually reinforcing. Democracy is based on the freely expressed will of the people
to determine their own political, economic, social and cultural systems and their full participation in all
aspects of their lives. In the context of the above, the promotion and protection of human rights and
fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels should be universal and conducted
without conditions attached. The international community should support the strengthening and
promoting of democracy, development and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in the
entire world.
9. The World Conference on Human Rights reaffirms that least developed countries committed to the
process of democratization and economic reforms, many of which are in Africa, should be supported by
the international community in order to succeed in their transition to democracy and economic
development.
10. The World Conference on Human Rights reaffirms the right to development, as established in the
Declaration on the Right to Development, as a universal and inalienable right and an integral part of
fundamental human rights.
As stated in the Declaration on the Right to Development, the human person is the central subject of
development.
While development facilitates the enjoyment of all human rights, the lack of development may not be
invoked to justify the abridgement of internationally recognized human rights.
States should cooperate with each other in ensuring development and eliminating obstacles to
development. The international community should promote an effective international cooperation for
the realization of the right to development and the elimination of obstacles to development.
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Lasting progress towards the implementation of the right to development requires effective
development policies at the national level, as well as equitable economic relations and a favourable
economic environment at the international level.
11. The right to development should be fulfilled so as to meet equitably the developmental and
environmental needs of present and future generations. The World Conference on Human Rights
recognizes that illicit dumping of toxic and dangerous substances and waste potentially constitutes a
serious threat to the human rights to life and health of everyone.
Consequently, the World Conference on Human Rights calls on all States to adopt and vigorously
implement existing conventions relating to the dumping of toxic and dangerous products and waste
and to cooperate in the prevention of illicit dumping.
Everyone has the right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications. The World
Conference on Human Rights notes that certain advances, notably in the biomedical and life sciences
as well as in information technology, may have potentially adverse consequences for the integrity,
dignity and human rights of the individual, and calls for international cooperation to ensure that human
rights and dignity are fully respected in this area of universal concern.
12. The World Conference on Human Rights calls upon the international community to make all efforts
to help alleviate the external debt burden of developing countries, in order to supplement the efforts of
the Governments of such countries to attain the full realization of the economic, social and cultural
rights of their people.
13. There is a need for States and international organizations, in cooperation with non-governmental
organizations, to create favourable conditions at the national, regional and international levels to
ensure the full and effective enjoyment of human rights. States should eliminate all violations of
human rights and their causes, as well as obstacles to the enjoyment of these rights.
14. The existence of widespread extreme poverty inhibits the full and effective enjoyment of human
rights; its immediate alleviation and eventual elimination must remain a high priority for the
international community.
15. Respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms without distinction of any kind is a
fundamental rule of international human rights law. The speedy and comprehensive elimination of all
forms of racism and racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance is a priority task for the
international community. Governments should take effective measures to prevent and combat them.
Groups, institutions, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and individuals are urged
to intensify their efforts in cooperating and coordinating their activities against these evils.
16. The World Conference on Human Rights welcomes the progress made in dismantling apartheid and
calls upon the international community and the United Nations system to assist in this process.
The World Conference on Human Rights also deplores the continuing acts of violence aimed at
undermining the quest for a peaceful dismantling of apartheid.
17. The acts, methods and practices of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations as well as linkage
in some countries to drug trafficking are activities aimed at the destruction of human rights,
fundamental freedoms and democracy, threatening territorial integrity, security of States and
destabilizing legitimately constituted Governments. The international community should take the
necessary steps to enhance cooperation to prevent and combat terrorism.
18. The human rights of women and of the girl-child are an inalienable, integral and indivisible part of
universal human rights. The full and equal participation of women in political, civil, economic, social
and cultural life, at the national, regional and international levels, and the eradication of all forms of
discrimination on grounds of sex are priority objectives of the international community.
Gender-based violence and all forms of sexual harassment and exploitation, including those resulting
from cultural prejudice and international trafficking, are incompatible with the dignity and worth of the
5
human person, and must be eliminated. This can be achieved by legal measures and through national
action and international cooperation in such fields as economic and social development, education, safe
maternity and health care, and social support.
The human rights of women should form an integral part of the United Nations human rights activities,
including the promotion of all human rights instruments relating to women.
The World Conference on Human Rights urges Governments, institutions, intergovernmental and nongovernmental
organizations to intensify their efforts for the protection and promotion of human rights
of women and the girl-child.
19. Considering the importance of the promotion and protection of the rights of persons belonging to
minorities and the contribution of such promotion and protection to the political and social stability of
the States in which such persons live,
The World Conference on Human Rights reaffirms the obligation of States to ensure that persons
belonging to minorities may exercise fully and effectively all human rights and fundamental freedoms
without any discrimination and in full equality before the law in accordance with the Declaration on the
Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities.
The persons belonging to minorities have the right to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practise
their own religion and to use their own language in private and in public, freely and without
interference or any form of discrimination.
20. The World Conference on Human Rights recognizes the inherent dignity and the unique
contribution of indigenous people to the development and plurality of society and strongly reaffirms
the commitment of the international community to their economic, social and cultural well-being and
their enjoyment of the fruits of sustainable development. States should ensure the full and free
participation of indigenous people in all aspects of society, in particular in matters of concern to them.
Considering the importance of the promotion and protection of the rights of indigenous people, and the
contribution of such promotion and protection to the political and social stability of the States in which
such people live, States should, in accordance with international law, take concerted positive steps to
ensure respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people, on the basis of
equality and non-discrimination, and recognize the value and diversity of their distinct identities,
cultures and social organization.
21. The World Conference on Human Rights, welcoming the early ratification of the Convention on the
Rights of the Child by a large number of States and noting the recognition of the human rights of
children in the World Declaration on the Survival, Protection and Development of Children and Plan of
Action adopted by the World Summit for Children, urges universal ratification of the Convention by
1995 and its effective implementation by States parties through the adoption of all the necessary
legislative, administrative and other measures and the allocation to the maximum extent of the
available resources. In all actions concerning children, non-discrimination and the best interest of the
child should be primary considerations and the views of the child given due weight. National and
international mechanisms and programmes should be strengthened for the defence and protection of
children, in particular, the girl-child, abandoned children, street children, economically and sexually
exploited children, including through child pornography, child prostitution or sale of organs, children
victims of diseases including acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, refugee and displaced children,
children in detention, children in armed conflict, as well as children victims of famine and drought and
other emergencies. International cooperation and solidarity should be promoted to support the
implementation of the Convention and the rights of the child should be a priority in the United Nations
system-wide action on human rights.
The World Conference on Human Rights also stresses that the child for the full and harmonious
development of his or her personality should grow up in a family environment which accordingly merits
broader protection.
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22. Special attention needs to be paid to ensuring non-discrimination, and the equal enjoyment of all
human rights and fundamental freedoms by disabled persons, including their active participation in all
aspects of society.
23. The World Conference on Human Rights reaffirms that everyone, without distinction of any kind, is
entitled to the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution, as well as the
right to return to one's own country. In this respect it stresses the importance of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, its 1967 Protocol
and regional instruments. It expresses its appreciation to States that continue to admit and host large
numbers of refugees in their territories, and to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for
Refugees for its dedication to its task. It also expresses its appreciation to the United Nations Relief
and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.
The World Conference on Human Rights recognizes that gross violations of human rights, including in
armed conflicts, are among the multiple and complex factors leading to displacement of people.
The World Conference on Human Rights recognizes that, in view of the complexities of the global
refugee crisis and in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, relevant international
instruments and international solidarity and in the spirit of burden-sharing, a comprehensive approach
by the international community is needed in coordination and cooperation with the countries concerned
and relevant organizations, bearing in mind the mandate of the United Nations High Commissioner for
Refugees. This should include the development of strategies to address the root causes and effects of
movements of refugees and other displaced persons, the strengthening of emergency preparedness
and response mechanisms, the provision of effective protection and assistance, bearing in mind the
special needs of women and children, as well as the achievement of durable solutions, primarily
through the preferred solution of dignified and safe voluntary repatriation, including solutions such as
those adopted by the international refugee conferences. The World Conference on Human Rights
underlines the responsibilities of States, particularly as they relate to the countries of origin.
In the light of the comprehensive approach, the World Conference on Human Rights emphasizes the
importance of giving special attention including through intergovernmental and humanitarian
organizations and finding lasting solutions to questions related to internally displaced persons including
their voluntary and safe return and rehabilitation.
In accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of humanitarian law, the World
Conference on Human Rights further emphasizes the importance of and the need for humanitarian
assistance to victims of all natural and man-made disasters.
24. Great importance must be given to the promotion and protection of the human rights of persons
belonging to groups which have been rendered vulnerable, including migrant workers, the elimination
of all forms of discrimination against them, and the strengthening and more effective implementation
of existing human rights instruments. States have an obligation to create and maintain adequate
measures at the national level, in particular in the fields of education, health and social support, for the
promotion and protection of the rights of persons in vulnerable sectors of their populations and to
ensure the participation of those among them who are interested in finding a solution to their own
problems.
25. The World Conference on Human Rights affirms that extreme poverty and social exclusion
constitute a violation of human dignity and that urgent steps are necessary to achieve better
knowledge of extreme poverty and its causes, including those related to the problem of development,
in order to promote the human rights of the poorest, and to put an end to extreme poverty and social
exclusion and to promote the enjoyment of the fruits of social progress. It is essential for States to
foster participation by the poorest people in the decision-making process by the community in which
they live, the promotion of human rights and efforts to combat extreme poverty.
26. The World Conference on Human Rights welcomes the progress made in the codification of human
rights instruments, which is a dynamic and evolving process, and urges the universal ratification of
human rights treaties. All States are encouraged to accede to these international instruments; all
States are encouraged to avoid, as far as possible, the resort to reservations.
7
27. Every State should provide an effective framework of remedies to redress human rights grievances
or violations. The administration of justice, including law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies and,
especially, an independent judiciary and legal profession in full conformity with applicable standards
contained in international human rights instruments, are essential to the full and non-discriminatory
realization of human rights and indispensable to the processes of democracy and sustainable
development. In this context, institutions concerned with the administration of justice should be
properly funded, and an increased level of both technical and financial assistance should be provided
by the international community. It is incumbent upon the United Nations to make use of special
programmes of advisory services on a priority basis for the achievement of a strong and independent
administration of justice.
28. The World Conference on Human Rights expresses its dismay at massive violations of human rights
especially in the form of genocide, "ethnic cleansing" and systematic rape of women in war situations,
creating mass exodus of refugees and displaced persons. While strongly condemning such abhorrent
practices it reiterates the call that perpetrators of such crimes be punished and such practices
immediately stopped.
29. The World Conference on Human Rights expresses grave concern about continuing human rights
violations in all parts of the world in disregard of standards as contained in international human rights
instruments and international humanitarian law and about the lack of sufficient and effective remedies
for the victims.
The World Conference on Human Rights is deeply concerned about violations of human rights during
armed conflicts, affecting the civilian population, especially women, children, the elderly and the
disabled. The Conference therefore calls upon States and all parties to armed conflicts strictly to
observe international humanitarian law, as set forth in the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and other
rules and principles of international law, as well as minimum standards for protection of human rights,
as laid down in international conventions.
The World Conference on Human Rights reaffirms the right of the victims to be assisted by
humanitarian organizations, as set forth in the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and other relevant
instruments of international humanitarian law, and calls for the safe and timely access for such
assistance.
30. The World Conference on Human Rights also expresses its dismay and condemnation that gross
and systematic violations and situations that constitute serious obstacles to the full enjoyment of all
human rights continue to occur in different parts of the world. Such violations and obstacles include, as
well as torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment, summary and arbitrary
executions, disappearances, arbitrary detentions, all forms of racism, racial discrimination and
apartheid, foreign occupation and alien domination, xenophobia, poverty, hunger and other denials of
economic, social and cultural rights, religious intolerance, terrorism, discrimination against women and
lack of the rule of law.
31. The World Conference on Human Rights calls upon States to refrain from any unilateral measure
not in accordance with international law and the Charter of the United Nations that creates obstacles to
trade relations among States and impedes the full realization of the human rights set forth in the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international human rights instruments, in particular the
rights of everyone to a standard of living adequate for their health and well-being, including food and
medical care, housing and the necessary social services. The World Conference on Human Rights
affirms that food should not be used as a tool for political pressure.
32. The World Conference on Human Rights reaffirms the importance of ensuring the universality,
objectivity and non-selectivity of the consideration of human rights issues.
33. The World Conference on Human Rights reaffirms that States are duty-bound, as stipulated in the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and
Cultural Rights and in other international human rights instruments, to ensure that education is aimed
at strengthening the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms. The World Conference on
8
Human Rights emphasizes the importance of incorporating the subject of human rights education
programmes and calls upon States to do so. Education should promote understanding, tolerance,
peace and friendly relations between the nations and all racial or religious groups and encourage the
development of United Nations activities in pursuance of these objectives. Therefore, education on
human rights and the dissemination of proper information, both theoretical and practical, play an
important role in the promotion and respect of human rights with regard to all individuals without
distinction of any kind such as race, sex, language or religion, and this should be integrated in the
education policies at the national as well as international levels. The World Conference on Human
Rights notes that resource constraints and institutional inadequacies may impede the immediate
realization of these objectives.
34. Increased efforts should be made to assist countries which so request to create the conditions
whereby each individual can enjoy universal human rights and fundamental freedoms. Governments,
the United Nations system as well as other multilateral organizations are urged to increase
considerably the resources allocated to programmes aiming at the establishment and strengthening of
national legislation, national institutions and related infrastructures which uphold the rule of law and
democracy, electoral assistance, human rights awareness through training, teaching and education,
popular participation and civil society.
The programmes of advisory services and technical cooperation under the Centre for Human Rights
should be strengthened as well as made more efficient and transparent and thus become a major
contribution to improving respect for human rights. States are called upon to increase their
contributions to these programmes, both through promoting a larger allocation from the United
Nations regular budget, and through voluntary contributions.
35. The full and effective implementation of United Nations activities to promote and protect human
rights must reflect the high importance accorded to human rights by the Charter of the United Nations
and the demands of the United Nations human rights activities, as mandated by Member States. To
this end, United Nations human rights activities should be provided with increased resources.
36. The World Conference on Human Rights reaffirms the important and constructive role played by
national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights, in particular in their advisory
capacity to the competent authorities, their role in remedying human rights violations, in the
dissemination of human rights information, and education in human rights.
The World Conference on Human Rights encourages the establishment and strengthening of national
institutions, having regard to the "Principles relating to the status of national institutions" and
recognizing that it is the right of each State to choose the framework which is best suited to its
particular needs at the national level.
37. Regional arrangements play a fundamental role in promoting and protecting human rights. They
should reinforce universal human rights standards, as contained in international human rights
instruments, and their protection. The World Conference on Human Rights endorses efforts under way
to strengthen these arrangements and to increase their effectiveness, while at the same time stressing
the importance of cooperation with the United Nations human rights activities.
The World Conference on Human Rights reiterates the need to consider the possibility of establishing
regional and subregional arrangements for the promotion and protection of human rights where they
do not already exist.
38. The World Conference on Human Rights recognizes the important role of non-governmental
organizations in the promotion of all human rights and in humanitarian activities at national, regional
and international levels. The World Conference on Human Rights appreciates their contribution to
increasing public awareness of human rights issues, to the conduct of education, training and research
in this field, and to the promotion and protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms. While
recognizing that the primary responsibility for standard-setting lies with States, the conference also
appreciates the contribution of non-governmental organizations to this process. In this respect, the
World Conference on Human Rights emphasizes the importance of continued dialogue and cooperation
between Governments and non-governmental organizations. Non-governmental organizations and
9
their members genuinely involved in the field of human rights should enjoy the rights and freedoms
recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the protection of the national law. These
rights and freedoms may not be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United
Nations. Non-governmental organizations should be free to carry out their human rights activities,
without interference, within the framework of national law and the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights.
39. Underlining the importance of objective, responsible and impartial information about human rights
and humanitarian issues, the World Conference on Human Rights encourages the increased
involvement of the media, for whom freedom and protection should be guaranteed within the
framework of national law.
II
A. Increased coordination on human rights within the United Nations system
1. The World Conference on Human Rights recommends increased coordination in support of human
rights and fundamental freedoms within the United Nations system. To this end, the World Conference
on Human Rights urges all United Nations organs, bodies and the specialized agencies whose activities
deal with human rights to cooperate in order to strengthen, rationalize and streamline their activities,
taking into account the need to avoid unnecessary duplication. The World Conference on Human Rights
also recommends to the Secretary-General that high-level officials of relevant United Nations bodies
and specialized agencies at their annual meeting, besides coordinating their activities, also assess the
impact of their strategies and policies on the enjoyment of all human rights.
2. Furthermore, the World Conference on Human Rights calls on regional organizations and prominent
international and regional finance and development institutions to assess also the impact of their
policies and programmes on the enjoyment of human rights.
3. The World Conference on Human Rights recognizes that relevant specialized agencies and bodies
and institutions of the United Nations system as well as other relevant intergovernmental organizations
whose activities deal with human rights play a vital role in the formulation, promotion and
implementation of human rights standards, within their respective mandates, and should take into
account the outcome of the World Conference on Human Rights within their fields of competence.
4. The World Conference on Human Rights strongly recommends that a concerted effort be made to
encourage and facilitate the ratification of and accession or succession to international human rights
treaties and protocols adopted within the framework of the United Nations system with the aim of
universal acceptance. The Secretary-General, in consultation with treaty bodies, should consider
opening a dialogue with States not having acceded to these human rights treaties, in order to identify
obstacles and to seek ways of overcoming them.
5. The World Conference on Human Rights encourages States to consider limiting the extent of any
reservations they lodge to international human rights instruments, formulate any reservations as
precisely and narrowly as possible, ensure that none is incompatible with the object and purpose of the
relevant treaty and regularly review any reservations with a view to withdrawing them.
6. The World Conference on Human Rights, recognizing the need to maintain consistency with the high
quality of existing international standards and to avoid proliferation of human rights instruments,
reaffirms the guidelines relating to the elaboration of new international instruments contained in
General Assembly resolution 41/120 of 4 December 1986 and calls on the United Nations human rights
bodies, when considering the elaboration of new international standards, to keep those guidelines in
mind, to consult with human rights treaty bodies on the necessity for drafting new standards and to
request the Secretariat to carry out technical reviews of proposed new instruments.
7. The World Conference on Human Rights recommends that human rights officers be assigned if and
when necessary to regional offices of the United Nations Organization with the purpose of
disseminating information and offering training and other technical assistance in the field of human
10
rights upon the request of concerned Member States. Human rights training for international civil
servants who are assigned to work relating to human rights should be organized.
8. The World Conference on Human Rights welcomes the convening of emergency sessions of the
Commission on Human Rights as a positive initiative and that other ways of responding to acute
violations of human rights be considered by the relevant organs of the United Nations system.
Resources
9. The World Conference on Human Rights, concerned by the growing disparity between the activities
of the Centre for Human Rights and the human, financial and other resources available to carry them
out, and bearing in mind the resources needed for other important United Nations programmes,
requests the Secretary-General and the General Assembly to take immediate steps to increase
substantially the resources for the human rights programme from within the existing and future
regular budgets of the United Nations, and to take urgent steps to seek increased extrabudgetary
resources.
10. Within this framework, an increased proportion of the regular budget should be allocated directly
to the Centre for Human Rights to cover its costs and all other costs borne by the Centre for Human
Rights, including those related to the United Nations human rights bodies. Voluntary funding of the
Centre's technical cooperation activities should reinforce this enhanced budget; the World Conference
on Human Rights calls for generous contributions to the existing trust funds.
11. The World Conference on Human Rights requests the Secretary-General and the General Assembly
to provide sufficient human, financial and other resources to the Centre for Human Rights to enable it
effectively, efficiently and expeditiously to carry out its activities.
12. The World Conference on Human Rights, noting the need to ensure that human and financial
resources are available to carry out the human rights activities, as mandated by intergovernmental
bodies, urges the Secretary-General, in accordance with Article 101 of the Charter of the United
Nations, and Member States to adopt a coherent approach aimed at securing that resources
commensurate to the increased mandates are allocated to the Secretariat. The World Conference on
Human Rights invites the Secretary-General to consider whether adjustments to procedures in the
programme budget cycle would be necessary or helpful to ensure the timely and effective
implementation of human rights activities as mandated by Member States.
Centre for Human Rights
13. The World Conference on Human Rights stresses the importance of strengthening the United
Nations Centre for Human Rights.
14. The Centre for Human Rights should play an important role in coordinating system-wide attention
for human rights. The focal role of the Centre can best be realized if it is enabled to cooperate fully
with other United Nations bodies and organs. The coordinating role of the Centre for Human Rights
also implies that the office of the Centre for Human Rights in New York is strengthened.
15. The Centre for Human Rights should be assured adequate means for the system of thematic and
country rapporteurs, experts, working groups and treaty bodies. Follow-up on recommendations
should become a priority matter for consideration by the Commission on Human Rights.
16. The Centre for Human Rights should assume a larger role in the promotion of human rights. This
role could be given shape through cooperation with Member States and by an enhanced programme of
advisory services and technical assistance. The existing voluntary funds will have to be expanded
substantially for these purposes and should be managed in a more efficient and coordinated way. All
activities should follow strict and transparent project management rules and regular programme and
project evaluations should be held periodically. To this end, the results of such evaluation exercises
and other relevant information should be made available regularly. The Centre should, in particular,
organize at least once a year information meetings open to all Member States and organizations
directly involved in these projects and programmes.
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Adaptation and strengthening of the United Nations machinery for human rights, including the question
of the establishment of a United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
17. The World Conference on Human Rights recognizes the necessity for a continuing adaptation of the
United Nations human rights machinery to the current and future needs in the promotion and
protection of human rights, as reflected in the present Declaration and within the framework of a
balanced and sustainable development for all people. In particular, the United Nations human rights
organs should improve their coordination, efficiency and effectiveness.
18. The World Conference on Human Rights recommends to the General Assembly that when
examining the report of the Conference at its forty-eighth session, it begin, as a matter of priority,
consideration of the question of the establishment of a High Commissioner for Human Rights for the
promotion and protection of all human rights.
B. Equality, dignity and tolerance
1. Racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance
19. The World Conference on Human Rights considers the elimination of racism and racial
discrimination, in particular in their institutionalized forms such as apartheid or resulting from doctrines
of racial superiority or exclusivity or contemporary forms and manifestations of racism, as a primary
objective for the international community and a worldwide promotion programme in the field of human
rights. United Nations organs and agencies should strengthen their efforts to implement such a
programme of action related to the third decade to combat racism and racial discrimination as well as
subsequent mandates to the same end. The World Conference on Human Rights strongly appeals to
the international community to contribute generously to the Trust Fund for the Programme for the
Decade for Action to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination.
20. The World Conference on Human Rights urges all Governments to take immediate measures and to
develop strong policies to prevent and combat all forms and manifestations of racism, xenophobia or
related intolerance, where necessary by enactment of appropriate legislation, including penal
measures, and by the establishment of national institutions to combat such phenomena.
21. The World Conference on Human Rights welcomes the decision of the Commission on Human
Rights to appoint a Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination,
xenophobia and related intolerance. The World Conference on Human Rights also appeals to all States
parties to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination to
consider making the declaration under article 14 of the Convention.
22. The World Conference on Human Rights calls upon all Governments to take all appropriate
measures in compliance with their international obligations and with due regard to their respective
legal systems to counter intolerance and related violence based on religion or belief, including practices
of discrimination against women and including the desecration of religious sites, recognizing that every
individual has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, expression and religion. The Conference
also invites all States to put into practice the provisions of the Declaration on the Elimination of All
Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief.
23. The World Conference on Human Rights stresses that all persons who perpetrate or authorize
criminal acts associated with ethnic cleansing are individually responsible and accountable for such
human rights violations, and that the international community should exert every effort to bring those
legally responsible for such violations to justice.
24. The World Conference on Human Rights calls on all States to take immediate measures,
individually and collectively, to combat the practice of ethnic cleansing to bring it quickly to an end.
Victims of the abhorrent practice of ethnic cleansing are entitled to appropriate and effective remedies.
2. Persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities
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25. The World Conference on Human Rights calls on the Commission on Human Rights to examine
ways and means to promote and protect effectively the rights of persons belonging to minorities as set
out in the Declaration on the Rights of Persons belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic
Minorities. In this context, the World Conference on Human Rights calls upon the Centre for Human
Rights to provide, at the request of Governments concerned and as part of its programme of advisory
services and technical assistance, qualified expertise on minority issues and human rights, as well as
on the prevention and resolution of disputes, to assist in existing or potential situations involving
minorities.
26. The World Conference on Human Rights urges States and the international community to promote
and protect the rights of persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities in
accordance with the Declaration on the Rights of Persons belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and
Linguistic Minorities.
27. Measures to be taken, where appropriate, should include facilitation of their full participation in all
aspects of the political, economic, social, religious and cultural life of society and in the economic
progress and development in their country.
Indigenous people
28. The World Conference on Human Rights calls on the Working Group on Indigenous Populations of
the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities to complete the
drafting of a declaration on the rights of indigenous people at its eleventh session.
29. The World Conference on Human Rights recommends that the Commission on Human Rights
consider the renewal and updating of the mandate of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations
upon completion of the drafting of a declaration on the rights of indigenous people.
30. The World Conference on Human Rights also recommends that advisory services and technical
assistance programmes within the United Nations system respond positively to requests by States for
assistance which would be of direct benefit to indigenous people. The World Conference on Human
Rights further recommends that adequate human and financial resources be made available to the
Centre for Human Rights within the overall framework of strengthening the Centre's activities as
envisaged by this document.
31. The World Conference on Human Rights urges States to ensure the full and free participation of
indigenous people in all aspects of society, in particular in matters of concern to them.
32. The World Conference on Human Rights recommends that the General Assembly proclaim an
international decade of the world's indigenous people, to begin from January 1994, including actionorientated
programmes, to be decided upon in partnership with indigenous people. An appropriate
voluntary trust fund should be set up for this purpose. In the framework of such a decade, the
establishment of a permanent forum for indigenous people in the United Nations system should be
considered.
Migrant workers
33. The World Conference on Human Rights urges all States to guarantee the protection of the human
rights of all migrant workers and their families.
34. The World Conference on Human Rights considers that the creation of conditions to foster greater
harmony and tolerance between migrant workers and the rest of the society of the State in which they
reside is of particular importance.
35. The World Conference on Human Rights invites States to consider the possibility of signing and
ratifying, at the earliest possible time, the International Convention on the Rights of All Migrant
Workers and Members of Their Families.
3. The equal status and human rights of women
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36. The World Conference on Human Rights urges the full and equal enjoyment by women of all
human rights and that this be a priority for Governments and for the United Nations. The World
Conference on Human Rights also underlines the importance of the integration and full participation of
women as both agents and beneficiaries in the development process, and reiterates the objectives
established on global action for women towards sustainable and equitable development set forth in the
Rio Declaration on Environment and Development and chapter 24 of Agenda 21, adopted by the United
Nations Conference on Environment and Development (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 3-14 June 1992).
37. The equal status of women and the human rights of women should be integrated into the
mainstream of United Nations system-wide activity. These issues should be regularly and
systematically addressed throughout relevant United Nations bodies and mechanisms. In particular,
steps should be taken to increase cooperation and promote further integration of objectives and goals
between the Commission on the Status of Women, the Commission on Human Rights, the Committee
for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, the United Nations Development Fund for
Women, the United Nations Development Programme and other United Nations agencies. In this
context, cooperation and coordination should be strengthened between the Centre for Human Rights
and the Division for the Advancement of Women.
38. In particular, the World Conference on Human Rights stresses the importance of working towards
the elimination of violence against women in public and private life, the elimination of all forms of
sexual harassment, exploitation and trafficking in women, the elimination of gender bias in the
administration of justice and the eradication of any conflicts which may arise between the rights of
women and the harmful effects of certain traditional or customary practices, cultural prejudices and
religious extremism. The World Conference on Human Rights calls upon the General Assembly to adopt
the draft declaration on violence against women and urges States to combat violence against women
in accordance with its provisions. Violations of the human rights of women in situations of armed
conflict are violations of the fundamental principles of international human rights and humanitarian
law. All violations of this kind, including in particular murder, systematic rape, sexual slavery, and
forced pregnancy, require a particularly effective response.
39. The World Conference on Human Rights urges the eradication of all forms of discrimination against
women, both hidden and overt. The United Nations should encourage the goal of universal ratification
by all States of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women by the
year 2000. Ways and means of addressing the particularly large number of reservations to the
Convention should be encouraged. Inter alia , the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination
against Women should continue its review of reservations to the Convention. States are urged to
withdraw reservations that are contrary to the object and purpose of the Convention or which are
otherwise incompatible with international treaty law.
40. Treaty monitoring bodies should disseminate necessary information to enable women to make
more effective use of existing implementation procedures in their pursuit of full and equal enjoyment
of human rights and non-discrimination. New procedures should also be adopted to strengthen
implementation of the commitment to women's equality and the human rights of women. The
Commission on the Status of Women and the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against
Women should quickly examine the possibility of introducing the right of petition through the
preparation of an optional protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination
against Women. The World Conference on Human Rights welcomes the decision of the Commission on
Human Rights to consider the appointment of a special rapporteur on violence against women at its
fiftieth session.
41. The World Conference on Human Rights recognizes the importance of the enjoyment by women of
the highest standard of physical and mental health throughout their life span. In the context of the
World Conference on Women and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination
against Women, as well as the Proclamation of Tehran of 1968, the World Conference on Human
Rights reaffirms, on the basis of equality between women and men, a woman's right to accessible and
adequate health care and the widest range of family planning services, as well as equal access to
education at all levels.
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42. Treaty monitoring bodies should include the status of women and the human rights of women in
their deliberations and findings, making use of gender-specific data. States should be encouraged to
supply information on the situation of women de jure and de facto in their reports to treaty monitoring
bodies. The World Conference on Human Rights notes with satisfaction that the Commission on Human
Rights adopted at its forty-ninth session resolution 1993/46 of 8 March 1993 stating that rapporteurs
and working groups in the field of human rights should also be encouraged to do so. Steps should also
be taken by the Division for the Advancement of Women in cooperation with other United Nations
bodies, specifically the Centre for Human Rights, to ensure that the human rights activities of the
United Nations regularly address violations of women's human rights, including gender-specific abuses.
Training for United Nations human rights and humanitarian relief personnel to assist them to recognize
and deal with human rights abuses particular to women and to carry out their work without gender
bias should be encouraged.
43. The World Conference on Human Rights urges Governments and regional and international
organizations to facilitate the access of women to decision-making posts and their greater participation
in the decision-making process. It encourages further steps within the United Nations Secretariat to
appoint and promote women staff members in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, and
encourages other principal and subsidiary organs of the United Nations to guarantee the participation
of women under conditions of equality.
44. The World Conference on Human Rights welcomes the World Conference on Women to be held in
Beijing in 1995 and urges that human rights of women should play an important role in its
deliberations, in accordance with the priority themes of the World Conference on Women of equality,
development and peace.
4. The rights of the child
45. The World Conference on Human Rights reiterates the principle of "First Call for Children" and, in
this respect, underlines the importance of major national and international efforts, especially those of
the United Nations Children's Fund, for promoting respect for the rights of the child to survival,
protection, development and participation.
46. Measures should be taken to achieve universal ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the
Child by 1995 and the universal signing of the World Declaration on the Survival, Protection and
Development of Children and Plan of Action adopted by the World Summit for Children, as well as their
effective implementation. The World Conference on Human Rights urges States to withdraw
reservations to the Convention on the Rights of the Child contrary to the object and purpose of the
Convention or otherwise contrary to international treaty law.
47. The World Conference on Human Rights urges all nations to undertake measures to the maximum
extent of their available resources, with the support of international cooperation, to achieve the goals
in the World Summit Plan of Action. The Conference calls on States to integrate the Convention on the
Rights of the Child into their national action plans. By means of these national action plans and
through international efforts, particular priority should be placed on reducing infant and maternal
mortality rates, reducing malnutrition and illiteracy rates and providing access to safe drinking water
and to basic education. Whenever so called for, national plans of action should be devised to combat
devastating emergencies resulting from natural disasters and armed conflicts and the equally grave
problem of children in extreme poverty.
48. The World Conference on Human Rights urges all States, with the support of international
cooperation, to address the acute problem of children under especially difficult circumstances.
Exploitation and abuse of children should be actively combated, including by addressing their root
causes. Effective measures are required against female infanticide, harmful child labour, sale of
children and organs, child prostitution, child pornography, as well as other forms of sexual abuse.
49. The World Conference on Human Rights supports all measures by the United Nations and its
specialized agencies to ensure the effective protection and promotion of human rights of the girl child.
The World Conference on Human Rights urges States to repeal existing laws and regulations and
remove customs and practices which discriminate against and cause harm to the girl child.
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50. The World Conference on Human Rights strongly supports the proposal that the Secretary-General
initiate a study into means of improving the protection of children in armed conflicts. Humanitarian
norms should be implemented and measures taken in order to protect and facilitate assistance to
children in war zones. Measures should include protection for children against indiscriminate use of all
weapons of war, especially anti-personnel mines. The need for aftercare and rehabilitation of children
traumatized by war must be addressed urgently. The Conference calls on the Committee on the Rights
of the Child to study the question of raising the minimum age of recruitment into armed forces.
51. The World Conference on Human Rights recommends that matters relating to human rights and
the situation of children be regularly reviewed and monitored by all relevant organs and mechanisms
of the United Nations system and by the supervisory bodies of the specialized agencies in accordance
with their mandates.
52. The World Conference on Human Rights recognizes the important role played by non-governmental
organizations in the effective implementation of all human rights instruments and, in particular, the
Convention on the Rights of the Child.
53. The World Conference on Human Rights recommends that the Committee on the Rights of the
Child, with the assistance of the Centre for Human Rights, be enabled expeditiously and effectively to
meet its mandate, especially in view of the unprecedented extent of ratification and subsequent
submission of country reports.
5. Freedom from torture
54. The World Conference on Human Rights welcomes the ratification by many Member States of the
Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and
encourages its speedy ratification by all other Member States.
55. The World Conference on Human Rights emphasizes that one of the most atrocious violations
against human dignity is the act of torture, the result of which destroys the dignity and impairs the
capability of victims to continue their lives and their activities.
56. The World Conference on Human Rights reaffirms that under human rights law and international
humanitarian law, freedom from torture is a right which must be protected under all circumstances,
including in times of internal or international disturbance or armed conflicts.
57. The World Conference on Human Rights therefore urges all States to put an immediate end to the
practice of torture and eradicate this evil forever through full implementation of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights as well as the relevant conventions and, where necessary, strengthening
of existing mechanisms. The World Conference on Human Rights calls on all States to cooperate fully
with the Special Rapporteur on the question of torture in the fulfilment of his mandate.
58. Special attention should be given to ensure universal respect for, and effective implementation of,
the Principles of Medical Ethics relevant to the Role of Health Personnel, particularly Physicians, in the
Protection of Prisoners and Detainees against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading
Treatment or Punishment adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations.
59. The World Conference on Human Rights stresses the importance of further concrete action within
the framework of the United Nations with the view to providing assistance to victims of torture and
ensuring more effective remedies for their physical, psychological and social rehabilitation. Providing
the necessary resources for this purpose should be given high priority, inter alia , by additional
contributions to the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture.
60. States should abrogate legislation leading to impunity for those responsible for grave violations of
human rights such as torture and prosecute such violations, thereby providing a firm basis for the rule
of law.
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61. The World Conference on Human Rights reaffirms that efforts to eradicate torture should, first and
foremost, be concentrated on prevention and, therefore, calls for the early adoption of an optional
protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or
Punishment, which is intended to establish a preventive system of regular visits to places of detention.
Enforced disappearances
62. The World Conference on Human Rights, welcoming the adoption by the General Assembly of the
Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, calls upon all States to take
effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent, terminate and punish acts of
enforced disappearance. The World Conference on Human Rights reaffirms that it is the duty of all
States, under any circumstances, to make investigations whenever there is reason to believe that an
enforced disappearance has taken place on a territory under their jurisdiction and, if allegations are
confirmed, to prosecute its perpetrators.
6. The rights of the disabled person
63. The World Conference on Human Rights reaffirms that all human rights and fundamental freedoms
are universal and thus unreservedly include persons with disabilities. Every person is born equal and
has the same rights to life and welfare, education and work, living independently and active
participation in all aspects of society. Any direct discrimination or other negative discriminatory
treatment of a disabled person is therefore a violation of his or her rights. The World Conference on
Human Rights calls on Governments, where necessary, to adopt or adjust legislation to assure access
to these and other rights for disabled persons.
64. The place of disabled persons is everywhere. Persons with disabilities should be guaranteed equal
opportunity through the elimination of all socially determined barriers, be they physical, financial,
social or psychological, which exclude or restrict full participation in society.
65 Recalling the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons, adopted by the General
Assembly at its thirty-seventh session, the World Conference on Human Rights calls upon the General
Assembly and the Economic and Social Council to adopt the draft standard rules on the equalization of
opportunities for persons with disabilities, at their meetings in 1993.
C. Cooperation, development and strengthening of human rights
66. The World Conference on Human Rights recommends that priority be given to national and
international action to promote democracy, development and human rights.
67. Special emphasis should be given to measures to assist in the strengthening and building of
institutions relating to human rights, strengthening of a pluralistic civil society and the protection of
groups which have been rendered vulnerable. In this context, assistance provided upon the request of
Governments for the conduct of free and fair elections, including assistance in the human rights
aspects of elections and public information about elections, is of particular importance. Equally
important is the assistance to be given to the strengthening of the rule of law, the promotion of
freedom of expression and the administration of justice, and to the real and effective participation of
the people in the decision-making processes.
68. The World Conference on Human Rights stresses the need for the implementation of strengthened
advisory services and technical assistance activities by the Centre for Human Rights. The Centre
should make available to States upon request assistance on specific human rights issues, including the
preparation of reports under human rights treaties as well as for the implementation of coherent and
comprehensive plans of action for the promotion and protection of human rights. Strengthening the
institutions of human rights and democracy, the legal protection of human rights, training of officials
and others, broad-based education and public information aimed at promoting respect for human
rights should all be available as components of these programmes.
69. The World Conference on Human Rights strongly recommends that a comprehensive programme
be established within the United Nations in order to help States in the task of building and
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strengthening adequate national structures which have a direct impact on the overall observance of
human rights and the maintenance of the rule of law. Such a programme, to be coordinated by the
Centre for Human Rights, should be able to provide, upon the request of the interested Government,
technical and financial assistance to national projects in reforming penal and correctional
establishments, education and training of lawyers, judges and security forces in human rights, and any
other sphere of activity relevant to the good functioning of the rule of law. That programme should
make available to States assistance for the implementation of plans of action for the promotion and
protection of human rights.
70. The World Conference on Human Rights requests the Secretary-General of the United Nations to
submit proposals to the United Nations General Assembly, containing alternatives for the
establishment, structure, operational modalities and funding of the proposed programme.
71. The World Conference on Human Rights recommends that each State consider the desirability of
drawing up a national action plan identifying steps whereby that State would improve the promotion
and protection of human rights.
72. The World Conference on Human Rights reaffirms that the universal and inalienable right to
development, as established in the Declaration on the Right to Development, must be implemented
and realized. In this context, the World Conference on Human Rights welcomes the appointment by
the Commission on Human Rights of a thematic working group on the right to development and urges
that the Working Group, in consultation and cooperation with other organs and agencies of the United
Nations system, promptly formulate, for early consideration by the United Nations General Assembly,
comprehensive and effective measures to eliminate obstacles to the implementation and realization of
the Declaration on the Right to Development and recommending ways and means towards the
realization of the right to development by all States.
73. The World Conference on Human Rights recommends that non-governmental and other grass-roots
organizations active in development and/or human rights should be enabled to play a major role on
the national and international levels in the debate, activities and implementation relating to the right to
development and, in cooperation with Governments, in all relevant aspects of development
cooperation.
74. The World Conference on Human Rights appeals to Governments, competent agencies and
institutions to increase considerably the resources devoted to building well-functioning legal systems
able to protect human rights, and to national institutions working in this area. Actors in the field of
development cooperation should bear in mind the mutually reinforcing interrelationship between
development, democracy and human rights. Cooperation should be based on dialogue and
transparency. The World Conference on Human Rights also calls for the establishment of
comprehensive programmes, including resource banks of information and personnel with expertise
relating to the strengthening of the rule of law and of democratic institutions.
75. The World Conference on Human Rights encourages the Commission on Human Rights, in
cooperation with the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, to continue the examination
of optional protocols to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
76. The World Conference on Human Rights recommends that more resources be made available for
the strengthening or the establishment of regional arrangements for the promotion and protection of
human rights under the programmes of advisory services and technical assistance of the Centre for
Human Rights. States are encouraged to request assistance for such purposes as regional and
subregional workshops, seminars and information exchanges designed to strengthen regional
arrangements for the promotion and protection of human rights in accord with universal human rights
standards as contained in international human rights instruments.
77. The World Conference on Human Rights supports all measures by the United Nations and its
relevant specialized agencies to ensure the effective promotion and protection of trade union rights, as
stipulated in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and other relevant
international instruments. It calls on all States to abide fully by their obligations in this regard
contained in international instruments.
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D. Human rights education
78. The World Conference on Human Rights considers human rights education, training and public
information essential for the promotion and achievement of stable and harmonious relations among
communities and for fostering mutual understanding, tolerance and peace.
79. States should strive to eradicate illiteracy and should direct education towards the full development
of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental
freedoms. The World Conference on Human Rights calls on all States and institutions to include human
rights, humanitarian law, democracy and rule of law as subjects in the curricula of all learning
institutions in formal and non-formal settings.
80. Human rights education should include peace, democracy, development and social justice, as set
forth in international and regional human rights instruments, in order to achieve common
understanding and awareness with a view to strengthening universal commitment to human rights.
81. Taking into account the World Plan of Action on Education for Human Rights and Democracy,
adopted in March 1993 by the International Congress on Education for Human Rights and Democracy
of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, and other human rights
instruments, the World Conference on Human Rights recommends that States develop specific
programmes and strategies for ensuring the widest human rights education and the dissemination of
public information, taking particular account of the human rights needs of women.
82. Governments, with the assistance of intergovernmental organizations, national institutions and
non-governmental organizations, should promote an increased awareness of human rights and mutual
tolerance. The World Conference on Human Rights underlines the importance of strengthening the
World Public Information Campaign for Human Rights carried out by the United Nations. They should
initiate and support education in human rights and undertake effective dissemination of public
information in this field. The advisory services and technical assistance programmes of the United
Nations system should be able to respond immediately to requests from States for educational and
training activities in the field of human rights as well as for special education concerning standards as
contained in international human rights instruments and in humanitarian law and their application to
special groups such as military forces, law enforcement personnel, police and the health profession.
The proclamation of a United Nations decade for human rights education in order to promote,
encourage and focus these educational activities should be considered.
E. Implementation and monitoring methods
83. The World Conference on Human Rights urges Governments to incorporate standards as contained
in international human rights instruments in domestic legislation and to strengthen national structures,
institutions and organs of society which play a role in promoting and safeguarding human rights.
84. The World Conference on Human Rights recommends the strengthening of United Nations activities
and programmes to meet requests for assistance by States which want to establish or strengthen their
own national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights.
85. The World Conference on Human Rights also encourages the strengthening of cooperation between
national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights, particularly through exchanges
of information and experience, as well as cooperation with regional organizations and the United
Nations.
86. The World Conference on Human Rights strongly recommends in this regard that representatives
of national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights convene periodic meetings
under the auspices of the Centre for Human Rights to examine ways and means of improving their
mechanisms and sharing experiences.
87. The World Conference on Human Rights recommends to the human rights treaty bodies, to the
meetings of chairpersons of the treaty bodies and to the meetings of States parties that they continue
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to take steps aimed at coordinating the multiple reporting requirements and guidelines for preparing
State reports under the respective human rights conventions and study the suggestion that the
submission of one overall report on treaty obligations undertaken by each State would make these
procedures more effective and increase their impact.
88. The World Conference on Human Rights recommends that the States parties to international
human rights instruments, the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council should consider
studying the existing human rights treaty bodies and the various thematic mechanisms and procedures
with a view to promoting greater efficiency and effectiveness through better coordination of the
various bodies, mechanisms and procedures, taking into account the need to avoid unnecessary
duplication and overlapping of their mandates and tasks.
89. The World Conference on Human Rights recommends continued work on the improvement of the
functioning, including the monitoring tasks, of the treaty bodies, taking into account multiple proposals
made in this respect, in particular those made by the treaty bodies themselves and by the meetings of
the chairpersons of the treaty bodies. The comprehensive national approach taken by the Committee
on the Rights of the Child should also be encouraged.
90. The World Conference on Human Rights recommends that States parties to human rights treaties
consider accepting all the available optional communication procedures.
91. The World Conference on Human Rights views with concern the issue of impunity of perpetrators of
human rights violations, and supports the efforts of the Commission on Human Rights and the Sub-
Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities to examine all aspects of the
issue.
92. The World Conference on Human Rights recommends that the Commission on Human Rights
examine the possibility for better implementation of existing human rights instruments at the
international and regional levels and encourages the International Law Commission to continue its
work on an international criminal court.
93. The World Conference on Human Rights appeals to States which have not yet done so to accede to
the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and the Protocols thereto, and to take all appropriate
national measures, including legislative ones, for their full implementation.
94. The World Conference on Human Rights recommends the speedy completion and adoption of the
draft declaration on the right and responsibility of individuals, groups and organs of society to promote
and protect universally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms.
95. The World Conference on Human Rights underlines the importance of preserving and strengthening
the system of special procedures, rapporteurs, representatives, experts and working groups of the
Commission on Human Rights and the Sub-Commission on the Prevention of Discrimination and
Protection of Minorities, in order to enable them to carry out their mandates in all countries throughout
the world, providing them with the necessary human and financial resources. The procedures and
mechanisms should be enabled to harmonize and rationalize their work through periodic meetings. All
States are asked to cooperate fully with these procedures and mechanisms.
96. The World Conference on Human Rights recommends that the United Nations assume a more
active role in the promotion and protection of human rights in ensuring full respect for international
humanitarian law in all situations of armed conflict, in accordance with the purposes and principles of
the Charter of the United Nations.
97. The World Conference on Human Rights, recognizing the important role of human rights
components in specific arrangements concerning some peace-keeping operations by the United
Nations, recommends that the Secretary-General take into account the reporting, experience and
capabilities of the Centre for Human Rights and human rights mechanisms, in conformity with the
Charter of the United Nations.
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98. To strengthen the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights, additional approaches should
be examined, such as a system of indicators to measure progress in the realization of the rights set
forth in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. There must be a concerted
effort to ensure recognition of economic, social and cultural rights at the national, regional and
international levels.
F. Follow-up to the World Conference on Human Rights
99. The World Conference on Human Rights on Human Rights recommends that the General Assembly,
the Commission on Human Rights and other organs and agencies of the United Nations system related
to human rights consider ways and means for the full implementation, without delay, of the
recommendations contained in the present Declaration, including the possibility of proclaiming a United
Nations decade for human rights. The World Conference on Human Rights further recommends that
the Commission on Human Rights annually review the progress towards this end.
100. The World Conference on Human Rights requests the Secretary-General of the United Nations to
invite on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights all
States, all organs and agencies of the United Nations system related to human rights, to report to him
on the progress made in the implementation of the present Declaration and to submit a report to the
General Assembly at its fifty-third session, through the Commission on Human Rights and the
Economic and Social Council. Likewise, regional and, as appropriate, national human rights institutions,
as well as non-governmental organizations, may present their views to the Secretary-General on the
progress made in the implementation of the present Declaration. Special attention should be paid to
assessing the progress towards the goal of universal ratification of international human rights treaties
and protocols adopted within the framework of the United Nations system.

Signed at Geneva on 25 September 1926
Entry into force: 9 March 1927, in accordance with article 12. The Convention was amended by the
Protocol done at the Headquarters of the United Nations, New York, on 7 December 1953; the
amended Convention entered into force on 7 July 1955, the date on which the amendments, set forth
in the annex to the Protocol of 7 December 1953, entered into force in accordance with article III of
the Protocol.
Whereas the signatories of the General Act of the Brussels Conference of 1889-90 declared that they
were equally animated by the firm intention of putting an end to the traffic in African slaves,
Whereas the signatories of the Convention of Saint-Germain-en-Laye of 1919, to revise the General
Act of Berlin of 1885 and the General Act and Declaration of Brussels of 1890, affirmed their intention
of securing the complete suppression of slavery in all its forrns and of the slave trade by land and sea,
Taking into consideration the report of the Temporary Slavery Commission appointed by the Council of
the League of Nations on June 12th, 1924,
Desiring to complete and extend the work accomplished under the Brussels Act and to find a means of
giving practical effect throughout the world to such intentions as were expressed in regard to slave
trade and slavery by the signatories of the Convention of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, and recognising that
it is necessary to conclude to that end more detailed arrangements than are contained in that
Convention,
Considering , moreover, that it is necessary to prevent forced labour from developing into conditions
analogous to slavery,
Have decided to conclude a Convention and have accordingly appointed as their Plenipotentiaries [
names omitted ]
... have agreed as follows:
Article 1
For the purpose of the present Convention, the following definitions are agreed upon:
(1) Slavery is the status or condition of a person over whom any or all of the powers attaching to the
right of ownership are exercised.
(2) The slave trade includes all acts involved in the capture, acquisition or disposal of a person with
intent to reduce him to slavery; all acts involved in the acquisition of a slave with a view to selling or
exchanging him; all acts of disposal by sale or exchange of a slave acquired with a view to being sold
or exchanged, and, in general, every act of trade or transport in slaves.
Article 2
The High Contracting Parties undertake, each in respect of the territories placed under its sovereignty,
jurisdiction, protection, suzerainty or tutelage, so far as they have not already taken the necessary
steps:
( a ) To prevent and suppress the slave trade;
( b ) To bring about, progressively and as soon as possible, the complete abolition of slavery in all its
forms.
Article 3
2
The High Contracting Parties undertake to adopt all appropriate measures with a view to preventing
and suppressing the embarkation, disembarkation and transport of slaves in their territorial waters and
upon all vessels flying their respective flags.
The High Contracting Parties undertake to negotiate as soon as possible a general Convention with
regard to the slave trade which will give them rights and impose upon them duties of the same nature
as those provided for in the Convention of June 17th, 1925, relative to the International Trade in Arms
(Articles 12, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 and paragraphs 3, 4 and 5 of Section II of Annex II), with the
necessary adaptations, it being understood that this general Convention will not place the ships (even
of small tonnage) of any High Contracting Parties in a position different from that of the other High
Contracting Parties.
It is also understood that, before or after the coming into force of this general Convention, the High
Contracting Parties are entirely free to conclude between themselves, without, however, derogating
from the principles laid down in the preceding paragraph, such special agreements as, by reason of
their peculiar situation, might appear to be suitable in order to bring about as soon as possible the
complete disappearance of the slave trade.
Article 4
The High Contracting Parties shall give to one another every assistance with the object of securing the
abolition of slavery and the slave trade.
Article 5
The High Contracting Parties recognise that recourse to compulsory or forced labour may have grave
consequences and undertake, each in respect of the territories placed under its sovereignty,
jurisdiction, protection, suzerainty or tutelage, to take all necessary measures to prevent compulsory
or forced labour from developing into conditions analogous to slavery.
It is agreed that:
(1) Subject to the transitional provisions laid down in paragraph (2) below, compulsory or forced
labour may only be exacted for public purposes.
(2) In territories in which compulsory or forced labour for other than public purposes still survives, the
High Contracting Parties shall endeavour progressively and as soon as possible to put an end to the
practice. So long as such forced or compulsory labour exists, this labour shall invariably be of an
exceptional character, shall always receive adequate remuneration, and shall not involve the removal
of the labourers from their usual place of residence.
(3) In all cases, the responsibility for any recourse to compulsory or forced labour shall rest with the
competent central authorities of the territory concerned.
Article 6
Those of the High Contracting Parties whose laws do not at present make adquate provision for the
punishment of infractions of laws and regulations enacted with a view to giving effect to the purposes
of the present Convention undertake to adopt the necessary measures in order that severe penalties
may be imposed in respect of such infractions.
Article 7
The High Contracting Parties undertake to communicate to each other and to the Secretary-General of
the League of Nations any laws and regulations which they may enact with a view to the application of
the provisions of the present Convention.
Article 8
3
The High Contracting Parties agree that disputes arising between them relating to the interpretation or
application of this Convention shall, if they cannot be settled by direct negotiation, be referred for
decision to the Permanent Court of International Justice. In case either or both of the States Parties to
such a dispute should not be Parties to the Protocol of December 16th, 1920, relating to the
Permanent Court of International Justice, the dispute shall be referred, at the choice of the Parties and
in accordance with the constitutional procedure of each State, either to the Permanent Court of
International Justice or to a court of arbitration constituted in accordance with the Convention of
October 18th, 1907, for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes, or to some other court of
arbitration.
Article 9
At the time of signature or of ratification or of accession, any High Contracting Party may declare that
its acceptance of the present Convention does not bind some or all of the territories placed under its
sovereignty, jurisdiction, protection, suzerainty or tutelage in respect of all or any provisions of the
Convention; it may subsequently accede separately on behalf of any one of them or in respect of any
provision to which any one of them is not a Party.
Article 10
In the event of a High Contracting Party wishing to denounce the present Convention, the denunciation
shall be notified in writing to the Secretary-General of the League of Nations, who will at once
communicate a certified true copy of the notification to all the other High Contracting Parties,
informing them of the date on which it was received.
The denunciation shall only have effect in regard to the notifying State, and one year after the
notification has reached the Secretary-General of the League of Nations.
Denunciation may also be made separately in respect of any territory placed under its sovereignty,
jurisdiction, protection, suzerainty or tutelage.
Article 11
The present Convention, which will bear this day's date and of which the French and English texts are
both authentic, will remain open for signature by the States Members of the League of Nations until
April 1st, 1927.
The Secretary-General of the League of Nations will subsequently bring the present Convention to the
notice of States which have not signed it, including States which are not Members of the League of
Nations, and invite them to accede thereto.
A State desiring to accede to the Convention shall notify its intention in writing to the Secretary-
General of the League of Nations and transmit to him the instrument of accession, which shall be
deposited in the archives of the League.
The Secretary-General shall immediately transmit to all the other High Contracting Parties a certified
true copy of the notification and of the instrument of accession, informing them of the date on which
he received them.
Article 12
The present Convention will be ratified and the instruments of ratification shall be deposited in the
office of the Secretary-General of the League of Nations. The Secretary-General will inform all the High
Contracting Parties of such deposit.
The Convention will come into operation for each State on the date of the deposit of its ratification or
of its accession.
4
In faith whereof the Plenipotentiaries signed the present Convention.
Done at Geneva the twenty-fifth day of September, one thousand nine hundred and twenty-six, in one
copy, which will be deposited in the archives of the League of Nations. A certified copy shall be
forwarded to each signatory State.

Adopted on 28 July 1951 by the United Nations Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the
Status of Refugees and Stateless Persons convened under General Assembly resolution 429
(V) of 14 December 1950
Entry into force: 22 April 1954, in accordance with article 43
Preamble
The High Contracting Parties ,
Considering that the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
approved on 10 December 1948 by the General Assembly have affirmed the principle that human
beings shall enjoy fundamental rights and freedoms without discrimination,
Considering that the United Nations has, on various occasions, manifested its profound concern for
refugees and endeavoured to assure refugees the widest possible exercise of these fundamental rights
and freedoms,
Considering that it is desirable to revise and consolidate previous international agreements relating to
the status of refugees and to extend the scope of and the protection accorded by such instruments by
means of a new agreement,
Considering that the grant of asylum may place unduly heavy burdens on certain countries, and that a
satisfactory solution of a problem of which the United Nations has recognized the international scope
and nature cannot therefore be achieved without international co-operation,
Expressing the wish that all States, recognizing the social and humanitarian nature of the problem of
refugees, will do everything within their power to prevent this problem from becoming a cause of
tension between States,
Noting that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is charged with the task of supervising
international conventions providing for the protection of refugees, and recognizing that the effective
co-ordination of measures taken to deal with this problem will depend upon the co-operation of States
with the High Commissioner,
Have agreed as follows :
Chapter I
GENERAL PROVISIONS
Article 1. - Definition of the term "refugee"
A. For the purposes of the present Convention, the term "refugee" shall apply to any person who:
(1) Has been considered a refugee under the Arrangements of 12 May 1926 and 30 June 1928 or
under the Conventions of 28 October 1933 and 10 February 1938, the Protocol of 14 September 1939
or the Constitution of the International Refugee Organization;
Decisions of non-eligibility taken by the International Refugee Organization during the period of its
activities shall not prevent the status of refugee being accorded to persons who fulfil the conditions of
paragraph 2 of this section;
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(2) As a result of events occurring before 1 January 1951 and owing to well-founded fear of being
persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political
opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to
avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the
country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is
unwilling to return to it.
In the case of a person who has more than one nationality, the term "the country of his nationality"
shall mean each of the countries of which he is a national, and a person shall not be deemed to be
lacking the protection of the country of his nationality if, without any valid reason based on wellfounded
fear, he has not availed himself of the protection of one of the countries of which he is a
national.
B. (1) For the purposes of this Convention, the words "events occurring before 1 January 1951" in
article 1, section A, shall be understood to mean either ( a ) "events occurring in Europe before 1
January 1951"; or ( b ) "events occurring in Europe or elsewhere before 1 January 1951"; and each
Contracting State shall make a declaration at the time of signature, ratification or accession, specifying
which of these meanings it applies for the purpose of its obligations under this Convention.
(2) Any Contracting State which has adopted alternative ( a ) may at any time extend its obligations
by adopting alternative ( b ) by means of a notification addressed to the Secretary-General of the
United Nations.
C. This Convention shall cease to apply to any person falling under the terms of section A if:
(1) He has voluntarily re-availed himself of the protection of the country of his nationality; or
(2) Having lost his nationality, he has voluntarily reacquired it; or
(3) He has acquired a new nationality, and enjoys the protection of the country of his new nationality;
or
(4) He has voluntarily re-established himself in the country which he left or outside which he remained
owing to fear of persecution; or
(5) He can no longer, because the circumstances in connection with which he has been recognized as a
refugee have ceased to exist, continue to refuse to avail himself of the protection of the country of his
nationality;
Provided that this paragraph shall not apply to a refugee falling under section A (1) of this article who
is able to invoke compelling reasons arising out of previous persecution for refusing to avail himself of
the protection of the country of nationality;
(6) Being a person who has no nationality he is, because the circumstances in connection with which
he has been recognized as a refugee have ceased to exist, able to return to the country of his former
habitual residence;
Provided that this paragraph shall not apply to a refugee falling under section A (1) of this article who
is able to invoke compelling reasons arising out of previous persecution for refusing to return to the
country of his former habitual residence.
D. This Convention shall not apply to persons who are at present receiving from organs or agencies of
the United Nations other than the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees protection or
assistance.
When such protection or assistance has ceased for any reason, without the position of such persons
being definitively settled in accordance with the relevant resolutions adopted by the General Assembly
of the United Nations, these persons shall ipso facto be entitled to the benefits of this Convention.
3
E. This Convention shall not apply to a person who is recognized by the competent authorities of the
country in which he has taken residence as having the rights and obligations which are attached to the
possession of the nationality of that country.
F. The provisions of this Convention shall not apply to any person with respect to whom there are
serious reasons for considering that:
( a ) He has committed a crime against peace, a war crime, or a crime against humanity, as defined in
the international instruments drawn up to make provision in respect of such crimes;
( b ) He has committed a serious non-political crime outside the country of refuge prior to his
admission to that country as a refugee;
( c ) He has been guilty of acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
Article 2. - General obligations
Every refugee has duties to the country in which he finds himself, which require in particular that he
conform to its laws and regulations as well as to measures taken for the maintenance of public order.
Article 3. - Non-discrimination
The Contracting States shall apply the provisions of this Convention to refugees without discrimination
as to race, religion or country of origin.
Article 4. - Religion
The Contracting States shall accord to refugees within their territories treatment at least as favourable
as that accorded to their nationals with respect to freedom to practise their religion and freedom as
regards the religious education of their children.
Article 5. - Rights granted apart from this Convention
Nothing in this Convention shall be deemed to impair any rights and benefits granted by a Contracting
State to refugees apart from this Convention.
Article 6. - The term "in the same circumstances"
For the purposes of this Convention, the term "in the same circumstances" implies that any
requirements (including requirements as to length and conditions of sojourn or residence) which the
particular individual would have to fulfil for the enjoyment of the right in question, if he were not a
refugee, must be fulfilled by him, with the exception of requirements which by their nature a refugee is
incapable of fulfilling.
Article 7. - Exemption from reciprocity
1. Except where this Convention contains more favourable provisions, a Contracting State shall accord
to refugees the same treatment as is accorded to aliens generally.
2. After a period of three years' residence, all refugees shall enjoy exemption from legislative
reciprocity in the territory of the Contracting States.
3. Each Contracting State shall continue to accord to refugees the rights and benefits to which they
were already entitled, in the absence of reciprocity, at the date of entry into force of this Convention
for that State.
4. The Contracting States shall consider favourably the possibility of according to refugees, in the
absence of reciprocity, rights and benefits beyond those to which they are entitled according to
4
paragraphs 2 and 3, and to extending exemption from reciprocity to refugees who do not fulfil the
conditions provided for in paragraphs 2 and 3.
5. The provisions of paragraphs 2 and 3 apply both to the rights and benefits referred to in articles 13,
18, 19, 21 and 22 of this Convention and to rights and benefits for which this Convention does not
provide.
Article 8. - Exemption from exceptional measures
With regard to exceptional measures which may be taken against the person, property or interests of
nationals of a foreign State, the Contracting States shall not apply such measures to a refugee who is
formally a national of the said State solely on account of such nationality. Contracting States which,
under their legislation, are prevented from applying the general principle expressed in this article,
shall, in appropriate cases, grant exemptions in favour of such refugees.
Article 9. - Provisional measures
Nothing in this Convention shall prevent a Contracting State, in time of war or other grave and
exceptional circumstances, from taking provisionally measures which it considers to be essential to the
national security in the case of a particular person, pending a determination by the Contracting State
that that person is in fact a refugee and that the continuance of such measures is necessary in his case
in the interests of national security.
Article 10. - Continuity of residence
1. Where a refugee has been forcibly displaced during the Second World War and removed to the
territory of a Contracting State, and is resident there, the period of such enforced sojourn shall be
considered to have been lawful residence within that territory.
2. Where a refugee has been forcibly displaced during the Second World War from the territory of a
Contracting State and has, prior to the date of entry into force of this Convention, returned there for
the purpose of taking up residence, the period of residence before and after such enforced
displacement shall be regarded as one uninterrupted period for any purposes for which uninterrupted
residence is required.
Article 11. - Refugee seamen
In the case of refugees regularly serving as crew members on board a ship flying the flag of a
Contracting State, that State shall give sympathetic consideration to their establishment on its territory
and the issue of travel documents to them or their temporary admission to its territory particularly
with a view to facilitating their establishment in another country.
Chapter II
JURIDICAL STATUS
Article 12. - Personal status
1. The personal status of a refugee shall be governed by the law of the country of his domicile or, if he
has no domicile, by the law of the country of his residence.
2. Rights previously acquired by a refugee and dependent on personal status, more particularly rights
attaching to marriage, shall be respected by a Contracting State, subject to compliance, if this be
necessary, with the formalities required by the law of that State, provided that the right in question is
one which would have been recognized by the law of that State had he not become a refugee.
Article 13. - Movable and immovable property
5
The Contracting States shall accord to a refugee treatment as favourable as possible and, in any event,
not less favourable than that accorded to aliens generally in the same circumstances, as regards the
acquisition of movable and immovable property and other rights pertaining thereto, and to leases and
other contracts relating to movable and immovable property.
Article 14. - Artistic rights and industrial property
In respect of the protection of industrial property, such as inventions, designs or models, trade marks,
trade names, and of rights in literary, artistic and scientific works, a refugee shall be accorded in the
country in which he has his habitual residence the same protection as is accorded to nationals of that
country. In the territory of any other Contracting States, he shall be accorded the same protection as
is accorded in that territory to nationals of the country in which he has his habitual residence.
Article 15. - Right of association
As regards non-political and non-profit-making associations and trade unions the Contracting States
shall accord to refugees lawfully staying in their territory the most favourable treatment accorded to
nationals of a foreign country, in the same circumstances.
Article 16. - Access to courts
1. A refugee shall have free access to the courts of law on the territory of all Contracting States.
2. A refugee shall enjoy in the Contracting State in which he has his habitual residence the same
treatment as a national in matters pertaining to access to the courts, including legal assistance and
exemption from cautio judicatum solvi .
3. A refugee shall be accorded in the matters referred to in paragraph 2 in countries other than that in
which he has his habitual residence the treatment granted to a national of the country of his habitual
residence.
Chapter III
GAINFUL EMPLOYMENT
Article 17. - Wage-earning employment
1. The Contracting States shall accord to refugees lawfully staying in their territory the most
favourable treatment accorded to nationals of a foreign country in the same circumstances, as regards
the right to engage in wage-earning employment.
2. In any case, restrictive measures imposed on aliens or the employment of aliens for the protection
of the national labour market shall not be applied to a refugee who was already exempt from them at
the date of entry into force of this Convention for the Contracting State concerned, or who fulfils one of
the following conditions:
( a ) He has completed three years' residence in the country;
( b ) He has a spouse possessing the nationality of the country of residence. A refugee may not invoke
the benefit of this provision if he has abandoned his spouse;
( c ) He has one or more children possessing the nationality of the country of residence.
3. The Contracting States shall give sympathetic consideration to assimilating the rights of all refugees
with regard to wage-earning employment to those of nationals, and in particular of those refugees who
6
have entered their territory pursuant to programmes of labour recruitment or under immigration
schemes.
Article 18. - Self-employment
The Contracting States shall accord to a refugee lawfully in their territory treatment as favourable as
possible and, in any event, not less favourable than that accorded to aliens generally in the same
circumstances, as regards the right to engage on his own account in agriculture, industry, handicrafts
and commerce and to establish commercial and industrial companies.
Article 19. - Liberal professions
1. Each Contracting State shall accord to refugees lawfully staying in their territory who hold diplomas
recognized by the competent authorities of that State, and who are desirous of practising a liberal
profession, treatment as favourable as possible and, in any event, not less favourable than that
accorded to aliens generally in the same circumstances.
2. The Contracting States shall use their best endeavours consistently with their laws and constitutions
to secure the settlement of such refugees in the territories, other than the metropolitan territory, for
whose international relations they are responsible.
Chapter IV
WELFARE
Article 20. - Rationing
Where a rationing system exists, which applies to the population at large and regulates the general
distribution of products in short supply, refugees shall be accorded the same treatment as nationals.
Article 21. - Housing
As regards housing, the Contracting States, in so far as the matter is regulated by laws or regulations
or is subject to the control of public authorities, shall accord to refugees lawfully staying in their
territory treatment as favourable as possible and, in any event, not less favourable than that accorded
to aliens generally in the same circumstances.
Article 22. - Public education
1. The Contracting States shall accord to refugees the same treatment as is accorded to nationals with
respect to elementary education.
2. The Contracting States shall accord to refugees treatment as favourable as possible, and, in any
event, not less favourable than that accorded to aliens generally in the same circumstances, with
respect to education other than elementary education and, in particular, as regards access to studies,
the recognition of foreign school certificates, diplomas and degrees, the remission of fees and charges
and the award of scholarships.
Article 23. - Public relief
The Contracting States shall accord to refugees lawfully staying in their territory the same treatment
with respect to public relief and assistance as is accorded to their nationals.
Article 24. - Labour legislation and social security
1. The Contracting States shall accord to refugees lawfully staying in their territory the same treatment
as is accorded to nationals in respect of the following matters;
7
( a ) In so far as such matters are governed by laws or regulations or are subject to the control of
administrative authorities: remuneration, including family allowances where these form part of
remuneration, hours of work, overtime arrangements, holidays with pay, restrictions on home work,
minimum age of employment, apprenticeship and training, women's work and the work of young
persons, and the enjoyment of the benefits of collective bargaining;
( b ) Social security (legal provisions in respect of employment injury, occupational diseases,
maternity, sickness, disability, old age, death, unemployment, family responsibilities and any other
contingency which, according to national laws or regulations, is covered by a social security scheme),
subject to the following limitations:
(i) There may be appropriate arrangements for the maintenance of acquired rights and rights in course
of acquisition;
(ii) National laws or regulations of the country of residence may prescribe special arrangements
concerning benefits or portions of benefits which are payable wholly out of public funds, and
concerning allowances paid to persons who do not fulfil the contribution conditions prescribed for the
award of a normal pension.
2. The right to compensation for the death of a refugee resulting from employment injury or from
occupational disease shall not be affected by the fact that the residence of the beneficiary is outside
the territory of the Contracting State.
3. The Contracting States shall extend to refugees the benefits of agreements concluded between
them, or which may be concluded between them in the future, concerning the maintenance of acquired
rights and rights in the process of acquisition in regard to social security, subject only to the conditions
which apply to nationals of the States signatory to the agreements in question.
4. The Contracting States will give sympathetic consideration to extending to refugees so far as
possible the benefits of similar agreements which may at any time be in force between such
Contracting States and non-contracting States.
Chapter V
ADMINISTRATIVE MEASURES
Article 25. - Administrative assistance
1. When the exercise of a right by a refugee would normally require the assistance of authorities of a
foreign country to whom he cannot have recourse, the Contracting States in whose territory he is
residing shall arrange that such assistance be afforded to him by their own authorities or by an
international authority.
2. The authority or authorities mentioned in paragraph 1 shall deliver or cause to be delivered under
their supervision to refugees such documents or certifications as would normally be delivered to aliens
by or through their national authorities.
3. Documents or certifications so delivered shall stand in the stead of the official instruments delivered
to aliens by or through their national authorities, and shall be given credence in the absence of proof
to the contrary.
4. Subject to such exceptional treatment as may be granted to indigent persons, fees may be charged
for the services mentioned herein, but such fees shall be moderate and commensurate with those
charged to nationals for similar services.
5. The provisions of this article shall be without prejudice to articles 27 and 28.
8
Article 26. - Freedom of movement
Each Contracting State shall accord to refugees lawfully in its territory the right to choose their place of
residence and to move freely within its territory subject to any regulations applicable to aliens
generally in the same circumstances.
Article 27. - Identity papers
The Contracting States shall issue identity papers to any refugee in their territory who does not
possess a valid travel document.
Article 28. - Travel documents
1. The Contracting States shall issue to refugees lawfully staying in their territory travel documents for
the purpose of travel outside their territory, unless compelling reasons of national security or public
order otherwise require, and the provisions of the Schedule to this Convention shall apply with respect
to such documents. The Contracting States may issue such a travel document to any other refugee in
their territory; they shall in particular give sympathetic consideration to the issue of such a travel
document to refugees in their territory who are unable to obtain a travel document from the country of
their lawful residence.
2. Travel documents issued to refugees under previous international agreements by Parties thereto
shall be recognized and treated by the Contracting States in the same way as if they had been issued
pursuant to this article.
Article 29. - Fiscal charges
1. The Contracting States shall not impose upon refugees duties, charges or taxes, of any description
whatsoever, other or higher than those which are or may be levied on their nationals in similar
situations.
2. Nothing in the above paragraph shall prevent the application to refugees of the laws and regulations
concerning charges in respect of the issue to aliens of administrative documents including identity
papers.
Article 30. - Transfer of assets
1. A Contracting State shall, in conformity with its laws and regulations, permit refugees to transfer
assets which they have brought into its territory, to another country where they have been admitted
for the purposes of resettlement.
2. A Contracting State shall give sympathetic consideration to the application of refugees for
permission to transfer assets wherever they may be and which are necessary for their resettlement in
another country to which they have been admitted.
Article 31. - Refugees unlawfully in the country of refuge
1. The Contracting States shall not impose penalties, on account of their illegal entry or presence, on
refugees who, coming directly from a territory where their life or freedom was threatened in the sense
of article 1, enter or are present in their territory without authorization, provided they present
themselves without delay to the authorities and show good cause for their illegal entry or presence.
2. The Contracting States shall not apply to the movements of such refugees restrictions other than
those which are necessary and such restrictions shall only be applied until their status in the country is
regularized or they obtain admission into another country. The Contracting States shall allow such
refugees a reasonable period and all the necessary facilities to obtain admission into another country.
Article 32. - Expulsion
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1. The Contracting States shall not expel a refugee lawfully in their territory save on grounds of
national security or public order.
2. The expulsion of such a refugee shall be only in pursuance of a decision reached in accordance with
due process of law. Except where compelling reasons of national security otherwise require, the
refugee shall be allowed to submit evidence to clear himself, and to appeal to and be represented for
the purpose before competent authority or a person or persons specially designated by the competent
authority.
3. The Contracting States shall allow such a refugee a reasonable period within which to seek legal
admission into another country. The Contracting States reserve the right to apply during that period
such internal measures as they may deem necessary.
Article 33. - Prohibition of expulsion or return ("refoulement")
1. No Contracting State shall expel or return (" refouler ") a refugee in any manner whatsoever to the
frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened on account of his race, religion,
nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.
2. The benefit of the present provision may not, however, be claimed by a refugee whom there are
reasonable grounds for regarding as a danger to the security of the country in which he is, or who,
having been convicted by a final judgement of a particularly serious crime, constitutes a danger to the
community of that country.
Article 34. - Naturalization
The Contracting States shall as far as possible facilitate the assimilation and naturalization of refugees.
They shall in particular make every effort to expedite naturalization proceedings and to reduce as far
as possible the charges and costs of such proceedings.
Chapter VI
EXECUTORY AND TRANSITORY PROVISIONS
Article 35. - Co-operation of the national authorities with the United Nations
1. The Contracting States undertake to co-operate with the Office of the United Nations High
Commissioner for Refugees, or any other agency of the United Nations which may succeed it, in the
exercise of its functions, and shall in particular facilitate its duty of supervising the application of the
provisions of this Convention.
2. In order to enable the Office of the High Commissioner or any other agency of the United Nations
which may succeed it, to make reports to the competent organs of the United Nations, the Contracting
States undertake to provide them in the appropriate form with information and statistical data
requested concerning:
( a ) The condition of refugees,
( b ) The implementation of this Convention, and
( c ) Laws, regulations and decrees which are, or may hereafter be, in force relating to refugees.
Article 36. - Information on national legislation
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The Contracting States shall communicate to the Secretary-General of the United Nations the laws and
regulations which they may adopt to ensure the application of this Convention.
Article 37. - Relation to previous conventions
Without prejudice to article 28, paragraph 2, of this Convention, this Convention replaces, as between
Parties to it, the Arrangements of 5 July 1922, 31 May 1924, 12 May 1926, 30 June 1928 and 30 July
1935, the Conventions of 28 October 1933 and 10 February 1938, the Protocol of 14 September 1939
and the Agreement of 15 October 1946.
Chapter VII
FINAL CLAUSES
Article 38. - Settlement of disputes
Any dispute between Parties to this Convention relating to its interpretation or application, which
cannot be settled by other means, shall be referred to the International Court of Justice at the request
of any one of the parties to the dispute.
Article 39. - Signature, ratification and accession
1. This Convention shall be opened for signature at Geneva on 28 July 1951 and shall thereafter be
deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations. It shall be open for signature at the
European Office of the United Nations from 28 July to 31 August 1951 and shall be re-opened for
signature at the Headquarters of the United Nations from 17 September 1951 to 31 December 1952.
2. This Convention shall be open for signature on behalf of all States Members of the United Nations,
and also on behalf of any other State invited to attend the Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the
Status of Refugees and Stateless Persons or to which an invitation to sign will have been addressed by
the General Assembly. It shall be ratified and the instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the
Secretary-General of the United Nations.
3. This Convention shall be open from 28 July 1951 for accession by the States referred to in
paragraph 2 of this article. Accession shall be effected by the deposit of an instrument of accession
with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Article 40. - Territorial application clause
1. Any State may, at the time of signature, ratification or accession, declare that this Convention shall
extend to all or any of the territories for the international relations of which it is responsible. Such a
declaration shall take effect when the Convention enters into force for the State concerned.
2. At any time thereafter any such extension shall be made by notification addressed to the Secretary-
General of the United Nations and shall take effect as from the ninetieth day after the day of receipt by
the Secretary-General of the United Nations of this notification, or as from the date of entry into force
of the Convention for the State concerned, whichever is the later.
3. With respect to those territories to which this Convention is not extended at the time of signature,
ratification or accession, each State concerned shall consider the possibility of taking the necessary
steps in order to extend the application of this Convention to such territories, subject, where necessary
for constitutional reasons, to the consent of the Governments of such territories.
Article 41. - Federal clause
In the case of a Federal or non-unitary State, the following provisions shall apply:
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( a ) With respect to those articles of this Convention that come within the legislative jurisdiction of the
federal legislative authority, the obligations of the Federal Government shall to this extent be the same
as those of parties which are not Federal States;
( b ) With respect to those articles of this Convention that come within the legislative jurisdiction of
constituent States, provinces or cantons which are not, under the constitutional system of the
Federation, bound to take legislative action, the Federal Government shall bring such articles with a
favourable recommendation to the notice of the appropriate authorities of States, provinces or cantons
at the earliest possible moment;
( c ) A Federal State Party to this Convention shall, at the request of any other Contracting State
transmitted through the Secretary-General of the United Nations, supply a statement of the law and
practice of the Federation and its constituent units in regard to any particular provision of the
Convention showing the extent to which effect has been given to that provision by legislative or other
action.
Article 42. - Reservations
1. At the time of signature, ratification or accession, any State may make reservations to articles of
the Convention other than to articles 1, 3, 4, 16 (1), 33, 36-46 inclusive.
2. Any State making a reservation in accordance with paragraph 1 of this article may at any time
withdraw the reservation by a communication to that effect addressed to the Secretary-General of the
United Nations.
Article 43. - Entry into force
1. This Convention shall come into force on the ninetieth day following the day of deposit of the sixth
instrument of ratification or accession.
2. For each State ratifying or acceding to the Convention after the deposit of the sixth instrument of
ratification or accession, the Convention shall enter into force on the ninetieth day following the date of
deposit by such State of its instrument of ratification or accession.
Article 44. - Denunciation
1. Any Contracting State may denounce this Convention at any time by a notification addressed to the
Secretary-General of the United Nations.
2. Such denunciation shall take effect for the Contracting State concerned one year from the date upon
which it is received by the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
3. Any State which has made a declaration or notification under article 40 may, at any time thereafter,
by a notification to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, declare that the Convention shall
cease to extend to such territory one year after the date of receipt of the notification by the Secretary-
General.
Article 45. - Revision
1. Any Contracting State may request revision of this Convention at any time by a notification
addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
2. The General Assembly of the United Nations shall recommend the steps, if any, to be taken in
respect of such request.
Article 46. - Notifications by the Secretary-General of the United Nations
The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall inform all Members of the United Nations and nonmember
States referred to in article 39:
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( a ) Of declarations and notifications in accordance with section B of article 1;
( b ) Of signatures, ratifications and accessions in accordance with article 39;
( c ) Of declarations and notifications in accordance with article 40;
( d ) Of reservations and withdrawals in accordance with article 42;
( e ) Of the date on which this Convention will come into force in accordance with article 43;
( f ) Of denunciations and notifications in accordance with article 44;
( g ) Of requests for revision in accordance with article 45.
In faith whereof the undersigned, duly authorized, have signed this Convention on behalf of their
respective Governments.
Done at Geneva, this twenty-eighth day of July, one thousand nine hundred and fifty-one, in a single
copy, of which the English and French texts are equally authentic and which shall remain deposited in
the archives of the United Nations, and certified true copies of which shall be delivered to all Members
of the United Nations and to the non-member States referred to in article 39

The States Parties to the present Convention,
Recalling the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations, in which all Members pledged themselves to take joint and separate action in co-operation with the Organization for the achievement of universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion,
Considering the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights and that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in the Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour or national origin,
Considering the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, in which the General Assembly stated that the process of liberation is irresistible and irreversible and that, in the interests of human dignity, progress and justice, an end must be put to colonialism and all practices of segregation and discrimination associated therewith,
Observing that, in accordance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, States particularly condemn racial segregation and apartheid and undertake to prevent, prohibit and eradicate all practices of this nature in territories under their jurisdiction, Observing that, in the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, certain acts which may also be qualified as acts of apartheid constitute a crime under international law,
Observing that, in the Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity, "inhuman acts resulting from the policy of apartheid" are qualified as crimes against humanity, Observing that the General Assembly of the United Nations has adopted a number of resolutions in which the policies and practices of apartheid are condemned as a crime against humanity,
Observing that the Security Council has emphasized that apartheid and its continued intensification and expansion seriously disturb and threaten international peace and security, Convinced that an International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid would make it possible to take more effective measures at the international and national levels with a view to the suppression and punishment of the crime of apartheid, Have agreed as follows:
Article I
1. The States Parties to the present Convention declare that apartheid is a crime against humanity and that inhuman acts resulting from the policies and practices of apartheid and similar policies and practices of racial segregation and discrimination, as defined in article II of the Convention, are crimes violating the principles of international law, in particular the
purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and constituting a serious threat
to international peace and security.
2. The States Parties to the present Convention declare criminal those organizations,
institutions and individuals committing the crime of apartheid.
Article II
For the purpose of the present Convention, the term "the crime of apartheid", which shall
include similar policies and practices of racial segregation and discrimination as practised in
southern Africa, shall apply to the following inhuman acts committed for the purpose of
establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial
group of persons and systematically oppressing them:
(a) Denial to a member or members of a racial group or groups of the right to life and liberty of
person:
(i) By murder of members of a racial group or groups;
(ii) By the infliction upon the members of a racial group or groups of serious bodily or mental
harm, by the infringement of their freedom or dignity, or by subjecting them to torture or to
cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment;
(iii) By arbitrary arrest and illegal imprisonment of the members of a racial group or groups;
(b) Deliberate imposition on a racial group or groups of living conditions calculated to cause its
or their physical destruction in whole or in part;
(c) Any legislative measures and other measures calculated to prevent a racial group or
groups from participation in the political, social, economic and cultural life of the country and
the deliberate creation of conditions preventing the full development of such a group or
groups, in particular by denying to members of a racial group or groups basic human rights
and freedoms, including the right to work, the right to form recognized trade unions, the right to
education, the right to leave and to return to their country, the right to a nationality, the right to
freedom of movement and residence, the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and the
right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association;
d) Any measures including legislative measures, designed to divide the population along racial
lines by the creation of separate reserves and ghettos for the members of a racial group or
groups, the prohibition of mixed marriages among members of various racial groups, the
expropriation of landed property belonging to a racial group or groups or to members thereof;
(e) Exploitation of the labour of the members of a racial group or groups, in particular by
submitting them to forced labour;
(f) Persecution of organizations and persons, by depriving them of fundamental rights and
freedoms, because they oppose apartheid.
Article III
International criminal responsibility shall apply, irrespective of the motive involved, to
individuals, members of organizations and institutions and representatives of the State,
whether residing in the territory of the State in which the acts are perpetrated or in some other
State, whenever they:
(a) Commit, participate in, directly incite or conspire in the commission of the acts mentioned
in article II of the present Convention;
(b) Directly abet, encourage or co-operate in the commission of the crime of apartheid.
Article IV
The States Parties to the present Convention undertake:
(a) To adopt any legislative or other measures necessary to suppress as well as to prevent
any encouragement of the crime of apartheid and similar segregationist policies or their
manifestations and to punish persons guilty of that crime;
(b) To adopt legislative, judicial and administrative measures to prosecute, bring to trial and
punish in accordance with their jurisdiction persons responsible for, or accused of, the acts
defined in article II of the present Convention, whether or not such persons reside in the
territory of the State in which the acts are committed or are nationals of that State or of some
other State or are stateless persons.
Article V
Persons charged with the acts enumerated in article II of the present Convention may be tried
by a competent tribunal of any State Party to the Convention which may acquire jurisdiction
over the person of the accused or by an international penal tribunal having jurisdiction with
respect to those States Parties which shall have accepted its jurisdiction.
Article VI
The States Parties to the present Convention undertake to accept and carry out in accordance
with the Charter of the United Nations the decisions taken by the Security Council aimed at the
prevention, suppression and punishment of the crime of apartheid, and to co-operate in the
implementation of decisions adopted by other competent organs of the United Nations with a
view to achieving the purposes of the Convention.
Article VII
1. The States Parties to the present Convention undertake to submit periodic reports to the
group established under article IX on the legislative, judicial, administrative or other measures
that they have adopted and that give effect to the provisions of the Convention.
2. Copies of the reports shall be transmitted through the Secretary-General of the United
Nations to the Special Committee on Apartheid.
Article VIII
Any State Party to the present Convention may call upon any competent organ of the United
Nations to take such action under the Charter of the United Nations as it considers appropriate
for the prevention and suppression of the crime of apartheid.
Article IX
1. The Chairman of the Commission on Human Rights shall appoint a group consisting of
three members of the Commission on Human Rights, who are also representatives of States
Parties to the present Convention, to consider reports submitted by States Parties in
accordance with article VII.
2. If, among the members of the Commission on Human Rights, there are no representatives
of States Parties to the present Convention or if there are fewer than three such
representatives, the Secretary-General of the United Nations shall, after consulting all States
Parties to the Convention, designate a representative of the State Party or representatives of
the States Parties which are not members of the Commission on Human Rights to take part in
the work of the group established in accordance with paragraph 1 of this article, until such time
as representatives of the States Parties to the Convention are elected to the Commission on
Human Rights.
3. The group may meet for a period of not more than five days, either before the opening or
after the closing of the session of the Commission on Human Rights, to consider the reports
submitted in accordance with article VII.
Article X
1 . The States Parties to the present Convention empower the Commission on Human Rights:
(a) To request United Nations organs, when transmitting copies of petitions under article 15 of
the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, to draw
its attention to complaints concerning acts which are enumerated in article II of the present
Convention;
(b) To prepare, on the basis of reports from competent organs of the United Nations and
periodic reports from States Parties to the present Convention, a list of individuals,
organizations, institutions and representatives of States which are alleged to be responsible
for the crimes enumerated in article II of the Convention, as well as those against whom legal
proceedings have been undertaken by States Parties to the Convention;
(c) To request information from the competent United Nations organs concerning measures
taken by the authorities responsible for the administration of Trust and Non-Self-Governing
Territories, and all other Territories to which General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV) of 14
December 1960 applies, with regard to such individuals alleged to be responsible for crimes
under article II of the Convention who are believed to be under their territorial and
administrative jurisdiction.
2. Pending the achievement of the objectives of the Declaration on the Granting of
Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, contained in General Assembly resolution
1514 (XV), the provisions of the present Convention shall in no way limit the right of petition
granted to those peoples by other international instruments or by the United Nations and its
specialized agencies.
Article XI
1. Acts enumerated in article II of the present Convention shall not be considered political
crimes for the purpose of extradition.
2. The States Parties to the present Convention undertake in such cases to grant extradition in
accordance with their legislation and with the treaties in force.
Article XII
Disputes between States Parties arising out of the interpretation, application or implementation
of the present Convention which have not been settled by negotiation shall, at the request of
the States parties to the dispute, be brought before the International Court of Justice, save
where the parties to the dispute have agreed on some other form of settlement.
Article XIII
The present Convention is open for signature by all States. Any State which does not sign the
Convention before its entry into force may accede to it.
Article XIV
1. The present Convention is subject to ratification. Instruments of ratification shall be
deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
2. Accession shall be effected by the deposit of an instrument of accession with the Secretary-
General of the United Nations.
Article XV
1. The present Convention shall enter into force on the thirtieth day after the date of the
deposit with the Secretary-General of the United Nations of the twentieth instrument of
ratification or accession.
2. For each State ratifying the present Convention or acceding to it after the deposit of the
twentieth instrument of ratification or instrument of accession, the Convention shall enter into
force on the thirtieth day after the date of the deposit of its own instrument of ratification or
instrument of accession.
Article XVI
A State Party may denounce the present Convention by written notification to the Secretary-
General of the United Nations. Denunciation shall take effect one year after the date of receipt
of the notification by the Secretary-General.
Article XVII
1. A request for the revision of the present Convention may be made at any time by any State
Party by means of a notification in writing addressed to the Secretary-General of the United
Nations.
2. The General Assembly of the United Nations shall decide upon the steps, if any, to be taken
in respect of such request.
Article XVIII
The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall inform all States of the following particulars:
(a) Signatures, ratifications and accessions under articles XIII and XIV;
(b) The date of entry into force of the present Convention under article XV;
(c) Denunciations under article XVI;
(d) Notifications under article XVII.
Article XIX
1. The present Convention, of which the Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish texts
are equally authentic, shall be deposited in the archives of the United Nations.
2. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall transmit certified copies of the present
Convention to all States.

Preamble
The States Parties to this Convention,
Considering the obligation of States under the Charter of the United
Nations to promote universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and
fundamental freedoms,
Having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
Recalling the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural
Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the other
relevant international instruments in the fields of human rights, humanitarian
law and international criminal law,
Also recalling the Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from
Enforced Disappearance adopted by the General Assembly of the United
Nations in its resolution 47/133 of 18 December 1992,
Aware of the extreme seriousness of enforced disappearance, which
constitutes a crime and, in certain circumstances defined in international law, a
crime against humanity,
Determined to prevent enforced disappearances and to combat impunity
for the crime of enforced disappearance,
Considering the right of any person not to be subjected to enforced
disappearance, the right of victims to justice and to reparation,
Affirming the right of any victim to know the truth about the circumstances
of an enforced disappearance and the fate of the disappeared person, and the
right to freedom to seek, receive and impart information to this end,
Have agreed on the following articles:
Part I
Article 1
1. No one shall be subjected to enforced disappearance.
2. No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or
a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may
be invoked as a justification for enforced disappearance.
Article 2
For the purposes of this Convention, “enforced disappearance” is
considered to be the arrest, detention, abduction or any other form of
deprivation of liberty by agents of the State or by persons or groups of persons
acting with the authorization, support or acquiescence of the State, followed by
a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty or by concealment of the
fate or whereabouts of the disappeared person, which place such a person
outside the protection of the law.
Article 3
Each State Party shall take appropriate measures to investigate acts
defined in article 2 committed by persons or groups of persons acting without
2
the authorization, support or acquiescence of the State and to bring those
responsible to justice.
Article 4
Each State Party shall take the necessary measures to ensure that
enforced disappearance constitutes an offence under its criminal law.
Article 5
The widespread or systematic practice of enforced disappearance
constitutes a crime against humanity as defined in applicable international law
and shall attract the consequences provided for under such applicable
international law.
Article 6
1. Each State Party shall take the necessary measures to hold
criminally responsible at least:
(a) Any person who commits, orders, solicits or induces the commission
of, attempts to commit, is an accomplice to or participates in an enforced
disappearance;
(b) A superior who:
(i) Knew, or consciously disregarded information which clearly indicated,
that subordinates under his or her effective authority and control were
committing or about to commit a crime of enforced disappearance;
(ii) Exercised effective responsibility for and control over activities which
were concerned with the crime of enforced disappearance; and
(iii) Failed to take all necessary and reasonable measures within his or
her power to prevent or repress the commission of an enforced
disappearance or to submit the matter to the competent authorities for
investigation and prosecution;
(c) Subparagraph (b) above is without prejudice to the higher standards
of responsibility applicable under relevant international law to a military
commander or to a person effectively acting as a military commander.
2. No order or instruction from any public authority, civilian, military or
other, may be invoked to justify an offence of enforced disappearance.
Article 7
1. Each State Party shall make the offence of enforced disappearance
punishable by appropriate penalties which take into account its extreme
seriousness.
2. Each State Party may establish:
(a) Mitigating circumstances, in particular for persons who, having been
implicated in the commission of an enforced disappearance, effectively
contribute to bringing the disappeared person forward alive or make it possible
to clarify cases of enforced disappearance or to identify the perpetrators of an
enforced disappearance;
(b) Without prejudice to other criminal procedures, aggravating
circumstances, in particular in the event of the death of the disappeared person
or the commission of an enforced disappearance in respect of pregnant
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women, minors, persons with disabilities or other particularly vulnerable
persons.
Article 8
Without prejudice to article 5,
1. A State Party which applies a statute of limitations in respect of
enforced disappearance shall take the necessary measures to ensure that the
term of limitation for criminal proceedings:
(a) Is of long duration and is proportionate to the extreme seriousness of
this offence;
(b) Commences from the moment when the offence of enforced
disappearance ceases, taking into account its continuous nature.
2. Each State Party shall guarantee the right of victims of enforced
disappearance to an effective remedy during the term of limitation.
Article 9
1. Each State Party shall take the necessary measures to establish its
competence to exercise jurisdiction over the offence of enforced
disappearance:
(a) When the offence is committed in any territory under its jurisdiction or
on board a ship or aircraft registered in that State;
(b) When the alleged offender is one of its nationals;
(c) When the disappeared person is one of its nationals and the State
Party considers it appropriate.
2. Each State Party shall likewise take such measures as may be
necessary to establish its competence to exercise jurisdiction over the offence
of enforced disappearance when the alleged offender is present in any territory
under its jurisdiction, unless it extradites or surrenders him or her to another
State in accordance with its international obligations or surrenders him or her to
an international criminal tribunal whose jurisdiction it has recognized.
3. This Convention does not exclude any additional criminal jurisdiction
exercised in accordance with national law.
Article 10
1. Upon being satisfied, after an examination of the information
available to it, that the circumstances so warrant, any State Party in whose
territory a person suspected of having committed an offence of enforced
disappearance is present shall take him or her into custody or take such other
legal measures as are necessary to ensure his or her presence. The custody
and other legal measures shall be as provided for in the law of that State Party
but may be maintained only for such time as is necessary to ensure the
person’s presence at criminal, surrender or extradition proceedings.
2. A State Party which has taken the measures referred to in
paragraph 1 of this article shall immediately carry out a preliminary inquiry or
investigations to establish the facts. It shall notify the States Parties referred to
in article 9, paragraph 1, of the measures it has taken in pursuance of
paragraph 1 of this article, including detention and the circumstances
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warranting detention, and of the findings of its preliminary inquiry or its
investigations, indicating whether it intends to exercise its jurisdiction.
3. Any person in custody pursuant to paragraph 1 of this article may
communicate immediately with the nearest appropriate representative of the
State of which he or she is a national, or, if he or she is a stateless person, with
the representative of the State where he or she usually resides.
Article 11
1. The State Party in the territory under whose jurisdiction a person
alleged to have committed an offence of enforced disappearance is found shall,
if it does not extradite that person or surrender him or her to another State in
accordance with its international obligations or surrender him or her to an
international criminal tribunal whose jurisdiction it has recognized, submit the
case to its competent authorities for the purpose of prosecution.
2. These authorities shall take their decision in the same manner as in
the case of any ordinary offence of a serious nature under the law of that State
Party. In the cases referred to in article 9, paragraph 2, the standards of
evidence required for prosecution and conviction shall in no way be less
stringent than those which apply in the cases referred to in article 9,
paragraph 1.
3. Any person against whom proceedings are brought in connection
with an offence of enforced disappearance shall be guaranteed fair treatment
at all stages of the proceedings. Any person tried for an offence of enforced
disappearance shall benefit from a fair trial before a competent, independent
and impartial court or tribunal established by law.
Article 12
1. Each State Party shall ensure that any individual who alleges that a
person has been subjected to enforced disappearance has the right to report
the facts to the competent authorities, which shall examine the allegation
promptly and impartially and, where necessary, undertake without delay a
thorough and impartial investigation. Appropriate steps shall be taken, where
necessary, to ensure that the complainant, witnesses, relatives of the
disappeared person and their defence counsel, as well as persons participating
in the investigation, are protected against all ill-treatment or intimidation as a
consequence of the complaint or any evidence given.
2. Where there are reasonable grounds for believing that a person has
been subjected to enforced disappearance, the authorities referred to in
paragraph 1 of this article shall undertake an investigation, even if there has
been no formal complaint.
3. Each State Party shall ensure that the authorities referred to in
paragraph 1 of this article:
(a) Have the necessary powers and resources to conduct the
investigation effectively, including access to the documentation and other
information relevant to their investigation;
(b) Have access, if necessary with the prior authorization of a judicial
authority, which shall rule promptly on the matter, to any place of detention or
any other place where there are reasonable grounds to believe that the
disappeared person may be present.
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4. Each State Party shall take the necessary measures to prevent and
sanction acts that hinder the conduct of an investigation. It shall ensure in
particular that persons suspected of having committed an offence of enforced
disappearance are not in a position to influence the progress of an
investigation by means of pressure or acts of intimidation or reprisal aimed at
the complainant, witnesses, relatives of the disappeared person or their
defence counsel, or at persons participating in the investigation.
Article 13
1. For the purposes of extradition between States Parties, the offence of
enforced disappearance shall not be regarded as a political offence or as an
offence connected with a political offence or as an offence inspired by political
motives. Accordingly, a request for extradition based on such an offence may
not be refused on these grounds alone.
2. The offence of enforced disappearance shall be deemed to be
included as an extraditable offence in any extradition treaty existing between
States Parties before the entry into force of this Convention.
3. States Parties undertake to include the offence of enforced
disappearance as an extraditable offence in any extradition treaty subsequently
to be concluded between them.
4. If a State Party which makes extradition conditional on the existence
of a treaty receives a request for extradition from another State Party with
which it has no extradition treaty, it may consider this Convention as the
necessary legal basis for extradition in respect of the offence of enforced
disappearance.
5. States Parties which do not make extradition conditional on the
existence of a treaty shall recognize the offence of enforced disappearance as
an extraditable offence between themselves.
6. Extradition shall, in all cases, be subject to the conditions provided
for by the law of the requested State Party or by applicable extradition treaties,
including, in particular, conditions relating to the minimum penalty requirement
for extradition and the grounds upon which the requested State Party may
refuse extradition or make it subject to certain conditions.
7. Nothing in this Convention shall be interpreted as imposing an
obligation to extradite if the requested State Party has substantial grounds for
believing that the request has been made for the purpose of prosecuting or
punishing a person on account of that person’s sex, race, religion, nationality,
ethnic origin, political opinions or membership of a particular social group, or
that compliance with the request would cause harm to that person for any one
of these reasons.
Article 14
1. States Parties shall afford one another the greatest measure of
mutual legal assistance in connection with criminal proceedings brought in
respect of an offence of enforced disappearance, including the supply of all
evidence at their disposal that is necessary for the proceedings.
2. Such mutual legal assistance shall be subject to the conditions
provided for by the domestic law of the requested State Party or by applicable
treaties on mutual legal assistance, including, in particular, the conditions in
6
relation to the grounds upon which the requested State Party may refuse to
grant mutual legal assistance or may make it subject to conditions.
Article 15
States Parties shall cooperate with each other and shall afford one
another the greatest measure of mutual assistance with a view to assisting
victims of enforced disappearance, and in searching for, locating and releasing
disappeared persons and, in the event of death, in exhuming and identifying
them and returning their remains.
Article 16
1. No State Party shall expel, return (“refouler”), surrender or extradite a
person to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that
he or she would be in danger of being subjected to enforced disappearance.
2. For the purpose of determining whether there are such grounds, the
competent authorities shall take into account all relevant considerations,
including, where applicable, the existence in the State concerned of a
consistent pattern of gross, flagrant or mass violations of human rights or of
serious violations of international humanitarian law.
Article 17
1. No one shall be held in secret detention.
2. Without prejudice to other international obligations of the State Party
with regard to the deprivation of liberty, each State Party shall, in its legislation:
(a) Establish the conditions under which orders of deprivation of liberty
may be given;
(b) Indicate those authorities authorized to order the deprivation of
liberty;
(c) Guarantee that any person deprived of liberty shall be held solely in
officially recognized and supervised places of deprivation of liberty;
(d) Guarantee that any person deprived of liberty shall be authorized to
communicate with and be visited by his or her family, counsel or any other
person of his or her choice, subject only to the conditions established by law,
or, if he or she is a foreigner, to communicate with his or her consular
authorities, in accordance with applicable international law;
(e) Guarantee access by the competent and legally authorized
authorities and institutions to the places where persons are deprived of liberty,
if necessary with prior authorization from a judicial authority;
(f) Guarantee that any person deprived of liberty or, in the case of a
suspected enforced disappearance, since the person deprived of liberty is not
able to exercise this right, any persons with a legitimate interest, such as
relatives of the person deprived of liberty, their representatives or their counsel,
shall, in all circumstances, be entitled to take proceedings before a court, in
order that the court may decide without delay on the lawfulness of the
deprivation of liberty and order the person’s release if such deprivation of
liberty is not lawful.
3. Each State Party shall assure the compilation and maintenance of
one or more up-to-date official registers and/or records of persons deprived of
7
liberty, which shall be made promptly available, upon request, to any judicial or
other competent authority or institution authorized for that purpose by the law
of the State Party concerned or any relevant international legal instrument to
which the State concerned is a party. The information contained therein shall
include, as a minimum:
(a) The identity of the person deprived of liberty;
(b) The date, time and place where the person was deprived of liberty
and the identity of the authority that deprived the person of liberty;
(c) The authority that ordered the deprivation of liberty and the grounds
for the deprivation of liberty;
(d) The authority responsible for supervising the deprivation of liberty;
(e) The place of deprivation of liberty, the date and time of admission to
the place of deprivation of liberty and the authority responsible for the place of
deprivation of liberty;
(f) Elements relating to the state of health of the person deprived of
liberty;
(g) In the event of death during the deprivation of liberty, the
circumstances and cause of death and the destination of the remains;
(h) The date and time of release or transfer to another place of
detention, the destination and the authority responsible for the transfer.
Article 18
1. Subject to articles 19 and 20, each State Party shall guarantee to any
person with a legitimate interest in this information, such as relatives of the
person deprived of liberty, their representatives or their counsel, access to at
least the following information:
(a) The authority that ordered the deprivation of liberty;
(b) The date, time and place where the person was deprived of liberty
and admitted to the place of deprivation of liberty;
(c) The authority responsible for supervising the deprivation of liberty;
(d) The whereabouts of the person deprived of liberty, including, in the
event of a transfer to another place of deprivation of liberty, the destination and
the authority responsible for the transfer;
(e) The date, time and place of release;
(f) Elements relating to the state of health of the person deprived of
liberty;
(g) In the event of death during the deprivation of liberty, the
circumstances and cause of death and the destination of the remains.
2. Appropriate measures shall be taken, where necessary, to protect the
persons referred to in paragraph 1 of this article, as well as persons
participating in the investigation, from any ill-treatment, intimidation or sanction
as a result of the search for information concerning a person deprived of liberty.
8
Article 19
1. Personal information, including medical and genetic data, which is
collected and/or transmitted within the framework of the search for a
disappeared person shall not be used or made available for purposes other
than the search for the disappeared person. This is without prejudice to the use
of such information in criminal proceedings relating to an offence of enforced
disappearance or the exercise of the right to obtain reparation.
2. The collection, processing, use and storage of personal information,
including medical and genetic data, shall not infringe or have the effect of
infringing the human rights, fundamental freedoms or human dignity of an
individual.
Article 20
1. Only where a person is under the protection of the law and the
deprivation of liberty is subject to judicial control may the right to information
referred to in article 18 be restricted, on an exceptional basis, where strictly
necessary and where provided for by law, and if the transmission of the
information would adversely affect the privacy or safety of the person, hinder a
criminal investigation, or for other equivalent reasons in accordance with the
law, and in conformity with applicable international law and with the objectives
of this Convention. In no case shall there be restrictions on the right to
information referred to in article 18 that could constitute conduct defined in
article 2 or be in violation of article 17, paragraph 1.
2. Without prejudice to consideration of the lawfulness of the
deprivation of a person’s liberty, States Parties shall guarantee to the persons
referred to in article 18, paragraph 1, the right to a prompt and effective judicial
remedy as a means of obtaining without delay the information referred to in
article 18, paragraph 1. This right to a remedy may not be suspended or
restricted in any circumstances.
Article 21
Each State Party shall take the necessary measures to ensure that
persons deprived of liberty are released in a manner permitting reliable
verification that they have actually been released. Each State Party shall also
take the necessary measures to assure the physical integrity of such persons
and their ability to exercise fully their rights at the time of release, without
prejudice to any obligations to which such persons may be subject under
national law.
Article 22
Without prejudice to article 6, each State Party shall take the necessary
measures to prevent and impose sanctions for the following conduct:
(a) Delaying or obstructing the remedies referred to in article 17,
paragraph 2 (f), and article 20, paragraph 2;
(b) Failure to record the deprivation of liberty of any person, or the
recording of any information which the official responsible for the official
register knew or should have known to be inaccurate;
9
(c) Refusal to provide information on the deprivation of liberty of a
person, or the provision of inaccurate information, even though the legal
requirements for providing such information have been met.
Article 23
1. Each State Party shall ensure that the training of law enforcement
personnel, civil or military, medical personnel, public officials and other persons
who may be involved in the custody or treatment of any person deprived of
liberty includes the necessary education and information regarding the relevant
provisions of this Convention, in order to:
(a) Prevent the involvement of such officials in enforced disappearances;
(b) Emphasize the importance of prevention and investigations in
relation to enforced disappearances;
(c) Ensure that the urgent need to resolve cases of enforced
disappearance is recognized.
2. Each State Party shall ensure that orders or instructions prescribing,
authorizing or encouraging enforced disappearance are prohibited. Each State
Party shall guarantee that a person who refuses to obey such an order will not
be punished.
3. Each State Party shall take the necessary measures to ensure that
the persons referred to in paragraph 1 of this article who have reason to
believe that an enforced disappearance has occurred or is planned report the
matter to their superiors and, where necessary, to the appropriate authorities or
bodies vested with powers of review or remedy.
Article 24
1. For the purposes of this Convention, “victim” means the disappeared
person and any individual who has suffered harm as the direct result of an
enforced disappearance.
2. Each victim has the right to know the truth regarding the
circumstances of the enforced disappearance, the progress and results of the
investigation and the fate of the disappeared person. Each State Party shall
take appropriate measures in this regard.
3. Each State Party shall take all appropriate measures to search for,
locate and release disappeared persons and, in the event of death, to locate,
respect and return their remains.
4. Each State Party shall ensure in its legal system that the victims of
enforced disappearance have the right to obtain reparation and prompt, fair
and adequate compensation.
5. The right to obtain reparation referred to in paragraph 4 of this article
covers material and moral damages and, where appropriate, other forms of
reparation such as:
(a) Restitution;
(b) Rehabilitation;
(c) Satisfaction, including restoration of dignity and reputation;
(d) Guarantees of non-repetition.
10
6. Without prejudice to the obligation to continue the investigation until
the fate of the disappeared person has been clarified, each State Party shall
take the appropriate steps with regard to the legal situation of disappeared
persons whose fate has not been clarified and that of their relatives, in fields
such as social welfare, financial matters, family law and property rights.
7. Each State Party shall guarantee the right to form and participate
freely in organizations and associations concerned with attempting to establish
the circumstances of enforced disappearances and the fate of disappeared
persons, and to assist victims of enforced disappearance.
Article 25
1. Each State Party shall take the necessary measures to prevent and
punish under its criminal law:
(a) The wrongful removal of children who are subjected to enforced
disappearance, children whose father, mother or legal guardian is subjected to
enforced disappearance or children born during the captivity of a mother
subjected to enforced disappearance;
(b) The falsification, concealment or destruction of documents attesting
to the true identity of the children referred to in subparagraph (a) above.
2. Each State Party shall take the necessary measures to search for
and identify the children referred to in paragraph 1 (a) of this article and to
return them to their families of origin, in accordance with legal procedures and
applicable international agreements.
3. States Parties shall assist one another in searching for, identifying
and locating the children referred to in paragraph 1 (a) of this article.
4. Given the need to protect the best interests of the children referred to
in paragraph 1 (a) of this article and their right to preserve, or to have reestablished,
their identity, including their nationality, name and family relations
as recognized by law, States Parties which recognize a system of adoption or
other form of placement of children shall have legal procedures in place to
review the adoption or placement procedure, and, where appropriate, to annul
any adoption or placement of children that originated in an enforced
disappearance.
5. In all cases, and in particular in all matters relating to this article, the
best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration, and a child who is
capable of forming his or her own views shall have the right to express those
views freely, the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with
the age and maturity of the child.
Part II
Article 26
1. A Committee on Enforced Disappearances (hereinafter referred to as
“the Committee”) shall be established to carry out the functions provided for
under this Convention. The Committee shall consist of ten experts of high
moral character and recognized competence in the field of human rights, who
shall serve in their personal capacity and be independent and impartial. The
members of the Committee shall be elected by the States Parties according to
equitable geographical distribution. Due account shall be taken of the
11
usefulness of the participation in the work of the Committee of persons having
relevant legal experience and of balanced gender representation.
2. The members of the Committee shall be elected by secret ballot from
a list of persons nominated by States Parties from among their nationals, at
biennial meetings of the States Parties convened by the Secretary-General of
the United Nations for this purpose. At those meetings, for which two thirds of
the States Parties shall constitute a quorum, the persons elected to the
Committee shall be those who obtain the largest number of votes and an
absolute majority of the votes of the representatives of States Parties present
and voting.
3. The initial election shall be held no later than six months after the
date of entry into force of this Convention. Four months before the date of each
election, the Secretary-General of the United Nations shall address a letter to
the States Parties inviting them to submit nominations within three months. The
Secretary-General shall prepare a list in alphabetical order of all persons thus
nominated, indicating the State Party which nominated each candidate, and
shall submit this list to all States Parties.
4. The members of the Committee shall be elected for a term of four
years. They shall be eligible for re-election once. However, the term of five of
the members elected at the first election shall expire at the end of two years;
immediately after the first election, the names of these five members shall be
chosen by lot by the chairman of the meeting referred to in paragraph 2 of this
article.
5. If a member of the Committee dies or resigns or for any other reason
can no longer perform his or her Committee duties, the State Party which
nominated him or her shall, in accordance with the criteria set out in
paragraph 1 of this article, appoint another candidate from among its nationals
to serve out his or her term, subject to the approval of the majority of the States
Parties. Such approval shall be considered to have been obtained unless half
or more of the States Parties respond negatively within six weeks of having
been informed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations of the proposed
appointment.
6. The Committee shall establish its own rules of procedure.
7. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall provide the
Committee with the necessary means, staff and facilities for the effective
performance of its functions. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall
convene the initial meeting of the Committee.
8. The members of the Committee shall be entitled to the facilities,
privileges and immunities of experts on mission for the United Nations, as laid
down in the relevant sections of the Convention on the Privileges and
Immunities of the United Nations.
9. Each State Party shall cooperate with the Committee and assist its
members in the fulfilment of their mandate, to the extent of the Committee’s
functions that the State Party has accepted.
Article 27
A Conference of the States Parties will take place at the earliest four years
and at the latest six years following the entry into force of this Convention to
evaluate the functioning of the Committee and to decide, in accordance with
12
the procedure described in article 44, paragraph 2, whether it is appropriate to
transfer to another body — without excluding any possibility — the monitoring
of this Convention, in accordance with the functions defined in articles 28 to 36.
Article 28
1. In the framework of the competencies granted by this Convention,
the Committee shall cooperate with all relevant organs, offices and specialized
agencies and funds of the United Nations, with the treaty bodies instituted by
international instruments, with the special procedures of the United Nations
and with the relevant regional intergovernmental organizations or bodies, as
well as with all relevant State institutions, agencies or offices working towards
the protection of all persons against enforced disappearances.
2. As it discharges its mandate, the Committee shall consult other treaty
bodies instituted by relevant international human rights instruments, in
particular the Human Rights Committee instituted by the International Covenant
on Civil and Political Rights, with a view to ensuring the consistency of their
respective observations and recommendations.
Article 29
1. Each State Party shall submit to the Committee, through the
Secretary-General of the United Nations, a report on the measures taken to
give effect to its obligations under this Convention, within two years after the
entry into force of this Convention for the State Party concerned.
2. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall make this report
available to all States Parties.
3. Each report shall be considered by the Committee, which shall issue
such comments, observations or recommendations as it may deem
appropriate. The comments, observations or recommendations shall be
communicated to the State Party concerned, which may respond to them, on its
own initiative or at the request of the Committee.
4. The Committee may also request States Parties to provide additional
information on the implementation of this Convention.
Article 30
1. A request that a disappeared person should be sought and found
may be submitted to the Committee, as a matter of urgency, by relatives of the
disappeared person or their legal representatives, their counsel or any person
authorized by them, as well as by any other person having a legitimate interest.
2. If the Committee considers that a request for urgent action submitted
in pursuance of paragraph 1 of this article:
(a) Is not manifestly unfounded;
(b) Does not constitute an abuse of the right of submission of such
requests;
(c) Has already been duly presented to the competent bodies of the
State Party concerned, such as those authorized to undertake investigations,
where such a possibility exists;
(d) Is not incompatible with the provisions of this Convention; and
13
(e) The same matter is not being examined under another procedure of
international investigation or settlement of the same nature;
it shall request the State Party concerned to provide it with information on the
situation of the persons sought, within a time limit set by the Committee.
3. In the light of the information provided by the State Party concerned
in accordance with paragraph 2 of this article, the Committee may transmit
recommendations to the State Party, including a request that the State Party
should take all the necessary measures, including interim measures, to locate
and protect the person concerned in accordance with this Convention and to
inform the Committee, within a specified period of time, of measures taken,
taking into account the urgency of the situation. The Committee shall inform the
person submitting the urgent action request of its recommendations and of the
information provided to it by the State as it becomes available.
4. The Committee shall continue its efforts to work with the State Party
concerned for as long as the fate of the person sought remains unresolved.
The person presenting the request shall be kept informed.
Article 31
1. A State Party may at the time of ratification of this Convention or at
any time afterwards declare that it recognizes the competence of the
Committee to receive and consider communications from or on behalf of
individuals subject to its jurisdiction claiming to be victims of a violation by this
State Party of provisions of this Convention. The Committee shall not admit any
communication concerning a State Party which has not made such a
declaration.
2. The Committee shall consider a communication inadmissible where:
(a) The communication is anonymous;
(b) The communication constitutes an abuse of the right of submission of
such communications or is incompatible with the provisions of this Convention;
(c) The same matter is being examined under another procedure of
international investigation or settlement of the same nature; or where
(d) All effective available domestic remedies have not been exhausted.
This rule shall not apply where the application of the remedies is unreasonably
prolonged.
3. If the Committee considers that the communication meets the
requirements set out in paragraph 2 of this article, it shall transmit the
communication to the State Party concerned, requesting it to provide
observations and comments within a time limit set by the Committee.
4. At any time after the receipt of a communication and before a
determination on the merits has been reached, the Committee may transmit to
the State Party concerned for its urgent consideration a request that the State
Party will take such interim measures as may be necessary to avoid possible
irreparable damage to the victims of the alleged violation. Where the
Committee exercises its discretion, this does not imply a determination on
admissibility or on the merits of the communication.
5. The Committee shall hold closed meetings when examining
communications under the present article. It shall inform the author of a
communication of the responses provided by the State Party concerned. When
14
the Committee decides to finalize the procedure, it shall communicate its views
to the State Party and to the author of the communication.
Article 32
A State Party to this Convention may at any time declare that it recognizes
the competence of the Committee to receive and consider communications in
which a State Party claims that another State Party is not fulfilling its
obligations under this Convention. The Committee shall not receive
communications concerning a State Party which has not made such a
declaration, nor communications from a State Party which has not made such a
declaration.
Article 33
1. If the Committee receives reliable information indicating that a State
Party is seriously violating the provisions of this Convention, it may, after
consultation with the State Party concerned, request one or more of its
members to undertake a visit and report back to it without delay.
2. The Committee shall notify the State Party concerned, in writing, of
its intention to organize a visit, indicating the composition of the delegation and
the purpose of the visit. The State Party shall answer the Committee within a
reasonable time.
3. Upon a substantiated request by the State Party, the Committee may
decide to postpone or cancel its visit.
4. If the State Party agrees to the visit, the Committee and the State
Party concerned shall work together to define the modalities of the visit and the
State Party shall provide the Committee with all the facilities needed for the
successful completion of the visit.
5. Following its visit, the Committee shall communicate to the State
Party concerned its observations and recommendations.
Article 34
If the Committee receives information which appears to it to contain wellfounded
indications that enforced disappearance is being practised on a
widespread or systematic basis in the territory under the jurisdiction of a State
Party, it may, after seeking from the State Party concerned all relevant
information on the situation, urgently bring the matter to the attention of the
General Assembly of the United Nations, through the Secretary-General of the
United Nations.
Article 35
1. The Committee shall have competence solely in respect of enforced
disappearances which commenced after the entry into force of this Convention.
2. If a State becomes a party to this Convention after its entry into force,
the obligations of that State vis-à-vis the Committee shall relate only to
enforced disappearances which commenced after the entry into force of this
Convention for the State concerned.
15
Article 36
1. The Committee shall submit an annual report on its activities under
this Convention to the States Parties and to the General Assembly of the
United Nations.
2. Before an observation on a State Party is published in the annual
report, the State Party concerned shall be informed in advance and shall be
given reasonable time to answer. This State Party may request the publication
of its comments or observations in the report.
Part III
Article 37
Nothing in this Convention shall affect any provisions which are more
conducive to the protection of all persons from enforced disappearance and
which may be contained in:
(a) The law of a State Party;
(b) International law in force for that State.
Article 38
1. This Convention is open for signature by all Member States of the
United Nations.
2. This Convention is subject to ratification by all Member States of the
United Nations. Instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the
Secretary-General of the United Nations.
3. This Convention is open to accession by all Member States of the
United Nations. Accession shall be effected by the deposit of an instrument of
accession with the Secretary-General.
Article 39
1. This Convention shall enter into force on the thirtieth day after the
date of deposit with the Secretary-General of the United Nations of the
twentieth instrument of ratification or accession.
2. For each State ratifying or acceding to this Convention after the
deposit of the twentieth instrument of ratification or accession, this Convention
shall enter into force on the thirtieth day after the date of the deposit of that
State’s instrument of ratification or accession.
Article 40
The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall notify all States
Members of the United Nations and all States which have signed or acceded to
this Convention of the following:
(a) Signatures, ratifications and accessions under article 38;
(b) The date of entry into force of this Convention under article 39.
Article 41
The provisions of this Convention shall apply to all parts of federal States
without any limitations or exceptions.
16
Article 42
1. Any dispute between two or more States Parties concerning the
interpretation or application of this Convention which cannot be settled through
negotiation or by the procedures expressly provided for in this Convention
shall, at the request of one of them, be submitted to arbitration. If within six
months from the date of the request for arbitration the Parties are unable to
agree on the organization of the arbitration, any one of those Parties may refer
the dispute to the International Court of Justice by request in conformity with
the Statute of the Court.
2. A State may, at the time of signature or ratification of this Convention
or accession thereto, declare that it does not consider itself bound by
paragraph 1 of this article. The other States Parties shall not be bound by
paragraph 1 of this article with respect to any State Party having made such a
declaration.
3. Any State Party having made a declaration in accordance with the
provisions of paragraph 2 of this article may at any time withdraw this
declaration by notification to the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Article 43
This Convention is without prejudice to the provisions of international
humanitarian law, including the obligations of the High Contracting Parties to
the four Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and the two Additional
Protocols thereto of 8 June 1977, or to the opportunity available to any State
Party to authorize the International Committee of the Red Cross to visit places
of detention in situations not covered by international humanitarian law.
Article 44
1. Any State Party to this Convention may propose an amendment and
file it with the Secretary-General of the United Nations. The Secretary-General
shall thereupon communicate the proposed amendment to the States Parties to
this Convention with a request that they indicate whether they favour a
conference of States Parties for the purpose of considering and voting upon the
proposal. In the event that within four months from the date of such
communication at least one third of the States Parties favour such a
conference, the Secretary-General shall convene the conference under the
auspices of the United Nations.
2. Any amendment adopted by a majority of two thirds of the States
Parties present and voting at the conference shall be submitted by the
Secretary-General of the United Nations to all the States Parties for
acceptance.
3. An amendment adopted in accordance with paragraph 1 of this
article shall enter into force when two thirds of the States Parties to this
Convention have accepted it in accordance with their respective constitutional
processes.
4. When amendments enter into force, they shall be binding on those
States Parties which have accepted them, other States Parties still being bound
by the provisions of this Convention and any earlier amendment which they
have accepted.
17
Article 45
1. This Convention, of which the Arabic, Chinese, English, French,
Russian and Spanish texts are equally authentic, shall be deposited with the
Secretary-General of the United Nations.
2. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall transmit certified
copies of this Convention to all States referred to in article 38.

The General Assembly,
Noting that the purposes proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations are to maintain
international peace and security, to develop friendly relations among all nations and to achieve
international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural or
humanitarian character and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for
fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion,
Mindful of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which declares in article 14 that:
"1. Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
"2 . This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political
crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations",
Recalling also article 13, paragraph 2, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which
states:
"Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country",
Recognizing that the grant of asylum by a State to persons entitled to invoke article 14 of the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a peaceful and humanitarian act and that, as such, it
cannot be regarded as unfriendly by any other State,
Recommends that, without prejudice to existing instruments dealing with asylum and the status
of refugees and stateless persons, States should base themselves in their practices relating to
territorial asylum on the following principles:
Article 1
1. Asylum granted by a State, in the exercise of its sovereignty, to persons entitled to invoke
article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, including persons struggling against
colonialism, shall be respected by all other States.
2. The right to seek and to enjoy asylum may not be invoked by any person with respect to whom
there are serious reasons for considering that he has committed a crime against peace, a war
crime or a crime against humanity, as defined in the international instruments drawn up to make
provision in respect of such crimes.
3. It shall rest with the State granting asylum to evaluate the grounds for the grant of asylum.
Article 2
1. The situation of persons referred to in article 1, paragraph 1, is, without prejudice to the
sovereignty of States and the purposes and principles of the United Nations, of concern to the
international community.
2. Where a State finds difficulty in granting or continuing to grant asylum, States individually or
jointly or through the United Nations shall consider, in a spirit of international solidarity,
appropriate measures to lighten the burden on that State.
Article 3
1. No person referred to in article 1, paragraph 1, shall be subjected to measures such as
rejection at the frontier or, if he has already entered the territory in which he seeks asylum,
expulsion or compulsory return to any State where he may be subjected to persecution.
2. Exception may be made to the foregoing principle only for overriding reasons of national
security or in order to safeguard the population, as in the case of a mass influx of persons.
3. Should a State decide in any case that exception to the principle stated in paragraph 1 of this
article would be justified, it shall consider the possibility of granting to the person concerned,
under such conditions as it may deem appropriate, an opportunity, whether by way of provisional
asylum or otherwise, of going to another State.
Article 4
States granting asylum shall not permit persons who have received asylum to engage in
activities contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
1631st plenary meeting,
14 December 1967.

General Assembly resolution 1803 (XVII) of 14 December 1962, "Permanent
sovereignty over natural resources"
The General Assembly,
Recalling its resolutions 523 (VI) of 12 January 1952 and 626 (VII) of 21 December 1952,
Bearing in mind its resolution 1314 (XIII) of 12 December 1958, by which it established the
Commission on Permanent Sovereignty over Natural Resources and instructed it to conduct a full
survey of the status of permanent sovereignty over natural wealth and resources as a basic constituent
of the right to self-determination, with recommendations, where necessary, for its strengthening, and
decided further that, in the conduct of the full survey of the status of the permanent sovereignty of
peoples and nations over their natural wealth and resources, due regard should be paid to the rights
and duties of States under international law and to the importance of encouraging international cooperation
in the economic development of developing countries,
Bearing in mind its resolution 1515 (XV) of 15 December 1960, in which it recommended that the
sovereign right of every State to dispose of its wealth and its natural resources should be respected,
Considering that any measure in this respect must be based on the recognition of the inalienable right
of all States freely to dispose of their natural wealth and resources in accordance with their national
interests, and on respect for the economic independence of States,
Considering that nothing in paragraph 4 below in any way prejudices the position of any Member State
on any aspect of the question of the rights and obligations of successor States and Governments in
respect of property acquired before the accession to complete sovereignty of countries formerly under
colonial rule,
Noting that the subject of succession of States and Governments is being examined as a matter of
priority by the International Law Commission,
Considering that it is desirable to promote international co-operation for the economic development of
developing countries, and that economic and financial agreements between the developed and the
developing countries must be based on the principles of equality and of the right of peoples and
nations to self-determination,
Considering that the provision of economic and technical assistance, loans and increased foreign
investment must not be subject to conditions which conflict with the interests of the recipient State,
Considering the benefits to be derived from exchanges of technical and scientific information likely to
promote the development and use of such resources and wealth, and the important part which the
United Nations and other international organizations are called upon to play in that connection,
Attaching particular importance to the question of promoting the economic development of developing
countries and securing their economic independence,
Noting that the creation and strengthening of the inalienable sovereignty of States over their natural
wealth and resources reinforces their economic independence,
Desiring that there should be further consideration by the United Nations of the subject of permanent
sovereignty over natural resources in the spirit of international co-operation in the field of economic
development, particularly that of the developing countries,
I
Declares that:
2
1. The right of peoples and nations to permanent sovereignty over their natural wealth and resources
must be exercised in the interest of their national development and of the well-being of the people of
the State concerned.
2. The exploration, development and disposition of such resources, as well as the import of the foreign
capital required for these purposes, should be in conformity with the rules and conditions which the
peoples and nations freely consider to be necessary or desirable with regard to the authorization,
restriction or prohibition of such activities.
3. In cases where authorization is granted, the capital imported and the earnings on that capital shall
be governed by the terms thereof, by the national legislation in force, and by international law. The
profits derived must be shared in the proportions freely agreed upon, in each case, between the
investors and the recipient State, due care being taken to ensure that there is no impairment, for any
reason, of that State's sovereignty over its natural wealth and resources.
4. Nationalization, expropriation or requisitioning shall be based on grounds or reasons of public utility,
security or the national interest which are recognized as overriding purely individual or private
interests, both domestic and foreign. In such cases the owner shall be paid appropriate compensation,
in accordance with the rules in force in the State taking such measures in the exercise of its
sovereignty and in accordance with international law. In any case where the question of compensation
gives rise to a controversy, the national jurisdiction of the State taking such measures shall be
exhausted. However, upon agreement by sovereign States and other parties concerned, settlement of
the dispute should be made through arbitration or international adjudication.
5. The free and beneficial exercise of the sovereignty of peoples and nations over their natural
resources must be furthered by the mutual respect of States based on their sovereign equality.
6. International co-operation for the economic development of developing countries, whether in the
form of public or private capital investments, exchange of goods and services, technical assistance, or
exchange of scientific information, shall be such as to further their independent national development
and shall be based upon respect for their sovereignty over their natural wealth and resources.
7. Violation of the rights of peoples and nations to sovereignty over their natural wealth and resources
is contrary to the spirit and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and hinders the
development of international co-operation and the maintenance of peace.
8. Foreign investment agreements freely entered into by or between sovereign States shall be
observed in good faith; States and international organizations shall strictly and conscientiously respect
the sovereignty of peoples and nations over their natural wealth and resources in accordance with the
Charter and the principles set forth in the present resolution.

Adopted by General Assembly resolution 45/113 of 14 December 1990
I. Fundamental perspectives
1. The juvenile justice system should uphold the rights and safety and promote the physical and
mental well-being of juveniles. Imprisonment should be used as a last resort.
2. Juveniles should only be deprived of their liberty in accordance with the principles and procedures
set forth in these Rules and in the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of
Juvenile Justice (The Beijing Rules). Deprivation of the liberty of a juvenile should be a disposition of
last resort and for the minimum necessary period and should be limited to exceptional cases. The
length of the sanction should be determined by the judicial authority, without precluding the possibility
of his or her early release.
3. The Rules are intended to establish minimum standards accepted by the United Nations for the
protection of juveniles deprived of their liberty in all forms, consistent with human rights and
fundamental freedoms, and with a view to counteracting the detrimental effects of all types of
detention and to fostering integration in society.
4. The Rules should be applied impartially, without discrimination of any kind as to race, colour, sex,
age, language, religion, nationality, political or other opinion, cultural beliefs or practices, property,
birth or family status, ethnic or social origin, and disability. The religious and cultural beliefs, practices
and moral concepts of the juvenile should be respected.
5. The Rules are designed to serve as convenient standards of reference and to provide
encouragement and guidance to professionals involved in the management of the juvenile justice
system.
6. The Rules should be made readily available to juvenile justice personnel in their national languages.
Juveniles who are not fluent in the language spoken by the personnel of the detention facility should
have the right to the services of an interpreter free of charge whenever necessary, in particular during
medical examinations and disciplinary proceedings.
7. Where appropriate, States should incorporate the Rules into their legislation or amend it accordingly
and provide effective remedies for their breach, including compensation when injuries are inflicted on
juveniles. States should also monitor the application of the Rules.
8. The competent authorities should constantly seek to increase the awareness of the public that the
care of detained juveniles and preparation for their return to society is a social service of great
importance, and to this end active steps should be taken to foster open contacts between the juveniles
and the local community.
9. Nothing in the Rules should be interpreted as precluding the application of the relevant United
Nations and human rights instruments and standards, recognized by the international community, that
are more conducive to ensuring the rights, care and protection of juveniles, children and all young
persons.
10. In the event that the practical application of particular Rules contained in sections II to V,
inclusive, presents any conflict with the Rules contained in the present section, compliance with the
latter shall be regarded as the predominant requirement.
II. Scope and application of the rules
11. For the purposes of the Rules, the following definitions should apply:
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( a ) A juvenile is every person under the age of 18. The age limit below which it should not be
permitted to deprive a child of his or her liberty should be determined by law;
( b ) The deprivation of liberty means any form of detention or imprisonment or the placement of a
person in a public or private custodial setting, from which this person is not permitted to leave at will,
by order of any judicial, administrative or other public authority.
12. The deprivation of liberty should be effected in conditions and circumstances which ensure respect
for the human rights of juveniles. Juveniles detained in facilities should be guaranteed the benefit of
meaningful activities and programmes which would serve to promote and sustain their health and selfrespect,
to foster their sense of responsibility and encourage those attitudes and skills that will assist
them in developing their potential as members of society.
13. Juveniles deprived of their liberty shall not for any reason related to their status be denied the
civil, economic, political, social or cultural rights to which they are entitled under national or
international law, and which are compatible with the deprivation of liberty.
14. The protection of the individual rights of juveniles with special regard to the legality of the
execution of the detention measures shall be ensured by the competent authority, while the objectives
of social integration should be secured by regular inspections and other means of control carried out,
according to international standards, national laws and regulations, by a duly constituted body
authorized to visit the juveniles and not belonging to the detention facility.
15. The Rules apply to all types and forms of detention facilities in which juveniles are deprived of their
liberty. Sections I, II, IV and V of the Rules apply to all detention facilities and institutional settings in
which juveniles are detained, and section III applies specifically to juveniles under arrest or awaiting
trial.
16. The Rules shall be implemented in the context of the economic, social and cultural conditions
prevailing in each Member State.
III. Juveniles under arrest or awaiting trial
17. Juveniles who are detained under arrest or awaiting trial ("untried") are presumed innocent and
shall be treated as such. Detention before trial shall be avoided to the extent possible and limited to
exceptional circumstances. Therefore, all efforts shall be made to apply alternative measures. When
preventive detention is nevertheless used, juvenile courts and investigative bodies shall give the
highest priority to the most expeditious processing of such cases to ensure the shortest possible
duration of detention. Untried detainees should be separated from convicted juveniles.
18. The conditions under which an untried juvenile is detained should be consistent with the rules set
out below, with additional specific provisions as are necessary and appropriate, given the requirements
of the presumption of innocence, the duration of the detention and the legal status and circumstances
of the juvenile. These provisions would include, but not necessarily be restricted to, the following:
( a ) Juveniles should have the right of legal counsel and be enabled to apply for free legal aid, where
such aid is available, and to communicate regularly with their legal advisers. Privacy and confidentiality
shall be ensured for such communications;
( b ) Juveniles should be provided, where possible, with opportunities to pursue work, with
remuneration, and continue education or training, but should not be required to do so. Work,
education or training should not cause the continuation of the detention;
( c ) Juveniles should receive and retain materials for their leisure and recreation as are compatible
with the interests of the administration of justice.
IV. The management of juvenile facilities
A. Records
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19. All reports, including legal records, medical records and records of disciplinary proceedings, and all
other documents relating to the form, content and details of treatment, should be placed in a
confidential individual file, which should be kept up to date, accessible only to authorized persons and
classified in such a way as to be easily understood. Where possible, every juvenile should have the
right to contest any fact or opinion contained in his or her file so as to permit rectification of
inaccurate, unfounded or unfair statements. In order to exercise this right, there should be procedures
that allow an appropriate third party to have access to and to consult the file on request. Upon release,
the records of juveniles shall be sealed, and, at an appropriate time, expunged.
20. No juvenile should be received in any detention facility without a valid commitment order of a
judicial, administrative or other public authority. The details of this order should be immediately
entered in the register. No juvenile should be detained in any facility where there is no such register.
B. Admission, registration, movement and transfer
21. In every place where juveniles are detained, a complete and secure record of the following
information should be kept concerning each juvenile received:
( a ) Information on the identity of the juvenile;
( b ) The fact of and reasons for commitment and the authority therefor;
( c ) The day and hour of admission, transfer and release;
( d ) Details of the notifications to parents and guardians on every admission, transfer or release of the
juvenile in their care at the time of commitment;
( e ) Details of known physical and mental health problems, including drug and alcohol abuse.
22. The information on admission, place, transfer and release should be provided without delay to the
parents and guardians or closest relative of the juvenile concerned.
23. As soon as possible after reception, full reports and relevant information on the personal situation
and circumstances of each juvenile should be drawn up and submitted to the administration.
24. On admission, all juveniles shall be given a copy of the rules governing the detention facility and a
written description of their rights and obligations in a language they can understand, together with the
address of the authorities competent to receive complaints, as well as the address of public or private
agencies and organizations which provide legal assistance. For those juveniles who are illiterate or who
cannot understand the language in the written form, the information should be conveyed in a manner
enabling full comprehension.
25. All juveniles should be helped to understand the regulations governing the internal organization of
the facility, the goals and methodology of the care provided, the disciplinary requirements and
procedures, other authorized methods of seeking information and of making complaints and all such
other matters as are necessary to enable them to understand fully their rights and obligations during
detention.
26. The transport of juveniles should be carried out at the expense of the administration in
conveyances with adequate ventilation and light, in conditions that should in no way subject them to
hardship or indignity. Juveniles should not be transferred from one facility to another arbitrarily.
C. Classification and placement
27. As soon as possible after the moment of admission, each juvenile should be interviewed, and a
psychological and social report identifying any factors relevant to the specific type and level of care
and programme required by the juvenile should be prepared. This report, together with the report
prepared by a medical officer who has examined the juvenile upon admission, should be forwarded to
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the director for purposes of determining the most appropriate placement for the juvenile within the
facility and the specific type and level of care and programme required and to be pursued. When
special rehabilitative treatment is required, and the length of stay in the facility permits, trained
personnel of the facility should prepare a written, individualized treatment plan specifying treatment
objectives and time-frame and the means, stages and delays with which the objectives should be
approached.
28. The detention of juveniles should only take place under conditions that take full account of their
particular needs, status and special requirements according to their age, personality, sex and type of
offence, as well as mental and physical health, and which ensure their protection from harmful
influences and risk situations. The principal criterion for the separation of different categories of
juveniles deprived of their liberty should be the provision of the type of care best suited to the
particular needs of the individuals concerned and the protection of their physical, mental and moral
integrity and well-being.
29. In all detention facilities juveniles should be separated from adults, unless they are members of
the same family. Under controlled conditions, juveniles may be brought together with carefully
selected adults as part of a special programme that has been shown to be beneficial for the juveniles
concerned.
30. Open detention facilities for juveniles should be established. Open detention facilities are those
with no or minimal security measures. The population in such detention facilities should be as small as
possible. The number of juveniles detained in closed facilities should be small enough to enable
individualized treatment. Detention facilities for juveniles should be decentralized and of such size as
to facilitate access and contact between the juveniles and their families. Small-scale detention facilities
should be established and integrated into the social, economic and cultural environment of the
community.
D. Physical environment and accommodation
31. Juveniles deprived of their liberty have the right to facilities and services that meet all the
requirements of health and human dignity.
32. The design of detention facilities for juveniles and the physical environment should be in keeping
with the rehabilitative aim of residential treatment, with due regard to the need of the juvenile for
privacy, sensory stimuli, opportunities for association with peers and participation in sports, physical
exercise and leisure-time activities. The design and structure of juvenile detention facilities should be
such as to minimize the risk of fire and to ensure safe evacuation from the premises. There should be
an effective alarm system in case of fire, as well as formal and drilled procedures to ensure the safety
of the juveniles. Detention facilities should not be located in areas where there are known health or
other hazards or risks.
33. Sleeping accommodation should normally consist of small group dormitories or individual
bedrooms, while bearing in mind local standards. During sleeping hours there should be regular,
unobtrusive supervision of all sleeping areas, including individual rooms and group dormitories, in
order to ensure the protection of each juvenile. Every juvenile should, in accordance with local or
national standards, be provided with separate and sufficient bedding, which should be clean when
issued, kept in good order and changed often enough to ensure cleanliness.
34. Sanitary installations should be so located and of a sufficient standard to enable every juvenile to
comply, as required, with their physical needs in privacy and in a clean and decent manner.
35. The possession of personal effects is a basic element of the right to privacy and essential to the
psychological well-being of the juvenile. The right of every juvenile to possess personal effects and to
have adequate storage facilities for them should be fully recognized and respected. Personal effects
that the juvenile does not choose to retain or that are confiscated should be placed in safe custody. An
inventory thereof should be signed by the juvenile. Steps should be taken to keep them in good
condition. All such articles and money should be returned to the juvenile on release, except in so far as
he or she has been authorized to spend money or send such property out of the facility. If a juvenile
5
receives or is found in possession of any medicine, the medical officer should decide what use should
be made of it.
36. To the extent possible juveniles should have the right to use their own clothing. Detention facilities
should ensure that each juvenile has personal clothing suitable for the climate and adequate to ensure
good health, and which should in no manner be degrading or humiliating. Juveniles removed from or
leaving a facility for any purpose should be allowed to wear their own clothing.
37. Every detention facility shall ensure that every juvenile receives food that is suitably prepared and
presented at normal meal times and of a quality and quantity to satisfy the standards of dietetics,
hygiene and health and, as far as possible, religious and cultural requirements. Clean drinking water
should be available to every juvenile at any time.
E. Education, vocational training and work
38. Every juvenile of compulsory school age has the right to education suited to his or her needs and
abilities and designed to prepare him or her for return to society. Such education should be provided
outside the detention facility in community schools wherever possible and, in any case, by qualified
teachers through programmes integrated with the education system of the country so that, after
release, juveniles may continue their education without difficulty. Special attention should be given by
the administration of the detention facilities to the education of juveniles of foreign origin or with
particular cultural or ethnic needs. Juveniles who are illiterate or have cognitive or learning difficulties
should have the right to special education.
39. Juveniles above compulsory school age who wish to continue their education should be permitted
and encouraged to do so, and every effort should be made to provide them with access to appropriate
educational programmes.
40. Diplomas or educational certificates awarded to juveniles while in detention should not indicate in
any way that the juvenile has been institutionalized.
41. Every detention facility should provide access to a library that is adequately stocked with both
instructional and recreational books and periodicals suitable for the juveniles, who should be
encouraged and enabled to make full use of it.
42. Every juvenile should have the right to receive vocational training in occupations likely to prepare
him or her for future employment.
43. With due regard to proper vocational selection and to the requirements of institutional
administration, juveniles should be able to choose the type of work they wish to perform.
44. All protective national and international standards applicable to child labour and young workers
should apply to juveniles deprived of their liberty.
45. Wherever possible, juveniles should be provided with the opportunity to perform remunerated
labour, if possible within the local community, as a complement to the vocational training provided in
order to enhance the possibility of finding suitable employment when they return to their communities.
The type of work should be such as to provide appropriate training that will be of benefit to the
juveniles following release. The organization and methods of work offered in detention facilities should
resemble as closely as possible those of similar work in the community, so as to prepare juveniles for
the conditions of normal occupational life.
46. Every juvenile who performs work should have the right to an equitable remuneration. The
interests of the juveniles and of their vocational training should not be subordinated to the purpose of
making a profit for the detention facility or a third party. Part of the earnings of a juvenile should
normally be set aside to constitute a savings fund to be handed over to the juvenile on release. The
juvenile should have the right to use the remainder of those earnings to purchase articles for his or her
own use or to indemnify the victim injured by his or her offence or to send it to his or her family or
other persons outside the detention facility.
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F. Recreation
47. Every juvenile should have the right to a suitable amount of time for daily free exercise, in the
open air whenever weather permits, during which time appropriate recreational and physical training
should normally be provided. Adequate space, installations and equipment should be provided for
these activities. Every juvenile should have additional time for daily leisure activities, part of which
should be devoted, if the juvenile so wishes, to arts and crafts skill development. The detention facility
should ensure that each juvenile is physically able to participate in the available programmes of
physical education. Remedial physical education and therapy should be offered, under medical
supervision, to juveniles needing it.
G. Religion
48. Every juvenile should be allowed to satisfy the needs of his or her religious and spiritual life, in
particular by attending the services or meetings provided in the detention facility or by conducting his
or her own services and having possession of the necessary books or items of religious observance and
instruction of his or her denomination. If a detention facility contains a sufficient number of juveniles of
a given religion, one or more qualified representatives of that religion should be appointed or approved
and allowed to hold regular services and to pay pastoral visits in private to juveniles at their request.
Every juvenile should have the right to receive visits from a qualified representative of any religion of
his or her choice, as well as the right not to participate in religious services and freely to decline
religious education, counselling or indoctrination.
H. Medical care
49. Every juvenile shall receive adequate medical care, both preventive and remedial, including dental,
ophthalmological and mental health care, as well as pharmaceutical products and special diets as
medically indicated. All such medical care should, where possible, be provided to detained juveniles
through the appropriate health facilities and services of the community in which the detention facility is
located, in order to prevent stigmatization of the juvenile and promote self-respect and integration into
the community.
50. Every juvenile has a right to be examined by a physician immediately upon admission to a
detention facility, for the purpose of recording any evidence of prior ill-treatment and identifying any
physical or mental condition requiring medical attention.
51. The medical services provided to juveniles should seek to detect and should treat any physical or
mental illness, substance abuse or other condition that may hinder the integration of the juvenile into
society. Every detention facility for juveniles should have immediate access to adequate medical
facilities and equipment appropriate to the number and requirements of its residents and staff trained
in preventive health care and the handling of medical emergencies. Every juvenile who is ill, who
complains of illness or who demonstrates symptoms of physical or mental difficulties, should be
examined promptly by a medical officer.
52. Any medical officer who has reason to believe that the physical or mental health of a juvenile has
been or will be injuriously affected by continued detention, a hunger strike or any condition of
detention should report this fact immediately to the director of the detention facility in question and to
the independent authority responsible for safeguarding the well-being of the juvenile.
53. A juvenile who is suffering from mental illness should be treated in a specialized institution under
independent medical management. Steps should be taken, by arrangement with appropriate agencies,
to ensure any necessary continuation of mental health care after release.
54. Juvenile detention facilities should adopt specialized drug abuse prevention and rehabilitation
programmes administered by qualified personnel. These programmes should be adapted to the age,
sex and other requirements of the juveniles concerned, and detoxification facilities and services staffed
by trained personnel should be available to drug- or alcohol-dependent juveniles.
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55. Medicines should be administered only for necessary treatment on medical grounds and, when
possible, after having obtained the informed consent of the juvenile concerned. In particular, they
must not be administered with a view to eliciting information or a confession, as a punishment or as a
means of restraint. Juveniles shall never be testees in the experimental use of drugs and treatment.
The administration of any drug should always be authorized and carried out by qualified medical
personnel.
I. Notification of illness, injury and death
56. The family or guardian of a juvenile and any other person designated by the juvenile have the right
to be informed of the state of health of the juvenile on request and in the event of any important
changes in the health of the juvenile. The director of the detention facility should notify immediately
the family or guardian of the juvenile concerned, or other designated person, in case of death, illness
requiring transfer of the juvenile to an outside medical facility, or a condition requiring clinical care
within the detention facility for more than 48 hours. Notification should also be given to the consular
authorities of the State of which a foreign juvenile is a citizen.
57. Upon the death of a juvenile during the period of deprivation of liberty, the nearest relative should
have the right to inspect the death certificate, see the body and determine the method of disposal of
the body. Upon the death of a juvenile in detention, there should be an independent inquiry into the
causes of death, the report of which should be made accessible to the nearest relative. This inquiry
should also be made when the death of a juvenile occurs within six months from the date of his or her
release from the detention facility and there is reason to believe that the death is related to the period
of detention.
58. A juvenile should be informed at the earliest possible time of the death, serious illness or injury of
any immediate family member and should be provided with the opportunity to attend the funeral of
the deceased or go to the bedside of a critically ill relative.
J. Contacts with the wider community
59. Every means should be provided to ensure that juveniles have adequate communication with the
outside world, which is an integral part of the right to fair and humane treatment and is essential to
the preparation of juveniles for their return to society. Juveniles should be allowed to communicate
with their families, friends and other persons or representatives of reputable outside organizations, to
leave detention facilities for a visit to their home and family and to receive special permission to leave
the detention facility for educational, vocational or other important reasons. Should the juvenile be
serving a sentence, the time spent outside a detention facility should be counted as part of the period
of sentence.
60. Every juvenile should have the right to receive regular and frequent visits, in principle once a week
and not less than once a month, in circumstances that respect the need of the juvenile for privacy,
contact and unrestricted communication with the family and the defence counsel.
61. Every juvenile should have the right to communicate in writing or by telephone at least twice a
week with the person of his or her choice, unless legally restricted, and should be assisted as
necessary in order effectively to enjoy this right. Every juvenile should have the right to receive
correspondence.
62. Juveniles should have the opportunity to keep themselves informed regularly of the news by
reading newspapers, periodicals and other publications, through access to radio and television
programmes and motion pictures, and through the visits of the representatives of any lawful club or
organization in which the juvenile is interested.
K. Limitations of physical restraint and the use of force
63. Recourse to instruments of restraint and to force for any purpose should be prohibited, except as
set forth in rule 64 below.
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64. Instruments of restraint and force can only be used in exceptional cases, where all other control
methods have been exhausted and failed, and only as explicitly authorized and specified by law and
regulation. They should not cause humiliation or degradation, and should be used restrictively and only
for the shortest possible period of time. By order of the director of the administration, such
instruments might be resorted to in order to prevent the juvenile from inflicting self-injury, injuries to
others or serious destruction of property. In such instances, the director should at once consult
medical and other relevant personnel and report to the higher administrative authority.
65. The carrying and use of weapons by personnel should be prohibited in any facility where juveniles
are detained.
L. Disciplinary procedures
66. Any disciplinary measures and procedures should maintain the interest of safety and an ordered
community life and should be consistent with the upholding of the inherent dignity of the juvenile and
the fundamental objective of institutional care, namely, instilling a sense of justice, self-respect and
respect for the basic rights of every person.
67. All disciplinary measures constituting cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment shall be strictly
prohibited, including corporal punishment, placement in a dark cell, closed or solitary confinement or
any other punishment that may compromise the physical or mental health of the juvenile concerned.
The reduction of diet and the restriction or denial of contact with family members should be prohibited
for any purpose. Labour should always be viewed as an educational tool and a means of promoting the
self-respect of the juvenile in preparing him or her for return to the community and should not be
imposed as a disciplinary sanction. No juvenile should be sanctioned more than once for the same
disciplinary infraction. Collective sanctions should be prohibited.
68. Legislation or regulations adopted by the competent administrative authority should establish
norms concerning the following, taking full account of the fundamental characteristics, needs and
rights of juveniles:
( a ) Conduct constituting a disciplinary offence;
( b ) Type and duration of disciplinary sanctions that may be inflicted;
( c ) The authority competent to impose such sanctions;
( d ) The authority competent to consider appeals.
69. A report of misconduct should be presented promptly to the competent authority, which should
decide on it without undue delay. The competent authority should conduct a thorough examination of
the case.
70. No juvenile should be disciplinarily sanctioned except in strict accordance with the terms of the law
and regulations in force. No juvenile should be sanctioned unless he or she has been informed of the
alleged infraction in a manner appropriate to the full understanding of the juvenile, and given a proper
opportunity of presenting his or her defence, including the right of appeal to a competent impartial
authority. Complete records should be kept of all disciplinary proceedings.
71. No juveniles should be responsible for disciplinary functions except in the supervision of specified
social, educational or sports activities or in self-government programmes.
M. Inspection and complaints
72. Qualified inspectors or an equivalent duly constituted authority not belonging to the administration
of the facility should be empowered to conduct inspections on a regular basis and to undertake
unannounced inspections on their own initiative, and should enjoy full guarantees of independence in
the exercise of this function. Inspectors should have unrestricted access to all persons employed by or
9
working in any facility where juveniles are or may be deprived of their liberty, to all juveniles and to all
records of such facilities.
73. Qualified medical officers attached to the inspecting authority or the public health service should
participate in the inspections, evaluating compliance with the rules concerning the physical
environment, hygiene, accommodation, food, exercise and medical services, as well as any other
aspect or conditions of institutional life that affect the physical and mental health of juveniles. Every
juvenile should have the right to talk in confidence to any inspecting officer.
74. After completing the inspection, the inspector should be required to submit a report on the
findings. The report should include an evaluation of the compliance of the detention facilities with the
present rules and relevant provisions of national law, and recommendations regarding any steps
considered necessary to ensure compliance with them. Any facts discovered by an inspector that
appear to indicate that a violation of legal provisions concerning the rights of juveniles or the operation
of a juvenile detention facility has occurred should be communicated to the competent authorities for
investigation and prosecution.
75. Every juvenile should have the opportunity of making requests or complaints to the director of the
detention facility and to his or her authorized representative.
76. Every juvenile should have the right to make a request or complaint, without censorship as to
substance, to the central administration, the judicial authority or other proper authorities through
approved channels, and to be informed of the response without delay.
77. Efforts should be made to establish an independent office (ombudsman) to receive and investigate
complaints made by juveniles deprived of their liberty and to assist in the achievement of equitable
settlements.
78. Every juvenile should have the right to request assistance from family members, legal counsellors,
humanitarian groups or others where possible, in order to make a complaint. Illiterate juveniles should
be provided with assistance should they need to use the services of public or private agencies and
organizations which provide legal counsel or which are competent to receive complaints.
N. Return to the community
79. All juveniles should benefit from arrangements designed to assist them in returning to society,
family life, education or employment after release. Procedures, including early release, and special
courses should be devised to this end.
80. Competent authorities should provide or ensure services to assist juveniles in re-establishing
themselves in society and to lessen prejudice against such juveniles. These services should ensure, to
the extent possible, that the juvenile is provided with suitable residence, employment, clothing, and
sufficient means to maintain himself or herself upon release in order to facilitate successful
reintegration. The representatives of agencies providing such services should be consulted and should
have access to juveniles while detained, with a view to assisting them in their return to the
community.
V. Personnel
81. Personnel should be qualified and include a sufficient number of specialists such as educators,
vocational instructors, counsellors, social workers, psychiatrists and psychologists. These and other
specialist staff should normally be employed on a permanent basis. This should not preclude part-time
or volunteer workers when the level of support and training they can provide is appropriate and
beneficial. Detention facilities should make use of all remedial, educational, moral, spiritual, and other
resources and forms of assistance that are appropriate and available in the community, according to
the individual needs and problems of detained juveniles.
82. The administration should provide for the careful selection and recruitment of every grade and
type of personnel, since the proper management of detention facilities depends on their integrity,
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humanity, ability and professional capacity to deal with juveniles, as well as personal suitability for the
work.
83. To secure the foregoing ends, personnel should be appointed as professional officers with adequate
remuneration to attract and retain suitable women and men. The personnel of juvenile detention
facilities should be continually encouraged to fulfil their duties and obligations in a humane,
committed, professional, fair and efficient manner, to conduct themselves at all times in such a way as
to deserve and gain the respect of the juveniles, and to provide juveniles with a positive role model
and perspective.
84. The administration should introduce forms of organization and management that facilitate
communications between different categories of staff in each detention facility so as to enhance
cooperation between the various services engaged in the care of juveniles, as well as between staff
and the administration, with a view to ensuring that staff directly in contact with juveniles are able to
function in conditions favourable to the efficient fulfilment of their duties.
85. The personnel should receive such training as will enable them to carry out their responsibilities
effectively, in particular training in child psychology, child welfare and international standards and
norms of human rights and the rights of the child, including the present Rules. The personnel should
maintain and improve their knowledge and professional capacity by attending courses of in-service
training, to be organized at suitable intervals throughout their career.
86. The director of a facility should be adequately qualified for his or her task, with administrative
ability and suitable training and experience, and should carry out his or her duties on a full-time basis.
87. In the performance of their duties, personnel of detention facilities should respect and protect the
human dignity and fundamental human rights of all juveniles, in particular, as follows:
( a ) No member of the detention facility or institutional personnel may inflict, instigate or tolerate any
act of torture or any form of harsh, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, punishment, correction or
discipline under any pretext or circumstance whatsoever;
( b ) All personnel should rigorously oppose and combat any act of corruption, reporting it without
delay to the competent authorities;
( c ) All personnel should respect the present Rules. Personnel who have reason to believe that a
serious violation of the present Rules has occurred or is about to occur should report the matter to
their superior authorities or organs vested with reviewing or remedial power;
( d ) All personnel should ensure the full protection of the physical and mental health of juveniles,
including protection from physical, sexual and emotional abuse and exploitation, and should take
immediate action to secure medical attention whenever required;
( e ) All personnel should respect the right of the juvenile to privacy, and, in particular, should
safeguard all confidential matters concerning juveniles or their families learned as a result of their
professional capacity;
( f ) All personnel should seek to minimize any differences between life inside and outside the
detention facility which tend to lessen due respect for the dignity of juveniles as human beings.

Principles of Medical Ethics relevant to the Role of Health Personnel,
particularly Physicians, in the Protection of Prisoners and Detainees
against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or
Punishment
Adopted by General Assembly resolution 37/194of 18 December 1982
Principle 1
Health personnel, particularly physicians, charged with the medical care of prisoners
and detainees have a duty to provide them with protection of their physical and mental
health and treatment of disease of the same quality and standard as is afforded to those
who are not imprisoned or detained.
Principle 2
It is a gross contravention of medical ethics, as well as an offence under applicable
international instruments, for health personnel, particularly physicians, to engage,
actively or passively, in acts which constitute participation in, complicity in, incitement to
or attempts to commit torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or
punishment.<1>
Principle 3
It is a contravention of medical ethics for health personnel, particularly physicians, to be
involved in any professional relationship with prisoners or detainees the purpose of
which is not solely to evaluate, protect or improve their physical and mental health.
Principle 4
It is a contravention of medical ethics for health personnel, particularly physicians:
(a) To apply their knowledge and skills in order to assist in the interrogation of prisoners
and detainees in a manner that may adversely affect the physical or mental health or
condition of such prisoners or detainees and which is not in accordance with the
relevant international instruments; <2>
(b) To certify, or to participate in the certification of, the fitness of prisoners or detainees
for any form of treatment or punishment that may adversely affect their physical or
mental health and which is not in accordance with the relevant international instruments,
or to participate in any way in the infliction of any such treatment or punishment which is
not in accordance with the relevant international instruments.
Principle 5
It is a contravention of medical ethics for health personnel, particularly physicians, to
participate in any procedure for restraining a prisoner or detainee unless such a
procedure is determined in accordance with purely medical criteria as being necessary
for the protection of the physical or mental health or the safety of the prisoner or
detainee himself, of his fellow prisoners or detainees, or of his guardians, and presents
no hazard to his physical or mental health.
Principle 6
There may be no derogation from the foregoing principles on any ground whatsoever,
including public emergency.
________
<1> See the Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Being Subjected to
Torture and Other Cruel. Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (resolution
3452 (XXX), annex).
<2> Particularly the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (resolution 217 A (111)), the
International Covenants on Human Rights (resolution 2200 A (XXI). annex), the
Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Being Subjected to Torture and Other
Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (resolution 3452 (XXX), annex)
and the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (First United Nations
Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders: report by the
Secretariat (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.1956.IV.4, annex I.A).

Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons
under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment
General Assembly Resolution 43/173 (9 December 1988)
<http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/h_comp36.htm>
Principle 1
All persons under any form of detention or imprisonment shall be treated in a
humane manner and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person.
. . .
Principle 4
Any form of detention or imprisonment and all measures affecting the human
rights of a person under any form of detention or imprisonment shall be ordered by, or be
subject to the effective control of, a judicial or other authority.
Principle 5
1. These principles shall be applied to all persons within the territory of any given
State, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion or
religious belief, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, property, birth
or other status.
2. Measures applied under the law and designed solely to protect the rights and
special status of women, especially pregnant women and nursing mothers, children and
juveniles, aged, sick or handicapped persons shall not be deemed to be discriminatory.
The need for, and the application of, such measures shall always be subject to review by a
judicial or other authority.
Principle 6
No person under any form of detention or imprisonment shall be subjected to
torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.* No circumstance
whatever may be invoked as a justification for torture or other cruel, inhuman or
degrading treatment or punishment.
Principle 7
. . .
2. Officials who have reason to believe that a violation of this Body of Principles
has occurred or is about to occur shall report the matter to their superior authorities and,
where necessary, to other appropriate authorities or organs vested with reviewing or
remedial powers.
. . .
_______________
* [The following rather poignant note is contained in the original:] The term “cruel, inhuman or
degrading treatment or punishment” should be interpreted so as to extend the widest possible protection
against abuses, whether physical or mental, including the holding of a detained or imprisoned person in
conditions which deprive him, temporarily or permanently, of the use of any of his natural senses, such as
sight or hearing, or of his awareness of place and the passing of time [italics added].
2
Principle 10
Anyone who is arrested shall be informed at the time of his arrest of the reason for
his arrest and shall be promptly informed of any charges against him.
Principle 11
1. A person shall not be kept in detention without being given an effective
opportunity to be heard promptly by a judicial or other authority. A detained person shall
have the right to defend himself or to be assisted by counsel as prescribed by law.
2. A detained person and his counsel, if any, shall receive prompt and full
communication of any order of detention, together with the reasons therefore.
3. A judicial or other authority shall be empowered to review as appropriate the
continuance of detention.
Principle 12
1. There shall be duly recorded:
(a) The reasons for the arrest; (b) The time of the arrest and the
taking of the arrested person to a place of custody as well as that of his
first appearance before a judicial or other authority; (c) The identity of the
law enforcement officials concerned;
. . .
(d) Precise information concerning the place of custody.
2. Such records shall be communicated to the detained person, or his counsel, if
any, in the form prescribed by law.
. . .
Principle 16
1. Promptly after arrest and after each transfer from one place of detention or
imprisonment to another, a detained or imprisoned person shall be entitled to notify or to
require the competent authority to notify members of his family or other appropriate
persons of his choice of his arrest, detention or imprisonment or of the transfer and of the
place where he is kept in custody.
2. If a detained or imprisoned person is a foreigner, he shall also be promptly
informed of his right to communicate by appropriate means with a consular post or the
diplomatic mission of the State of which he is a national or which is otherwise entitled to
receive such communication in accordance with international law or with the
representative of the competent international organization, if he is a refugee or is
otherwise under the protection of an intergovernmental organization.
. . .
Principle 20
If a detained or imprisoned person so requests, he shall if possible be kept in a
place of detention or imprisonment reasonably near his usual place of residence.
3
Principle 21
1. It shall be prohibited to take undue advantage of the situation of a detained or
imprisoned person for the purpose of compelling him to confess, to incriminate himself
otherwise or to testify against any other person.
2. No detained person while being interrogated shall be subject to violence,
threats or methods of interrogation which impair his capacity of decision or his
judgement.

PROTOCOL TO THE AMERICAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS TO ABOLISH THE DEATH PENALTY (Adopted at Asunción, Paraguay, on June 8, 1990, at the twentieth regular session of the General Assembly) PREAMBLE THE STATES PARTIES TO THIS PROTOCOL, CONSIDERING: That Article 4 of the American Convention on Human Rights recognizes the right to life and restricts the application of the death penalty; That everyone has the inalienable right to respect for his life, a right that cannot be suspended for any reason; That the tendency among the American States is to be in favor of abolition of the death penalty; That application of the death penalty has irrevocable consequences, forecloses the correction of judicial error, and precludes any possibility of changing or rehabilitating those convicted; That the abolition of the death penalty helps to ensure more effective protection of the right to life; That an international agreement must be arrived at that will entail a progressive development of the American Convention on Human Rights, and That States Parties to the American Convention on Human Rights have expressed their intention to adopt an international agreement with a view to consolidating the practice of not applying the death penalty in the Americas, HAVE AGREED TO SIGN THE FOLLOWING PROTOCOL TO THE AMERICAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS TO ABOLISH THE DEATH PENALTY Article 1 The States Parties to this Protocol shall not apply the death penalty in their territory to any person subject to their jurisdiction. Article 2 1. No reservations may be made to this Protocol.  However, at the time of ratification or accession, the States Parties to this instrument may declare that they reserve the right to apply the death penalty in wartime in accordance with international law, for extremely serious crimes of a military nature. Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights to Abolish the Death Penalty 76 2. The State Party making this reservation shall, upon ratification or accession, inform the Secretary General of the Organization of American States of the pertinent provisions of its national legislation applicable in wartime, as referred to in the preceding paragraph. 3. Said State Party shall notify the Secretary General of the Organization of American States of the beginning or end of any state of war in effect in its territory. Article 3 1. This Protocol shall be open for signature and ratification or accession by any State Party to the American Convention on Human Rights. 2. Ratification of this Protocol or accession thereto shall be made through the deposit of an instrument of ratification or accession with the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States. Article 4 This Protocol shall enter into force among the States that ratify or accede to it when they deposit their respective instruments of ratification or accession with the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States.

General Provisions
ARTICLE 1. — The High Contracting Parties undertake to respect
and to ensure respect for the present Convention in all
circumstances.
ART 2. — In addition to the provisions which shall be
implemented in peacetime, the present Convention shall apply to all
cases of declared war or of any other armed conflict which may arise
between two or more of the High Contracting Parties, even if the
state of war is not recognized by one of them.
The Convention shall also apply to all cases of partial or total
occupation of the territory of a High Contracting Party, even if the
said occupation meets with no armed resistance.
Although one of the Powers in conflict may not be a party to the
present Convention, the Powers who are parties thereto shall remain
bound by it in their mutual relations. They shall furthermore be
bound by the Convention in relation to the said Power, if the latter
accepts and applies the provisions thereof.
ART. 3. — In the case of armed conflict not of an international
character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting
Parties, each Party to the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a
minimum, the following provisions:
1) Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members
of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those
Respect for the Convention Application of the Convention Conflicts not of an international character
The marginal notes or titles of articles have been drafted by the Swiss Federal
Department of Foreign Affairs.
A. GENEVA CONVENTIONS AND ADDITIONAL PROTOCOLS
placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any
other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely,
without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion
or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria.
To this end, the following acts are and shall remain
prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with
respect to the above-mentioned persons:
a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all
kinds,mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;
b) taking of hostages;
c) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating
and degrading treatment;
d) the passing of sentences and the carrying out of
executions without previous judgment pronounced by a
regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial
guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by
civilized peoples.
2) The wounded and sick shall be collected and cared for.
An impartial humanitarian body, such as the International
Committee of the Red Cross, may offer its services to the Parties to
the conflict.
The Parties to the conflict should further endeavour to bring into
force, by means of special agreements, all or part of the other
provisions of the present Convention.
The application of the preceding provisions shall not affect the
legal status of the Parties to the conflict.
ART. 4. — Neutral Powers shall apply by analogy the provisions
of the present Convention to the wounded and sick, and to
members of the medical personnel and to chaplains of the armed
forces of the Parties to the conflict, received or interned in their
territory, as well as to dead persons found.
ART. 5. — For the protected persons who have fallen into the
hands of the enemy, the present Convention shall apply until their
final repatriation.
ART. 6. — In addition to the agreements expressly provided for in
Articles 10, 15, 23, 28, 31, 36, 37 and 52, the High Contracting Parties
may conclude other special agreements for all matters concerning
which they may deem it suitable to make separate provision. No
special agreement shall adversely affect the situation of the
wounded and sick, of members of the medical personnel or of
WOUNDED AND SICK 37
Application by neutral Powers Duration of application Special agreements chaplains, as defined by the present Convention, nor restrict the rights which it confers upon them.
Wounded and sick, as well as medical personnel and chaplains, shall
continue to have the benefit of such agreements as long as the
Convention is applicable to them, except where express provisions to
the contrary are contained in the aforesaid or in subsequent
agreements, or where more favourable measures have been taken with
regard to them by one or other of the Parties to the conflict.
ART. 7. — Wounded and sick, as well as members of the medical
personnel and chaplains,may in no circumstances renounce in part
or in entirety the rights secured to them by the present Convention,
and by the special agreements referred to in the foregoing Article, if
such there be.
ART. 8. — The present Convention shall be applied with the cooperation
and under the scrutiny of the Protecting Powers whose
duty it is to safeguard the interests of the Parties to the conflict. For
this purpose, the Protecting Powers may appoint, apart from their
diplomatic or consular staff, delegates from amongst their own
nationals or the nationals of other neutral Powers. The said
delegates shall be subject to the approval of the Power with which
they are to carry out their duties.
The Parties to the conflict shall facilitate, to the greatest extent
possible, the task of the representatives or delegates of the
Protecting Powers.
The representatives or delegates of the Protecting Powers shall not
in any case exceed their mission under the present Convention. They
shall, in particular, take account of the imperative necessities of
security of the State wherein they carry out their duties.Their activities
shall only be restricted, as an exceptional and temporary measure,
when this is rendered necessary by imperative military necessities.
ART. 9. — The provisions of the present Convention constitute no
obstacle to the humanitarian activities which the International
Committee of the Red Cross or any other impartial humanitarian
organization may, subject to the consent of the Parties to the conflict
concerned, undertake for the protection of wounded and sick,
medical personnel and chaplains, and for their relief.
ART. 10. — The High Contracting Parties may at any time agree
to entrust to an organization which offers all guarantees of
impartiality and efficacy the duties incumbent on the Protecting
Powers by virtue of the present Convention.
38 FIRST GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Nonrenunciation of rights Protecting Powers Activities of the International Committee of the Red Cross
Substitutes for Protecting Powers
When wounded and sick, or medical personnel and chaplains do
not benefit or cease to benefit, no matter for what reason, by the
activities of a Protecting Power or of an organization provided for in
the first paragraph above, the Detaining Power shall request a
neutral State, or such an organization, to undertake the functions
performed under the present Convention by a Protecting Power
designated by the Parties to a conflict.
If protection cannot be arranged accordingly, the Detaining
Power shall request or shall accept, subject to the provisions of this
Article, the offer of the services of a humanitarian organization,
such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, to assume the
humanitarian functions performed by Protecting Powers under the
present Convention.
Any neutral Power, or any organization invited by the Power
concerned or offering itself for these purposes, shall be required to
act with a sense of responsibility towards the Party to the conflict on
which persons protected by the present Convention depend, and
shall be required to furnish sufficient assurances that it is in a
position to undertake the appropriate functions and to discharge
them impartially.
No derogation from the preceding provisions shall be made by
special agreements between Powers one of which is restricted, even
temporarily, in its freedom to negotiate with the other Power or its
allies by reason of military events,more particularly where the whole,
or a substantial part, of the territory of the said Power is occupied.
Whenever in the present Convention mention is made of a
Protecting Power, such mention also applies to substitute
organizations in the sense of the present Article.
ART. 11. — In cases where they deem it advisable in the interest of
protected persons, particularly in cases of disagreement between the
Parties to the conflict as to the application or interpretation of the
provisions of the present Convention, the Protecting Powers shall
lend their good offices with a view to settling the disagreement.
For this purpose, each of the Protecting Powers may, either at the
invitation of one Party or on its own initiative, propose to the Parties
to the conflict a meeting of their representatives, in particular of the
authorities responsible for the wounded and sick,members of medical
personnel and chaplains, possibly on neutral territory suitably
chosen. The Parties to the conflict shall be bound to give effect to the
proposals made to them for this purpose. The Protecting Powers may,
if necessary, propose for approval by the Parties to the conflict a
person belonging to a neutral Power or delegated by the International
Committee of the Red Cross,who shall be invited to take part in such
a meeting.
WOUNDED AND SICK 39
Conciliation procedure
CHAPTER II
Wounded and Sick
ART. 12. — Members of the armed forces and other persons
mentioned in the following Article, who are wounded or sick, shall
be respected and protected in all circumstances.
They shall be treated humanely and cared for by the Party to the
conflict in whose power they may be, without any adverse
distinction founded on sex, race, nationality, religion, political
opinions, or any other similar criteria. Any attempts upon their
lives, or violence to their persons, shall be strictly prohibited; in
particular, they shall not be murdered or exterminated, subjected to
torture or to biological experiments; they shall not wilfully be left
without medical assistance and care, nor shall conditions exposing
them to contagion or infection be created.
Only urgent medical reasons will authorize priority in the order
of treatment to be administered.
Women shall be treated with all consideration due to their sex.
The Party to the conflict which is compelled to abandon
wounded or sick to the enemy shall, as far as military considerations
permit, leave with them a part of its medical personnel and material
to assist in their care.
ART. 13. — The Present Convention shall apply to the wounded
and sick belonging to the following categories:
1) Members of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict as well
as members of militias or volunteer corps forming part of
such armed forces.
2) Members of other militias and members of other volunteer
corps, including those of organized resistance movements,
belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside
their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided
that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized
resistance movements, fulfil the following conditions:
a) that of being commanded by a person responsible for his
subordinates;
b) that of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a
distance;
c) that of carrying arms openly;
d) that of conducting their operations in accordance with the
laws and customs of war.
40 FIRST GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Protection and care Protected persons
WOUNDED AND SICK 41
3) Members of regular armed forces who profess allegiance to a
Government or an authority not recognized by the Detaining
Power.
4) Persons who accompany the armed forces without actually
being members thereof, such as civilian members of military
aircraft crews, war correspondents, supply contractors,
members of labour units or of services responsible for the
welfare of the armed forces, provided that they have received
authorization from the armed forces which they accompany.
5) Members of crews including masters, pilots and apprentices
of the merchant marine and the crews of civil aircraft of the
Parties to the conflict,who do not benefit by more favourable
treatment under any other provisions in international law.
6) Inhabitants of a non-occupied territory who, on the approach
of the enemy, spontaneously take up arms to resist the invading
forces, without having had time to form themselves into
regular armed units, provided they carry arms openly and
respect the laws and customs of war.
ART. 14. — Subject to the provisions of Article 12, the wounded
and sick of a belligerent who fall into enemy hands shall be
prisoners of war, and the provisions of international law concerning
prisoners of war shall apply to them.
ART. 15. — At all times, and particularly after an engagement,
Parties to the conflict shall,without delay, take all possible measures
to search for and collect the wounded and sick, to protect them
against pillage and ill-treatment, to ensure their adequate care, and
to search for the dead and prevent their being despoiled.
Whenever circumstances permit, an armistice or a suspension of
fire shall be arranged, or local arrangements made, to permit the
removal, exchange and transport of the wounded left on the
battlefield.
Likewise, local arrangements may be concluded between Parties to
the conflict for the removal or exchange of wounded and sick from a
besieged or encircled area, and for the passage of medical and religious
personnel and equipment on their way to that area.
ART. 16. — Parties to the conflict shall record as soon as possible,
in respect of each wounded, sick or dead person of the adverse Party
falling into their hands, any particulars which may assist in his
identification.
These records should if possible include:
Status Search for casualties.
Evacuation Recording and forwarding of information
a) designation of the Power on which he depends;
b) army, regimental, personal or serial number;
c) surname;
d) first name or names;
e) date of birth;
f) any other particulars shown on his identity card or disc;
g) date and place of capture or death;
h) particulars concerning wounds or illness, or cause of death.
As soon as possible the above mentioned information shall be
forwarded to the Information Bureau described in Article 122 of the
Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners ofWar of
August 12, 1949,which shall transmit this information to the Power
on which these persons depend through the intermediary of the
Protecting Power and of the Central Prisoners ofWar Agency.
Parties to the conflict shall prepare and forward to each other
through the same bureau, certificates of death or duly authenticated
lists of the dead.They shall likewise collect and forward through the
same bureau one half of a double identity disc, last wills or other
documents of importance to the next of kin, money and in general
all articles of an intrinsic or sentimental value, which are found on
the dead. These articles, together with unidentified articles, shall be
sent in sealed packets, accompanied by statements giving all
particulars necessary for the identification of the deceased owners,
as well as by a complete list of the contents of the parcel.
ART. 17. — Parties to the conflict shall ensure that burial or
cremation of the dead, carried out individually as far as
circumstances permit, is preceded by a careful examination, if
possible by a medical examination, of the bodies, with a view to
confirming death, establishing identity and enabling a report to be
made.One half of the double identity disc, or the identity disc itself
if it is a single disc, should remain on the body.
Bodies shall not be cremated except for imperative reasons of
hygiene or for motives based on the religion of the deceased. In case
of cremation, the circumstances and reasons for cremation shall be
stated in detail in the death certificate or on the authenticated list of
the dead.
They shall further ensure that the dead are honourably interred,
if possible according to the rites of the religion to which they
belonged, that their graves are respected, grouped if possible
according to the nationality of the deceased, properly maintained
and marked so that they may always be found. For this purpose,
42 FIRST GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Prescriptions regarding the dead. Graves Registration Service
they shall organize at the commencement of hostilities an Official
Graves Registration Service, to allow subsequent exhumations and
to ensure the identification of bodies,whatever the site of the graves,
and the possible transportation to the home country. These
provisions shall likewise apply to the ashes, which shall be kept by
the Graves Registration Service until proper disposal thereof in
accordance with the wishes of the home country.
As soon as circumstances permit, and at latest at the end of
hostilities, these Services shall exchange, through the Information
Bureau mentioned in the second paragraph of Article 16, lists
showing the exact location and markings of the graves together with
particulars of the dead interred therein.
ART. 18. — The military authorities may appeal to the charity of the
inhabitants voluntarily to collect and care for,under their direction, the
wounded and sick, granting persons who have responded to this
appeal the necessary protection and facilities. Should the adverse Party
take or retake control of the area, it shall likewise grant these persons
the same protection and the same facilities.
The military authorities shall permit the inhabitants and relief
societies, even in invaded or occupied areas, spontaneously to
collect and care for wounded or sick of whatever nationality. The
civilian population shall respect these wounded and sick, and in
particular abstain from offering them violence.
No one may ever be molested or convicted for having nursed the
wounded or sick.
The provisions of the present Article do not relieve the occupying
Power of its obligation to give both physical and moral care to the
wounded and sick.
CHAPTER III
Medical Units and Establishments
ART. 19. — Fixed establishments and mobile medical units of the
Medical Service may in no circumstances be attacked, but shall at all
times be respected and protected by the Parties to the conflict.
Should they fall into the hands of the adverse Party, their personnel
shall be free to pursue their duties, as long as the capturing Power
has not itself ensured the necessary care of the wounded and sick
found in such establishments and units.
WOUNDED AND SICK 43
Role of the population Protection
The responsible authorities shall ensure that the said medical
establishments and units are, as far as possible, situated in such a
manner that attacks against military objectives cannot imperil their
safety.
ART. 20. — Hospital ships entitled to the protection of the
Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of
Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea
of August 12, 1949, shall not be attacked from the land.
ART. 21. — The protection to which fixed establishments and
mobile medical units of the Medical Service are entitled shall not
cease unless they are used to commit, outside their humanitarian
duties, acts harmful to the enemy. Protection may, however, cease only
after a due warning has been given, naming, in all appropriate cases, a
reasonable time limit and after such warning has remained unheeded.
ART. 22. — The following conditions shall not be considered as
depriving a medical unit or establishment of the protection
guaranteed by Article 19:
1. That the personnel of the unit or establishment are armed,
and that they use the arms in their own defence, or in that of
the wounded and sick in their charge.
2. That in the absence of armed orderlies, the unit or establishment
is protected by a picket or by sentries or by an escort.
3. That small arms and ammunition taken from the wounded
and sick and not yet handed to the proper service, are found
in the unit or establishment.
4. That personnel and material of the veterinary service are
found in the unit or establishment, without forming an
integral part thereof.
5. That the humanitarian activities of medical units and
establishments or of their personnel extend to the care of
civilian wounded or sick.
ART. 23. — In time of peace, the High Contracting Parties and,
after the outbreak of hostilities, the Parties to the conflict, may
establish in their own territory and, if the need arises, in occupied
areas, hospital zones and localities so organized as to protect the
wounded and sick from the effects of war, as well as the personnel
entrusted with the organization and administration of these zones
and localities and with the care of the persons therein assembled.
44 FIRST GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Hospital zones and localities Conditions not depriving medical units and establishments of protection Discontinuance of protection of medical establishments and units Protection of hospital ships
WOUNDED AND SICK 45
Upon the outbreak and during the course of hostilities, the
Parties concerned may conclude agreements on mutual recognition
of the hospital zones and localities they have created. They may for
this purpose implement the provisions of the Draft Agreement
annexed to the present Convention, with such amendments as they
may consider necessary.
The Protecting Powers and the International Committee of the
Red Cross are invited to lend their good offices in order to facilitate
the institution and recognition of these hospital zones and localities.
CHAPTER IV
Personnel
ART. 24. — Medical personnel exclusively engaged in the search
for, or the collection, transport or treatment of the wounded or sick,
or in the prevention of disease, staff exclusively engaged in the
administration of medical units and establishments, as well as
chaplains attached to the armed forces, shall be respected and
protected in all circumstances.
ART. 25. — Members of the armed forces specially trained for
employment, should the need arise, as hospital orderlies, nurses or
auxiliary stretcher-bearers, in the search for or the collection,
transport or treatment of the wounded and sick shall likewise be
respected and protected if they are carrying out these duties at the time
when they come into contact with the enemy or fall into his hands.
ART. 26. — The staff of National Red Cross Societies and that of
other Voluntary Aid Societies, duly recognized and authorized by
their Governments,who may be employed on the same duties as the
personnel named in Article 24, are placed on the same footing as the
personnel named in the said Article, provided that the staff of such
societies are subject to military laws and regulations.
Each High Contracting Party shall notify to the other, either in
time of peace or at the commencement of or during hostilities, but in
any case before actually employing them, the names of the societies
which it has authorized, under its responsibility, to render assistance
to the regular medical service of its armed forces.
Protection of permanent personnel Protection of auxiliary personnel
Personnel of aid societies
ART. 27. — A recognized Society of a neutral country can only
lend the assistance of its medical personnel and units to a Party to
the conflict with the previous consent of its own Government and
the authorization of the Party to the conflict concerned. That
personnel and those units shall be placed under the control of that
Party to the conflict.
The neutral Government shall notify this consent to the
adversary of the State which accepts such assistance. The Party to
the conflict who accepts such assistance is bound to notify the
adverse Party thereof before making any use of it.
In no circumstances shall this assistance be considered as
interference in the conflict.
The members of the personnel named in the first paragraph shall
be duly furnished with the identity cards provided for in Article 40
before leaving the neutral country to which they belong.
ART. 28. — Personnel designated in Articles 24 and 26 who fall
into the hands of the adverse Party, shall be retained only in so far as
the state of health, the spiritual needs and the number of prisoners
of war require.
Personnel thus retained shall not be deemed prisoners of war.
Nevertheless they shall at least benefit by all the provisions of the
Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners ofWar of
August 12, 1949. Within the framework of the military laws and
regulations of the Detaining Power, and under the authority of its
competent service, they shall continue to carry out, in accordance
with their professional ethics, their medical and spiritual duties on
behalf of prisoners of war, preferably those of the armed forces to
which they themselves belong. They shall further enjoy the
following facilities for carrying out their medical or spiritual duties:
a) They shall be authorized to visit periodically the prisoners of war
in labour units or hospitals outside the camp. The Detaining
Power shall put at their disposal the means of transport required.
b) In each camp the senior medical officer of the highest rank
shall be responsible to the military authorities of the camp for
the professional activity of the retained medical personnel. For
this purpose, from the outbreak of hostilities, the Parties to the
conflict shall agree regarding the corresponding seniority of
the ranks of their medical personnel, including those of the
societies designated in Article 26. In all questions arising out of
their duties, this medical officer, and the chaplains, shall have
direct access to the military and medical authorities of the
camp who shall grant them the facilities they may require for
correspondence relating to these questions.
46 FIRST GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Retained personnel Societies of neutral countries
WOUNDED AND SICK 47
c) Although retained personnel in a camp shall be subject to its
internal discipline, they shall not, however, be required to
perform any work outside their medical or religious duties.
During hostilities the Parties to the conflict shall make
arrangements for relieving where possible retained personnel, and
shall settle the procedure of such relief.
None of the preceding provisions shall relieve the Detaining
Power of the obligations imposed upon it with regard to the medical
and spiritual welfare of the prisoners of war.
ART. 29. — Members of the personnel designated in Article 25
who have fallen into the hands of the enemy, shall be prisoners of
war, but shall be employed on their medical duties in so far as the
need arises.
ART. 30. — Personnel whose retention is not indispensable by
virtue of the provisions of Article 28 shall be returned to the Party
to the conflict to whom they belong, as soon as a road is open for
their return and military requirements permit.
Pending their return, they shall not be deemed prisoners of war.
Nevertheless they shall at least benefit by all the provisions of the
Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners ofWar of
August 12, 1949. They shall continue to fulfil their duties under the
orders of the adverse Party and shall preferably be engaged in the
care of the wounded and sick of the Party to the conflict to which
they themselves belong.
On their departure, they shall take with them the effects, personal
belongings, valuables and instruments belonging to them.
ART. 31. — The selection of personnel for return under Article 30
shall be made irrespective of any consideration of race, religion or
political opinion, but preferably according to the chronological order
of their capture and their state of health.
As from the outbreak of hostilities, Parties to the conflict may
determine by special agreement the percentage of personnel to be
retained, in proportion to the number of prisoners and the
distribution of the said personnel in the camps.
ART. 32. — Persons designated in Article 27 who have fallen into
the hands of the adverse Party may not be detained.
Unless otherwise agreed, they shall have permission to return to
their country, or if this is not possible, to the territory of the Party to
the conflict in whose service they were, as soon as a route for their
return is open and military considerations permit.
Return of medical and religious personnel Selection of personnel for return
Return of personnel belonging to neutral countries
Status of auxiliary personnel
48 FIRST GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Pending their release, they shall continue their work under the
direction of the adverse Party; they shall preferably be engaged in
the care of the wounded and sick of the Party to the conflict in
whose service they were.
On their departure, they shall take with them their effects,
personal articles and valuables and the instruments, arms and if
possible the means of transport belonging to them.
The Parties to the conflict shall secure to this personnel, while in
their power, the same food, lodging, allowances and pay as are
granted to the corresponding personnel of their armed forces. The
food shall in any case be sufficient as regards quantity, quality and
variety to keep the said personnel in a normal state of health.
CHAPTER V
Buildings and Material
ART. 33. — The material of mobile medical units of the armed
forces which fall into the hands of the enemy, shall be reserved for
the care of wounded and sick.
The buildings, material and stores of fixed medical establishments
of the armed forces shall remain subject to the laws of war, but may
not be diverted from that purpose as long as they are required for the
care of wounded and sick.Nevertheless, the commanders of forces in
the field may make use of them, in case of urgent military necessity,
provided that they make previous arrangements for the welfare of the
wounded and sick who are nursed in them.
The material and stores defined in the present Article shall not be
intentionally destroyed.
ART. 34. — The real and personal property of aid societies which
are admitted to the privileges of the Convention shall be regarded as
private property.
The right of requisition recognized for belligerents by the laws
and customs of war shall not be exercised except in case of urgent
necessity, and only after the welfare of the wounded and sick has
been ensured.
Buildings and stores Property of aid societies
CHAPTER VI
Medical Transports
ART. 35. — Transports of wounded and sick or of medical
equipment shall be respected and protected in the same way as
mobile medical units.
Should such transports or vehicles fall into the hands of the
adverse Party, they shall be subject to the laws of war, on condition
that the Party to the conflict who captures them shall in all cases
ensure the care of the wounded and sick they contain.
The civilian personnel and all means of transport obtained by
requisition shall be subject to the general rules of international law.
ART. 36. — Medical aircraft, that is to say, aircraft exclusively
employed for the removal of wounded and sick and for the
transport of medical personnel and equipment, shall not be
attacked, but shall be respected by the belligerents, while flying at
heights, times and on routes specifically agreed upon between the
belligerents concerned.
They shall bear, clearly marked, the distinctive emblem
prescribed in Article 38, together with their national colours, on
their lower, upper and lateral surfaces. They shall be provided with
any other markings or means of identification that may be agreed
upon between the belligerents upon the outbreak or during the
course of hostilities.
Unless agreed otherwise, flights over enemy or enemy-occupied
territory are prohibited.
Medical aircraft shall obey every summons to land. In the event
of a landing thus imposed, the aircraft with its occupants may
continue its flight after examination, if any.
In the event of an involuntary landing in enemy or enemy occupied
territory, the wounded and sick, as well as the crew of the
aircraft shall be prisoners of war. The medical personnel shall be
treated according to Article 24 and the Articles following.
ART. 37. — Subject to the provisions of the second paragraph,
medical aircraft of Parties to the conflict may fly over the territory
of neutral Powers, land on it in case of necessity, or use it as a port
of call. They shall give the neutral Powers previous notice of their
passage over the said territory and obey all summons to alight, on
land or water.They will be immune from attack only when flying on
routes, at heights and at times specifically agreed upon between the
Parties to the conflict and the neutral Power concerned.
WOUNDED AND SICK 49
Flight over neutral countries.
Landing of wounded Protection Medical aircraft
The neutral Powers may, however, place conditions or
restrictions on the passage or landing of medical aircraft on their
territory. Such possible conditions or restrictions shall be applied
equally to all Parties to the conflict.
Unless agreed otherwise between the neutral Power and the Parties
to the conflict, the wounded and sick who are disembarked, with the
consent of the local authorities, on neutral territory by medical
aircraft, shall be detained by the neutral Power, where so required by
international law, in such a manner that they cannot again take part in
operations of war. The cost of their accommodation and internment
shall be borne by the Power on which they depend.
CHAPTER VII
The Distinctive Emblem
ART. 38. — As a compliment to Switzerland, the heraldic emblem
of the red cross on a white ground, formed by reversing the Federal
colours, is retained as the emblem and distinctive sign of the
Medical Service of armed forces.
Nevertheless, in the case of countries which already use as
emblem,in place of the red cross, the red crescent or the red lion and
sun1 on a white ground, those emblems are also recognized by the
terms of the present Convention.
ART. 39. — Under the direction of the competent military
authority, the emblem shall be displayed on the flags, armlets and on
all equipment employed in the Medical Service.
ART. 40. — The personnel designated in Article 24 and in
Articles 26 and 27 shall wear, affixed to the left arm, a water resistant
armlet bearing the distinctive emblem, issued and
stamped by the military authority.
Such personnel, in addition to wearing the identity disc mentioned
in Article 16, shall also carry a special identity card bearing the
50 FIRST GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Emblem of the Convention Use of the emblem Identification of medical and religious personnel
1 The Government of Iran, the only country using the red lion and sun emblem on a
white ground, advised Switzerland, depositary State of the Geneva Conventions, on
4 September 1980, of the adoption of the red crescent in lieu and place of its former
emblem.This was duly communicated by the depositary on 20 October 1980 to the States
party to the Geneva Conventions.
distinctive emblem.This card shall be water-resistant and of such size
that it can be carried in the pocket. It shall be worded in the national
language, shall mention at least the surname and first names, the date
of birth, the rank and the service number of the bearer, and shall state
in what capacity he is entitled to the protection of the present
Convention. The card shall bear the photograph of the owner and
also either his signature or his finger-prints or both. It shall be
embossed with the stamp of the military authority.
The identity card shall be uniform throughout the same armed
forces and, as far as possible, of a similar type in the armed forces of
the High Contracting Parties. The Parties to the conflict may be
guided by the model which is annexed, by way of example, to the
present Convention.They shall inform each other, at the outbreak of
hostilities, of the model they are using. Identity cards should be
made out, if possible, at least in duplicate,one copy being kept by the
home country.
In no circumstances may the said personnel be deprived of their
insignia or identity cards nor of the right to wear the armlet. In case
of loss, they shall be entitled to receive duplicates of the cards and to
have the insignia replaced.
ART. 41. — The personnel designated in Article 25 shall wear, but
only while carrying out medical duties, a white armlet bearing in its
centre the distinctive sign in miniature; the armlet shall be issued
and stamped by the military authority.
Military identity documents to be carried by this type of
personnel shall specify what special training they have received, the
temporary character of the duties they are engaged upon, and their
authority for wearing the armlet.
ART. 42. — The distinctive flag of the Convention shall be hoisted
only over such medical units and establishments as are entitled to be
respected under the Convention, and only with the consent of the
military authorities.
In mobile units, as in fixed establishments, it may be
accompanied by the national flag of the Party to the conflict to
which the unit or establishment belongs.
Nevertheless, medical units which have fallen into the hands of
the enemy shall not fly any flag other than that of the Convention.
Parties to the conflict shall take the necessary steps, in so far as
military considerations permit, to make the distinctive emblems
indicating medical units and establishments clearly visible to the
enemy land, air or naval forces, in order to obviate the possibility of
any hostile action.
WOUNDED AND SICK 51
Identification of auxiliary personnel
Marking of medical units and establishments
ART. 43. — The medical units belonging to neutral countries,
which may have been authorized to lend their services to a
belligerent under the conditions laid down in Article 27, shall fly,
along with the flag of the Convention, the national flag of that
belligerent,wherever the latter makes use of the faculty conferred on
him by Article 42.
Subject to orders to the contrary by the responsible military
authorities, they may, on all occasions, fly their national flag, even if
they fall into the hands of the adverse Party.
ART. 44. — With the exception of the cases mentioned in the
following paragraphs of the present Article, the emblem of the red
cross on a white ground and the words “Red Cross”, or “Geneva
Cross”may not be employed, either in time of peace or in time of
war, except to indicate or to protect the medical units and
establishments, the personnel and material protected by the present
Convention and other Conventions dealing with similar matters.
The same shall apply to the emblems mentioned in Article 38,
second paragraph, in respect of the countries which use them. The
National Red Cross Societies and other Societies designated in
Article 26 shall have the right to use the distinctive emblem
conferring the protection of the Convention only within the
framework of the present paragraph.
Furthermore, National Red Cross (Red Crescent, Red Lion and
Sun) Societies may, in time of peace, in accordance with their
national legislation, make use of the name and emblem of the Red
Cross for their other activities which are in conformity with the
principles laid down by the International Red Cross Conferences.
When those activities are carried out in time of war, the conditions
for the use of the emblem shall be such that it cannot be considered
as conferring the protection of the Convention; the emblem shall be
comparatively small in size and may not be placed on armlets or on
the roofs of buildings.
The international Red Cross organizations and their duly
authorized personnel shall be permitted to make use, at all times, of
the emblem of the red cross on a white ground.
As an exceptional measure, in conformity with national
legislation and with the express permission of one of the National
Red Cross (Red Crescent, Red Lion and Sun) Societies, the emblem
of the Convention may be employed in time of peace to identify
vehicles used as ambulances and to mark the position of aid stations
exclusively assigned to the purpose of giving free treatment to the
wounded or sick.
52 FIRST GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Marking of units of neutral countries Restrictions in the use of the emblem.
Exceptions
CHAPTER VIII
Execution of the Convention
ART. 45. — Each Party to the conflict, acting through its
commanders-in-chief, shall ensure the detailed execution of the
preceding Articles, and provide for unforeseen cases, in conformity
with the general principles of the present Convention.
ART. 46. — Reprisals against the wounded, sick, personnel,
buildings or equipment protected by the Convention are
prohibited.
ART. 47. — The High Contracting Parties undertake, in time of
peace as in time of war, to disseminate the text of the present
Convention as widely as possible in their respective countries, and, in
particular, to include the study thereof in their programmes of
military and, if possible, civil instruction, so that the principles
thereof may become known to the entire population, in particular to
the armed fighting forces, the medical personnel and the chaplains.
ART. 48. — The High Contracting Parties shall communicate to
one another through the Swiss Federal Council and, during
hostilities, through the Protecting Powers, the official translations of
the present Convention, as well as the laws and regulations which
they may adopt to ensure the application thereof.
CHAPTER IX
Repression of Abuses and Infractions
ART. 49. — The High Contracting Parties undertake to enact any
legislation necessary to provide effective penal sanctions for
persons committing, or ordering to be committed, any of the grave
breaches of the present Convention defined in the following Article.
Each High Contracting Party shall be under the obligation to
search for persons alleged to have committed, or to have ordered to
be committed, such grave breaches, and shall bring such persons,
regardless of their nationality, before its own courts. It may also, if it
prefers, and in accordance with the provisions of its own legislation,
WOUNDED AND SICK 53
Detailed execution.
Unforeseen cases
Prohibition of reprisals Dissemination of the Convention Translations.
Rules of application Penal sanctions
I. General observations hand such persons over for trial to another High Contracting Party
concerned, provided such High Contracting Party has made out a
prima facie case.
Each High Contracting Party shall take measures necessary for
the suppression of all acts contrary to the provisions of the present
Convention other than the grave breaches defined in the following
Article.
In all circumstances, the accused persons shall benefit by
safeguards of proper trial and defence, which shall not be less
favourable than those provided by Article 105 and those following
of the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of
War of August 12, 1949.
ART. 50. — Grave breaches to which the preceding Article relates
shall be those involving any of the following acts, if committed
against persons or property protected by the Convention: wilful
killing, torture or inhuman treatment, including biological
experiments, wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to
body or health, and extensive destruction and appropriation of
property, not justified by military necessity and carried out
unlawfully and wantonly.
ART. 51. — No High Contracting Party shall be allowed to
absolve itself or any other High Contracting Party of any liability
incurred by itself or by another High Contracting Party in respect of
breaches referred to in the preceding Article.
ART. 52. — At the request of a Party to the conflict, an enquiry
shall be instituted, in a manner to be decided between the interested
Parties, concerning any alleged violation of the Convention.
If agreement has not been reached concerning the procedure for
the enquiry, the Parties should agree on the choice of an umpire
who will decide upon the procedure to be followed.
Once the violation has been established, the Parties to the conflict
shall put an end to it and shall repress it with the least possible delay.
ART. 53. — The use by individuals, societies, firms or companies
either public or private, other than those entitled thereto under the
present Convention, of the emblem or the designation “Red Cross”
or “Geneva Cross”, or any sign or designation constituting an
imitation thereof, whatever the object of such use, and irrespective
of the date of its adoption, shall be prohibited at all times.
By reason of the tribute paid to Switzerland by the adoption of
the reversed Federal colours, and of the confusion which may arise
54 FIRST GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
II. Grave breaches
III. Responsibilities of the Contracting Parties Enquiry procedure
Misuse of the emblem between the arms of Switzerland and the distinctive emblem of the
Convention, the use by private individuals, societies or firms, of the
arms of the Swiss Confederation, or of marks constituting an
imitation thereof, whether as trademarks or commercial marks, or
as parts of such marks, or for a purpose contrary to commercial
honesty, or in circumstances capable of wounding Swiss national
sentiment, shall be prohibited at all times.
Nevertheless, such High Contracting Parties as were not party to
the Geneva Convention of July 27, 1929, may grant to prior users of
the emblems, designations, signs or marks designated in the first
paragraph, a time limit not to exceed three years from the coming
into force of the present Convention to discontinue such use,
provided that the said use shall not be such as would appear, in time
of war, to confer the protection of the Convention.
The prohibition laid down in the first paragraph of the present
Article shall also apply, without effect on any rights acquired
through prior use, to the emblems and marks mentioned in the
second paragraph of Article 38.
ART. 54. — The High Contracting Parties shall, if their legislation
is not already adequate, take measures necessary for the prevention
and repression, at all times, of the abuses referred to under
Article 53.
Final Provisions
ART. 55. — The present Convention is established in English and
in French. Both texts are equally authentic.
The Swiss Federal Council shall arrange for official translations
of the Convention to be made in the Russian and Spanish languages.
ART. 56. — The present Convention, which bears the date of this
day, is open to signature until February 12, 1950, in the name of the
Powers represented at the Conference which opened at Geneva on
April 21, 1949; furthermore, by Powers not represented at that
Conference but which are parties to the Geneva Conventions of
1864, 1906 or 1929 for the Relief of the Wounded and Sick in Armies
in the Field.
ART. 57. — The present Convention shall be ratified as soon as
possible and the ratifications shall be deposited at Berne.
A record shall be drawn up of the deposit of each instrument of
ratification and certified copies of this record shall be transmitted
WOUNDED AND SICK 55
Prevention of misuse Languages

Signature
Ratification
by the Swiss Federal Council to all the Powers in whose name the
Convention has been signed, or whose accession has been notified.
ART. 58. — The present Convention shall come into force six
months after not less than two instruments of ratification have been
deposited.
Thereafter, it shall come into force for each High Contracting
Party six months after the deposit of the instrument of ratification.
ART. 59. — The present Convention replaces the Conventions of
August 22, 1864, July 6, 1906 and July 27, 1929, in relations between
the High Contracting Parties.
ART. 60. — From the date of its coming into force, it shall be open
to any Power in whose name the present Convention has not been
signed, to accede to this Convention.
ART. 61. — Accessions shall be notified in writing to the Swiss
Federal Council, and shall take effect six months after the date on
which they are received.
The Swiss Federal Council shall communicate the accessions to
all the Powers in whose name the Convention has been signed, or
whose accession has been notified.
ART. 62. — The situations provided for in Articles 2 and 3 shall
give immediate effect to ratifications deposited and accessions
notified by the Parties to the conflict before or after the beginning of
hostilities or occupation. The Swiss Federal Council shall
communicate by the quickest method any ratifications or accessions
received from Parties to the conflict.
ART. 63. — Each of the High Contracting Parties shall be at
liberty to denounce the present Convention.
The denunciation shall be notified in writing to the Swiss Federal
Council, which shall transmit it to the Governments of all the High
Contracting Parties.
The denunciation shall take effect one year after the notification
thereof has been made to the Swiss Federal Council. However, a
denunciation of which notification has been made at a time when
the denouncing Power is involved in a conflict shall not take effect
until peace has been concluded, and until after operations
connected with the release and repatriation of the persons protected
by the present Convention have been terminated.
56 FIRST GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Coming into force Relation to previous Conventions Accession Notification of accessions Immediate
effect

Denunciation
The denunciation shall have effect only in respect of the
denouncing Power. It shall in no way impair the obligations which
the Parties to the conflict shall remain bound to fulfil by virtue of
the principles of the law of nations, as they result from the usages
established among civilized peoples, from the laws of humanity and
the dictates of the public conscience.
ART. 64. — The Swiss Federal Council shall register the present
Convention with the Secretariat of the United Nations. The Swiss
Federal Council shall also inform the Secretariat of the United
Nations of all ratifications, accessions and denunciations received
by it with respect to the present Convention.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF the undersigned, having deposited their
respective full powers, have signed the present Convention.
DONE at Geneva this twelfth day of August 1949, in the English
and French languages. The original shall be deposited in the
Archives of the Swiss Confederation. The Swiss Federal Council
shall transmit certified copies thereof to each of the signatory and
acceding States.
WOUNDED AND SICK 57
Registration with the United Nations
ANNEX I
DRAFT AGREEMENT RELATING TO HOSPITAL ZONES
AND LOCALITIES
ARTICLE 1. — Hospital zones shall be strictly reserved for the persons named in
Article 23 of the Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the
Wounded and Sick in the Armed Forces in the Field of August 12, 1949, and for the
personnel entrusted with the organization and administration of these zones and
localities, and with the care of the persons therein assembled.
Nevertheless, persons whose permanent residence is within such zones shall
have the right to stay there.
ART. 2. — No persons residing, in whatever capacity, in a hospital zone shall
perform any work, either within or without the zone, directly connected with
military operations or the production of war material.
ART. 3. — The Power establishing a hospital zone shall take all necessary
measures to prohibit access to all persons who have no right of residence or entry
therein.
ART. 4.— Hospital zones shall fulfil the following conditions:
a) They shall comprise only a small part of the territory governed by the Power
which has established them.
b) They shall be thinly populated in relation to the possibilities of
accommodation.
c) They shall be far removed and free from all military objectives, or large
industrial or administrative establishments.
d) They shall not be situated in areas which, according to every probability,may
become important for the conduct of the war.
ART. 5.— Hospital zones shall be subject to the following obligations:
a) The lines of communication and means of transport which they possess shall
not be used for the transport of military personnel or material, even in transit.
b) They shall in no case be defended by military means.
ART. 6.— Hospital zones shall be marked by means of red crosses (red crescents,
red lions and suns) on a white background placed on the outer precincts and on the
buildings. They may be similarly marked at night by means of appropriate
illumination.
ART. 7. — The Powers shall communicate to all the High Contracting Parties in
peacetime or on the outbreak of hostilities, a list of the hospital zones in the
territories governed by them. They shall also give notice of any new zones set up
during hostilities.
As soon as the adverse Party has received the above-mentioned notification, the
zone shall be regularly constituted.
If, however, the adverse Party considers that the conditions of the present
agreement have not been fulfilled, it may refuse to recognize the zone by giving
immediate notice thereof to the Party responsible for the said zone, or may make
its recognition of such zone dependent upon the institution of the control provided
for in Article 8.
ART. 8. — Any Power having recognized one or several hospital zones instituted
by the adverse Party shall be entitled to demand control by one or more Special
Commissions, for the purpose of ascertaining if the zones fulfil the conditions and
obligations stipulated in the present agreement.
For this purpose, the members of the Special Commissions shall at all times have
free access to the various zones and may even reside there permanently. They shall
be given all facilities for their duties of inspection.
ART. 9. — Should the Special Commissions note any facts which they consider
contrary to the stipulations of the present agreement, they shall at once draw the
attention of the Power governing the said zone to these facts, and shall fix a time
limit of five days within which the matter should be rectified.They shall duly notify
the Power who has recognized the zone.
If, when the time limit has expired, the Power governing the zone has not
complied with the warning, the adverse Party may declare that it is no longer bound
by the present agreement in respect of the said zone.
ART. 10. — Any Power setting up one or more hospital zones and localities, and
the adverse Parties to whom their existence has been notified, shall nominate or
have nominated by neutral Powers, the persons who shall be members of the
Special Commissions mentioned in Articles 8 and 9.
ART. 11. — In no circumstances may hospital zones be the object of attack.They
shall be protected and respected at all times by the Parties to the conflict.
ART. 12. — In the case of occupation of a territory, the hospital zones therein
shall continue to be respected and utilized as such.
Their purpose may,however,be modified by the Occupying Power,on condition
that all measures are taken to ensure the safety of the persons accommodated.
ART. 13. — The present agreement shall also apply to localities which the Powers
may utilize for the same purposes as hospital zones.

General Provisions
ARTICLE 1.— The High Contracting Parties undertake to respect
and to ensure respect for the present Convention in all
circumstances.
ART. 2. — In addition to the provisions which shall be
implemented in peacetime, the present Convention shall apply to all
cases of declared war or of any other armed conflict which may
arise between two or more of the High Contracting Parties, even if
the state of war is not recognized by one of them.
The Convention shall also apply to all cases of partial or total
occupation of the territory of a High Contracting Party, even if the
said occupation meets with no armed resistance.
Although one of the Powers in conflict may not be a party to the
present Convention, the Powers who are parties thereto shall
remain bound by it in their mutual relations. They shall
furthermore be bound by the Convention in relation to the said
Power, if the latter accepts and applies the provisions thereof.
ART. 3. — In the case of armed conflict not of an international
character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting
Parties, each Party to the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a
minimum, the following provisions:
1) Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including
members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and
Respect for the Convention
Application of the Convention
Conflicts not of an international character
1 The marginal notes or titles of articles have been drafted by the Swiss Federal
Department of Foreign Affairs.
those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention,
or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated
humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race,
colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other
similar criteria.
To this end, the following acts are and shall remain prohibited
at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to
the above-mentioned persons:
a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all
kinds,mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;
b) taking of hostages;
c) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating
and degrading treatment;
d) the passing of sentences and the carrying out of
executions without previous judgment pronounced by a
regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial
guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by
civilized peoples.
2) The wounded, sick and shipwrecked shall be collected and
cared for.
An impartial humanitarian body, such as the International
Committee of the Red Cross, may offer its services to the Parties to
the conflict.
The Parties to the conflict should further endeavour to bring into
force, by means of special agreements, all or part of the other
provisions of the present Convention.
The application of the preceding provisions shall not affect the
legal status of the Parties to the conflict.
ART. 4. — In case of hostilities between land and naval forces of
Parties to the conflict, the provisions of the present Convention shall
apply only to forces on board ship.
Forces put ashore shall immediately become subject to the
provisions of the Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the
Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field of
August 12, 1949.
ART. 5. — Neutral Powers shall apply by analogy the provisions
of the present Convention to the wounded, sick and shipwrecked,
and to members of the medical personnel and to chaplains of the
armed forces of the Parties to the conflict received or interned in
their territory, as well as to dead persons found.
WOUNDED, SICK AND SHIPWRECKED 65
Field of application Application by neutral Powers
ART. 6. — In addition to the agreements expressly provided for in
Articles 10, 18, 31, 38, 39, 40, 43 and 53, the High Contracting
Parties may conclude other special agreements for all matters
concerning which they may deem it suitable to make separate
provision. No special agreement shall adversely affect the situation
of wounded, sick and shipwrecked persons, of members of the
medical personnel or of chaplains, as defined by the present
Convention, nor restrict the rights which it confers upon them.
Wounded, sick, and shipwrecked persons, as well as medical
personnel and chaplains, shall continue to have the benefit of such
agreements as long as the Convention is applicable to them, except
where express provisions to the contrary are contained in the
aforesaid or in subsequent agreements, or where more favourable
measures have been taken with regard to them by one or other of
the Parties to the conflict.
ART. 7. — Wounded, sick and shipwrecked persons, as well as
members of the medical personnel and chaplains, may in no
circumstances renounce in part or in entirety the rights secured to
them by the present Convention, and by the special agreements
referred to in the foregoing Article, if such there be.
ART. 8. — The present Convention shall be applied with the cooperation
and under the scrutiny of the Protecting Powers whose
duty it is to safeguard the interests of the Parties to the conflict. For
this purpose, the Protecting Powers may appoint, apart from their
diplomatic or consular staff, delegates from amongst their own
nationals or the nationals of other neutral Powers. The said
delegates shall be subject to the approval of the Power with which
they are to carry out their duties.
The Parties to the conflict shall facilitate to the greatest extent
possible the task of the representatives or delegates of the Protecting
Powers.
The representatives or delegates of the Protecting Powers shall not
in any case exceed their mission under the present Convention. They
shall, in particular, take account of the imperative necessities of
security of the State wherein they carry out their duties.Their activities
shall only be restricted as an exceptional and temporary measure when
this is rendered necessary by imperative military necessities.
ART. 9. — The provisions of the present Convention constitute
no obstacle to the humanitarian activities which the International
Committee of the Red Cross or any other impartial humanitarian
organization may, subject to the consent of the Parties to the conflict
66 SECOND GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Special agreements Nonrenunciation of rights Protecting Powers Activities of the International
Committee of the Red Cross concerned, undertake for the protection of wounded, sick and
shipwrecked persons, medical personnel and chaplains, and for their relief.
ART. 10. — The High Contracting Parties may at any time agree
to entrust to an organization which offers all guarantees of
impartiality and efficacy the duties incumbent on the Protecting
Powers by virtue of the present Convention.
When wounded, sick and shipwrecked,or medical personnel and
chaplains do not benefit or cease to benefit, no matter for what
reason, by the activities of a Protecting Power or of an organization
provided for in the first paragraph above, the Detaining Power shall
request a neutral State, or such an organization, to undertake the
functions performed under the present Convention by a Protecting
Power designated by the Parties to a conflict.
If protection cannot be arranged accordingly, the Detaining
Power shall request or shall accept, subject to the provisions of this
Article, the offer of the services of a humanitarian organization,
such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, to assume the
humanitarian functions performed by Protecting Powers under the
present Convention.
Any neutral Power, or any organization invited by the Power
concerned or offering itself for these purposes, shall be required to
act with a sense of responsibility towards the Party to the conflict on
which persons protected by the present Convention depend, and
shall be required to furnish sufficient assurances that it is in a
position to undertake the appropriate functions and to discharge
them impartially.
No derogation from the preceding provisions shall be made by
special agreements between Powers one of which is restricted, even
temporarily, in its freedom to negotiate with the other Power or its
allies by reason of military events,more particularly where the whole,
or a substantial part, of the territory of the said Power is occupied.
Whenever, in the present Convention, mention is made of a
Protecting Power, such mention also applies to substitute
organizations in the sense of the present Article.
ART. 11. — In cases where they deem it advisable in the interest
of protected persons, particularly in cases of disagreement between
the Parties to the conflict as to the application or interpretation of
the provisions of the present Convention, the Protecting Powers
shall lend their good offices with a view to settling the disagreement.
For this purpose, each of the Protecting Powers may, either at the
invitation of one Party or on its own initiative, propose to the
WOUNDED, SICK AND SHIPWRECKED 67
Substitutes for Protecting Powers Conciliation procedure
Parties to the conflict a meeting of their representatives, in
particular of the authorities responsible for the wounded, sick and
shipwrecked, medical personnel and chaplains, possibly on neutral
territory suitably chosen. The Parties to the conflict shall be bound
to give effect to the proposals made to them for this purpose. The
Protecting Powers may, if necessary, propose for approval by the
Parties to the conflict, a person belonging to a neutral Power or
delegated by the International Committee of the Red Cross, who
shall be invited to take part in such a meeting.
CHAPTER II
Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked
ART. 12. — Members of the armed forces and other persons
mentioned in the following Article, who are at sea and who are
wounded, sick or shipwrecked, shall be respected and protected in
all circumstances, it being understood that the term “shipwreck”
means shipwreck from any cause and includes forced landings at
sea by or from aircraft.
Such persons shall be treated humanely and cared for by the
Parties to the conflict in whose power they may be, without any
adverse distinction founded on sex, race, nationality, religion,
political opinions, or any other similar criteria.Any attempts upon
their lives, or violence to their persons, shall be strictly prohibited;
in particular, they shall not be murdered or exterminated, subjected
to torture or to biological experiments; they shall not wilfully be left
without medical assistance and care, nor shall conditions exposing
them to contagion or infection be created.
Only urgent medical reasons will authorize priority in the order
of treatment to be administered.
Women shall be treated with all consideration due to their sex.
ART. 13. — The present Convention shall apply to the wounded,
sick and shipwrecked at sea belonging to the following categories:
1) Members of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict, as well
as members of militias or volunteer corps forming part of
such armed forces.
2) Members of other militias and members of other volunteer
corps, including those of organized resistance movements,
68 SECOND GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Protection and care Protected persons
belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside
their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided
that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized
resistance movements, fulfil the following conditions:
a) that of being commanded by a person responsible for his
subordinates;
b) that of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a
distance;
c) that of carrying arms openly;
d) that of conducting their operations in accordance with the
laws and customs of war.
3) Members of regular armed forces who profess allegiance to a
Government or an authority not recognized by the Detaining
Power.
4) Persons who accompany the armed forces without actually
being members thereof, such as civilian members of military
aircraft crews, war correspondents, supply contractors,
members of labour units or of services responsible for the
welfare of the armed forces, provided that they have received
authorization from the armed forces which they accompany.
5) Members of crews, including masters, pilots and apprentices
of the merchant marine and the crews of civil aircraft of the
Parties to the conflict,who do not benefit by more favourable
treatment under any other provisions of international law.
6) Inhabitants of a non-occupied territory who, on the approach
of the enemy, spontaneously take up arms to resist the
invading forces, without having had time to form themselves
into regular armed units, provided they carry arms openly
and respect the laws and customs of war.
ART. 14. — All warships of a belligerent Party shall have the right
to demand that the wounded, sick or shipwrecked on board military
hospital ships, and hospital ships belonging to relief societies or to
private individuals, as well as merchant vessels, yachts and other craft
shall be surrendered, whatever their nationality, provided that the
wounded and sick are in a fit state to be moved and that the warship
can provide adequate facilities for necessary medical treatment.
ART. 15.— If wounded, sick or shipwrecked persons are taken on
board a neutral warship or a neutral military aircraft, it shall be
ensured, where so required by international law, that they can take
no further part in operations of war.
WOUNDED, SICK AND SHIPWRECKED 69
Handing over to a belligerent Wounded taken on board a neutral warship
ART. 16. — Subject to the provisions of Article 12, the wounded,
sick and shipwrecked of a belligerent who fall into enemy hands
shall be prisoners of war, and the provisions of international law
concerning prisoners of war shall apply to them. The captor may
decide, according to circumstances, whether it is expedient to hold
them, or to convey them to a port in the captor’s own country, to a
neutral port or even to a port in enemy territory. In the last case,
prisoners of war thus returned to their home country may not serve
for the duration of the war.
ART. 17. — Wounded, sick or shipwrecked persons who are
landed in neutral ports with the consent of the local authorities,
shall, failing arrangements to the contrary between the neutral and
the belligerent Powers, be so guarded by the neutral Power,where so
required by international law, that the said persons cannot again
take part in operations of war.
The costs of hospital accommodation and internment shall be
borne by the Power on whom the wounded, sick or shipwrecked
persons depend.
ART. 18. — After each engagement, Parties to the conflict shall,
without delay, take all possible measures to search for and collect the
shipwrecked,wounded and sick, to protect them against pillage and
ill-treatment, to ensure their adequate care, and to search for the
dead and prevent their being despoiled.
Whenever circumstances permit, the Parties to the conflict shall
conclude local arrangements for the removal of the wounded and
sick by sea from a besieged or encircled area and for the passage of
medical and religious personnel and equipment on their way to that
area.
ART. 19. — The Parties to the conflict shall record as soon as
possible, in respect of each shipwrecked, wounded, sick or dead
person of the adverse Party falling into their hands, any particulars
which may assist in his identification. These records should if
possible include:
a) designation of the Power on which he depends;
b) army, regimental, personal or serial number;
c) surname;
d) first name or names;
e) date of birth;
f) any other particulars shown on his identity card or disc;
70 SECOND GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Wounded falling into enemy hands Wounded landed in a neutral port Search for casualties after an
engagement Recording and forwarding of information
g) date and place of capture or death;
h) particulars concerning wounds or illness, or cause of death.
As soon as possible the above-mentioned information shall be
forwarded to the Information Bureau described in Article 122 of the
Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War of
August 12, 1949,which shall transmit this information to the Power
on which these persons depend through the intermediary of the
Protecting Power and of the Central Prisoners of War Agency.
Parties to the conflict shall prepare and forward to each other
through the same bureau, certificates of death or duly authenticated
lists of the dead.They shall likewise collect and forward through the
same bureau one half of the double identity disc, or the identity disc
itself if it is a single disc, last wills or other documents of importance
to the next of kin,money and in general all articles of an intrinsic or
sentimental value, which are found on the dead. These articles
together with unidentified articles, shall be sent in sealed packets,
accompanied by statements giving all particulars necessary for the
identification of the deceased owners, as well as by a complete list of
the contents of the parcel.
ART. 20. — Parties to the conflict shall ensure that burial at sea of
the dead, carried out individually as far as circumstances permit, is
preceded by a careful examination, if possible by a medical
examination, of the bodies, with a view to confirming death,
establishing identity and enabling a report to be made. Where a
double identity disc is used, one half of the disc should remain on
the body.
If dead persons are landed, the provisions of the Geneva
Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded
and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field of August 12, 1949, shall be
applicable.
ART. 21. — The Parties to the conflict may appeal to the charity
of commanders of neutral merchant vessels, yachts or other craft, to
take on board and care for wounded, sick or shipwrecked persons,
and to collect the dead.
Vessels of any kind responding to this appeal, and those having of
their own accord collected wounded, sick or shipwrecked persons,
shall enjoy special protection and facilities to carry out such
assistance.
They may, in no case, be captured on account of any such
transport; but, in the absence of any promise to the contrary, they
shall remain liable to capture for any violations of neutrality they
may have committed.
WOUNDED, SICK AND SHIPWRECKED 71
Prescriptions regarding the dead Appeals to neutral vessels
CHAPTER III
Hospital Ships
ART. 22. — Military hospital ships, that is to say, ships built or
equipped by the Powers specially and solely with a view to assisting
the wounded, sick and shipwrecked, to treating them and to
transporting them, may in no circumstances be attacked or
captured, but shall at all times be respected and protected, on
condition that their names and descriptions have been notified to
the Parties to the conflict ten days before those ships are employed.
The characteristics which must appear in the notification shall
include registered gross tonnage, the length from stem to stern and
the number of masts and funnels.
ART. 23. — Establishments ashore entitled to the protection of
the Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of
the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field of August 12,
1949, shall be protected from bombardment or attack from the sea.
ART. 24. — Hospital ships utilized by National Red Cross
Societies, by officially recognized relief societies or by private
persons shall have the same protection as military hospital ships
and shall be exempt from capture, if the Party to the conflict on
which they depend has given them an official commission and in so
far as the provisions of Article 22 concerning notification have been
complied with.
These ships must be provided with certificates from the
responsible authorities, stating that the vessels have been under
their control while fitting out and on departure.
ART. 25. — Hospital ships utilized by National Red Cross
Societies, officially recognized relief societies, or private persons of
neutral countries shall have the same protection as military hospital
ships and shall be exempt from capture, on condition that they have
placed themselves under the control of one of the Parties to the
conflict, with the previous consent of their own governments and
with the authorization of the Party to the conflict concerned, in so
far as the provisions of Article 22 concerning notification have been
complied with.
ART. 26. — The protection mentioned in Articles 22, 24 and 25
shall apply to hospital ships of any tonnage and to their lifeboats,
wherever they are operating. Nevertheless, to ensure the maximum
72 SECOND GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Notification and protection of military hospital ships
Protection of medical establishments ashore Hospital ships utilized by relief societies and private individuals of
I. Parties to the conflict
II. Neutral countries Tonnage
comfort and security, the Parties to the conflict shall endeavour to
utilize, for the transport of wounded, sick and shipwrecked over
long distances and on the high seas,only hospital ships of over 2,000
tons gross.
ART. 27. — Under the same conditions as those provided for in
Articles 22 and 24, small craft employed by the State or by the officially
recognized lifeboat institutions for coastal rescue operations, shall also
be respected and protected, so far as operational requirements permit.
The same shall apply so far as possible to fixed coastal installations
used exclusively by these craft for their humanitarian missions.
ART. 28. — Should fighting occur on board a warship, the sickbays
shall be respected and spared as far as possible. Sick-bays and
their equipment shall remain subject to the laws of warfare, but may
not be diverted from their purpose so long as they are required for
the wounded and sick. Nevertheless, the commander into whose
power they have fallen may, after ensuring the proper care of the
wounded and sick who are accommodated therein, apply them to
other purposes in case of urgent military necessity.
ART. 29. — Any hospital ship in a port which falls into the hands
of the enemy shall be authorized to leave the said port.
ART. 30. — The vessels described in Articles 22, 24, 25 and 27
shall afford relief and assistance to the wounded, sick and
shipwrecked without distinction of nationality.
The High Contracting Parties undertake not to use these vessels
for any military purpose.
Such vessels shall in no wise hamper the movements of the
combatants.
During and after an engagement, they will act at their own risk.
ART. 31. — The Parties to the conflict shall have the right to
control and search the vessels mentioned in Articles 22, 24, 25 and
27. They can refuse assistance from these vessels, order them off,
make them take a certain course, control the use of their wireless
and other means of communication, and even detain them for a
period not exceeding seven days from the time of interception, if the
gravity of the circumstances so requires.
They may put a commissioner temporarily on board whose sole
task shall be to see that orders given in virtue of the provisions of the
preceding paragraph are carried out.
WOUNDED, SICK AND SHIPWRECKED 73
Coastal rescue craft Protection of sick-bays Hospital ships in occupied ports Employment of hospital
ships and small craft
Right of control and search
As far as possible, the Parties to the conflict shall enter in the log
of the hospital ship, in a language he can understand, the orders
they have given the captain of the vessel.
Parties to the conflict may, either unilaterally or by particular
agreements, put on board their ships neutral observers who shall
verify the strict observation of the provisions contained in the
present Convention.
ART. 32. — Vessels described in Articles 22, 24, 25 and 27 are not
classed as warships as regards their stay in a neutral port.
ART. 33. — Merchant vessels which have been transformed into
hospital ships cannot be put to any other use throughout the
duration of hostilities.
ART. 34. — The protection to which hospital ships and sick-bays
are entitled shall not cease unless they are used to commit, outside
their humanitarian duties, acts harmful to the enemy. Protection
may, however, cease only after due warning has been given, naming
in all appropriate cases a reasonable time limit, and after such
warning has remained unheeded.
In particular, hospital ships may not possess or use a secret code
for their wireless or other means of communication.
ART. 35.— The following conditions shall not be considered as
depriving hospital ships or sick-bays of vessels of the protection due
to them:
1) The fact that the crews of ships or sick-bays are armed for the
maintenance of order, for their own defence or that of the sick
and wounded.
2) The presence on board of apparatus exclusively intended to
facilitate navigation or communication.
3) The discovery on board hospital ships or in sick-bays of
portable arms and ammunition taken from the wounded, sick
and shipwrecked and not yet handed to the proper service.
4) The fact that the humanitarian activities of hospital ships and
sick-bays of vessels or of the crews extend to the care of
wounded, sick or shipwrecked civilians.
5) The transport of equipment and of personnel intended
exclusively for medical duties, over and above the normal
requirements.
74 SECOND GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Stay in a neutral port Converted merchant vessels
Discontinuance of protection
Conditions not depriving hospital ships of protection
CHAPTER IV
Personnel
ART. 36. — The religious, medical and hospital personnel of
hospital ships and their crews shall be respected and protected; they
may not be captured during the time they are in the service of the
hospital ship, whether or not there are wounded and sick on board.
ART. 37. — The religious, medical and hospital personnel
assigned to the medical or spiritual care of the persons designated
in Articles 12 and 13 shall, if they fall into the hands of the enemy,
be respected and protected; they may continue to carry out their
duties as long as this is necessary for the care of the wounded and
sick.They shall afterwards be sent back as soon as the Commanderin-
Chief, under whose authority they are, considers it practicable.
They may take with them, on leaving the ship, their personal
property.
If, however, it proves necessary to retain some of this personnel
owing to the medical or spiritual needs of prisoners of war,
everything possible shall be done for their earliest possible landing.
Retained personnel shall be subject,on landing, to the provisions of
the Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the
Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field of August 12, 1949.
CHAPTER V
Medical Transports
ART. 38. — Ships chartered for that purpose shall be authorized
to transport equipment exclusively intended for the treatment of
wounded and sick members of armed forces or for the prevention of
disease, provided that the particulars regarding their voyage have
been notified to the adverse Power and approved by the latter. The
adverse Power shall preserve the right to board the carrier ships, but
not to capture them or to seize the equipment carried.
By agreement amongst the Parties to the conflict, neutral
observers may be placed on board such ships to verify the
equipment carried. For this purpose, free access to the equipment
shall be given.
WOUNDED, SICK AND SHIPWRECKED 75
Protection of the personnel of hospital ships
Medical and religious personnel of other ships
Ships used for the conveyance of medical equipment
ART. 39. — Medical aircraft, that is to say, aircraft exclusively
employed for the removal of wounded, sick and shipwrecked, and
for the transport of medical personnel and equipment, may not be
the object of attack, but shall be respected by the Parties to the
conflict, while flying at heights, at times and on routes specifically
agreed upon between the Parties to the conflict concerned.
They shall be clearly marked with the distinctive emblem
prescribed in Article 41, together with their national colours, on
their lower, upper and lateral surfaces. They shall be provided with
any other markings or means of identification which may be agreed
upon between the Parties to the conflict upon the outbreak or
during the course of hostilities.
Unless agreed otherwise, flights over enemy or enemy-occupied
territory are prohibited.
Medical aircraft shall obey every summons to alight on land or
water. In the event of having thus to alight, the aircraft with its
occupants may continue its flight after examination, if any.
In the event of alighting involuntarily on land or water in enemy
or enemy-occupied territory, the wounded, sick and shipwrecked,
as well as the crew of the aircraft shall be prisoners of war. The
medical personnel shall be treated according to Articles 36 and 37.
ART. 40. — Subject to the provisions of the second paragraph,
medical aircraft of Parties to the conflict may fly over the territory
of neutral Powers, land thereon in case of necessity, or use it as a
port of call. They shall give neutral Powers prior notice of their
passage over the said territory, and obey every summons to alight,
on land or water.They will be immune from attack only when flying
on routes, at heights and at times specifically agreed upon between
the Parties to the conflict and the neutral Power concerned.
The neutral Powers may, however, place conditions or
restrictions on the passage or landing of medical aircraft on their
territory. Such possible conditions or restrictions shall be applied
equally to all Parties to the conflict.
Unless otherwise agreed between the neutral Powers and the
Parties to the conflict, the wounded, sick or shipwrecked who are
disembarked with the consent of the local authorities on neutral
territory by medical aircraft shall be detained by the neutral Power,
where so required by international law, in such a manner that they
cannot again take part in operations of war. The cost of their
accommodation and internment shall be borne by the Power on
which they depend.
76 SECOND GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Medical aircraft Flight over neutral countries.
Landing of wounded
CHAPTER VI
The Distinctive Emblem
ART. 41. — Under the direction of the competent military
authority, the emblem of the red cross on a white ground shall be
displayed on the flags, armlets and on all equipment employed in
the Medical Service.
Nevertheless, in the case of countries which already use as
emblem,in place of the red cross, the red crescent or the red lion and
sun on a white ground, these emblems are also recognized by the
terms of the present Convention.
ART. 42. — The personnel designated in Articles 36 and 37 shall
wear, affixed to the left arm, a water-resistant armlet bearing the
distinctive emblem, issued and stamped by the military authority.
Such personnel, in addition to wearing the identity disc
mentioned in Article 19, shall also carry a special identity card
bearing the distinctive emblem. This card shall be water-resistant
and of such size that it can be carried in the pocket. It shall be
worded in the national language, shall mention at least the surname
and first names, the date of birth, the rank and the service number
of the bearer, and shall state in what capacity he is entitled to the
protection of the present Convention. The card shall bear the
photograph of the owner and also either his signature or his fingerprints
or both. It shall be embossed with the stamp of the military
authority.
The identity card shall be uniform throughout the same armed
forces and, as far as possible, of a similar type in the armed forces of
the High Contracting Parties. The Parties to the conflict may be
guided by the model which is annexed, by way of example, to the
present Convention.They shall inform each other, at the outbreak of
hostilities, of the model they are using. Identity cards should be
made out, if possible, at least in duplicate,one copy being kept by the
home country.
In no circumstances may the said personnel be deprived of their
insignia or identity cards nor of the right to wear the armlet. In cases
of loss they shall be entitled to receive duplicates of the cards and to
have the insignia replaced.
ART. 43. — The ships designated in Articles 22, 24, 25 and 27 shall
be distinctively marked as follows:
a) All exterior surfaces shall be white.
WOUNDED, SICK AND SHIPWRECKED 77
Use of the emblem Identification of medical and religious personnel
Marking of hospital ships and small craft
b) One or more dark red crosses, as large as possible, shall be
painted and displayed on each side of the hull and on the horizontal
surfaces, so placed as to afford the greatest possible visibility from
the sea and from the air.
All hospital ships shall make themselves known by hoisting their
national flag and further, if they belong to a neutral state, the flag of
the Party to the conflict whose direction they have accepted.A white
flag with a red cross shall be flown at the mainmast as high as
possible.
Lifeboats of hospital ships, coastal lifeboats and all small craft
used by the Medical Service shall be painted white with dark red
crosses prominently displayed and shall, in general, comply with the
identification system prescribed above for hospital ships.
The above-mentioned ships and craft,which may wish to ensure
by night and in times of reduced visibility the protection to which
they are entitled, must, subject to the assent of the Party to the
conflict under whose power they are, take the necessary measures to
render their painting and distinctive emblems sufficiently apparent.
Hospital ships which, in accordance with Article 31, are
provisionally detained by the enemy,must haul down the flag of the
Party to the conflict in whose service they are or whose direction
they have accepted.
Coastal lifeboats, if they continue to operate with the consent of
the Occupying Power from a base which is occupied, may be
allowed, when away from their base, to continue to fly their own
national colours along with a flag carrying a red cross on a white
ground, subject to prior notification to all the Parties to the conflict
concerned.
All the provisions in this Article relating to the red cross shall
apply equally to the other emblems mentioned in Article 41.
Parties to the conflict shall at all times endeavour to conclude
mutual agreements, in order to use the most modern methods
available to facilitate the identification of hospital ships.
ART. 44. — The distinguishing signs referred to in Article 43 can
only be used, whether in time of peace or war, for indicating or
protecting the ships therein mentioned, except as may be provided
in any other international Convention or by agreement between all
the Parties to the conflict concerned.
ART. 45. — The High Contracting Parties shall, if their legislation
is not already adequate, take the measures necessary for the
prevention and repression, at all times, of any abuse of the
distinctive signs provided for under Article 43.
78 SECOND GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Limitation in the use of markings
Prevention of misuse
CHAPTER VII
Execution of the Convention
ART. 46. — Each Party to the conflict, acting through its
Commanders-in-Chief, shall ensure the detailed execution of the
preceding Articles and provide for unforeseen cases, in conformity
with the general principles of the present Convention.
ART. 47. — Reprisals against the wounded, sick and shipwrecked
persons, the personnel, the vessels or the equipment protected by
the Convention are prohibited.
ART. 48. — The High Contracting Parties undertake, in time of
peace as in time of war, to disseminate the text of the present
Convention as widely as possible in their respective countries, and,
in particular, to include the study thereof in their programmes of
military and, if possible, civil instruction, so that the principles
thereof may become known to the entire population, in particular
to the armed fighting forces, the medical personnel and the
chaplains.
ART. 49. — The High Contracting Parties shall communicate to
one another through the Swiss Federal Council and, during
hostilities, through the Protecting Powers, the official translations of
the present Convention, as well as the laws and regulations which
they may adopt to ensure the application thereof.
CHAPTER VIII
Repression of Abuses and Infractions
ART. 50. — The High Contracting Parties undertake to enact any
legislation necessary to provide effective penal sanctions for
persons committing, or ordering to be committed, any of the grave
breaches of the present Convention defined in the following Article.
Each High Contracting Party shall be under the obligation to
search for persons alleged to have committed, or to have ordered to
be committed, such grave breaches, and shall bring such persons,
regardless of their nationality, before its own courts. It may also, if it
WOUNDED, SICK AND SHIPWRECKED 79
Detailed execution.
Unforeseen cases Prohibition of reprisals Translations.
Rules of application Penal sanctions
I. General observations Dissemination of the
Convention prefers, and in accordance with the provisions of its own legislation,
hand such persons over for trial to another High Contracting Party
concerned, provided such High Contracting Party has made out a
prima facie case.
Each High Contracting Party shall take measures necessary for
the suppression of all acts contrary to the provisions of the present
Convention other than the grave breaches defined in the following
Article.
In all circumstances, the accused persons shall benefit by
safeguards of proper trial and defence, which shall not be less
favourable than those provided by Article 105 and those following
of the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of
War of August 12, 1949.
ART. 51. — Grave breaches to which the preceding Article relates
shall be those involving any of the following acts, if committed
against persons or property protected by the Convention: wilful
killing, torture or inhuman treatment, including biological
experiments, wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to
body or health, and extensive destruction and appropriation of
property, not justified by military necessity and carried out
unlawfully and wantonly.
ART. 52. — No High Contracting Party shall be allowed to
absolve itself or any other High Contracting Party of any liability
incurred by itself or by another High Contracting Party in respect
of breaches referred to in the preceding Article.
ART. 53. — At the request of a Party to the conflict, an enquiry
shall be instituted, in a manner to be decided between the interested
Parties, concerning any alleged violation of the Convention.
If agreement has not been reached concerning the procedure for
the enquiry, the Parties should agree on the choice of an umpire,
who will decide upon the procedure to be followed.
Once the violation has been established, the Parties to the
conflict shall put an end to it and shall repress it with the least
possible delay.
Final Provisions
ART. 54. — The present Convention is established in English and
in French. Both texts are equally authentic.
The Swiss Federal Council shall arrange for official translations of
the Convention to be made in the Russian and Spanish languages.
80 SECOND GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
II. Grave breaches
III. Responsibilities of the Contracting Parties
Enquiry procedure
Languages
ART. 55. — The present Convention, which bears the date of this
day, is open to signature until February 12, 1950, in the name of the
Powers represented at the Conference which opened at Geneva on
April 21, 1949; furthermore, by Powers not represented at that
Conference, but which are parties to the Xth Hague Convention of
October 18, 1907, for the adaptation to Maritime Warfare of the
principles of the Geneva Convention of 1906, or to the Geneva
Conventions of 1864, 1906 or 1929 for the Relief of the Wounded
and Sick in Armies in the Field.
ART. 56. — The present Convention shall be ratified as soon as
possible and the ratifications shall be deposited at Berne.
A record shall be drawn up of the deposit of each instrument of
ratification and certified copies of this record shall be transmitted by
the Swiss Federal Council to all the Powers in whose name the
Convention has been signed, or whose accession has been notified.
ART. 57. — The present Convention shall come into force six
months after not less than two instruments of ratification have been
deposited.
Thereafter, it shall come into force for each High Contracting
Party six months after the deposit of the instruments of ratification.
ART. 58. — The present Convention replaces the Xth Hague
Convention of October 18, 1907, for the adaptation to Maritime
Warfare of the principles of the Geneva Convention of 1906, in
relations between the High Contracting Parties.
ART. 59. — From the date of its coming into force, it shall be open
to any Power in whose name the present Convention has not been
signed, to accede to this Convention.
ART. 60. — Accessions shall be notified in writing to the Swiss
Federal Council, and shall take effect six months after the date on
which they are received.
The Swiss Federal Council shall communicate the accessions to
all the Powers in whose name the Convention has been signed, or
whose accession has been notified.
ART. 61. — The situations provided for in Articles 2 and 3 shall
give immediate effect to ratifications deposited and accessions
notified by the Parties to the conflict before or after the beginning of
hostilities or occupation. The Swiss Federal Council shall
communicate by the quickest method any ratifications or accessions
received from Parties to the conflict.
WOUNDED, SICK AND SHIPWRECKED 81
Signature
Ratification
Coming into force
Relation to the 1907 Convention
Accession
Notification of accessions
Immediate effect
ART. 62. — Each of the High Contracting Parties shall be at
liberty to denounce the present Convention.
The denunciation shall be notified in writing to the Swiss Federal
Council, which shall transmit it to the Governments of all the High
Contracting Parties.
The denunciation shall take effect one year after the notification
thereof has been made to the Swiss Federal Council. However, a
denunciation of which notification has been made at a time when
the denouncing Power is involved in a conflict shall not take effect
until peace has been concluded, and until after operations
connected with the release and repatriation of the persons
protected by the present Convention have been terminated.
The denunciation shall have effect only in respect of the
denouncing Power. It shall in no way impair the obligations which
the Parties to the conflict shall remain bound to fulfil by virtue of
the principles of the law of nations, as they result from the usages
established among civilized peoples, from the laws of humanity and
the dictates of the public conscience.
ART. 63. — The Swiss Federal Council shall register the present
Convention with the Secretariat of the United Nations. The Swiss
Federal Council shall also inform the Secretariat of the United
Nations of all ratifications, accessions and denunciations received
by it with respect to the present Convention.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF the undersigned, having deposited their
respective full powers, have signed the present Convention.
DONE at Geneva this twelfth day of August 1949, in the English
and French languages. The original shall be deposited in the
Archives of the Swiss Confederation. The Swiss Federal Council
shall transmit certified copies thereof to each of the signatory and
acceding States.
82 SECOND GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Denunciation
Registration
with the United Nations

GENERAL PROVISIONS
ARTICLE 1.— The High Contracting Parties undertake to respect
and to ensure respect for the present Convention in all
circumstances.
ART. 2. — In addition to the provisions which shall be
implemented in peacetime, the present Convention shall apply to all
cases of declared war or of any other armed conflict which may arise
between two or more of the High Contracting Parties, even if the
state of war is not recognized by one of them.
The Convention shall also apply to all cases of partial or total
occupation of the territory of a High Contracting Party, even if the
said occupation meets with no armed resistance.
Although one of the Powers in conflict may not be a party to the
present Convention, the Powers who are parties thereto shall remain
bound by it in their mutual relations. They shall furthermore be
bound by the Convention in relation to the said Power, if the latter
accepts and applies the provisions thereof.
ART. 3. — In the case of armed conflict not of an international
character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting
Parties, each Party to the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a
minimum, the following provisions:
1) Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including
members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and
those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or
any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely,
Respect for the Convention Application of the Convention
Conflicts not of an international character
1 The marginal notes or titles of articles have been drafted by the Swiss Federal
Department of Foreign Affairs.
without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion
or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria.
To this end, the following acts are and shall remain prohibited
at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to
the above-mentioned persons:
a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all
kinds,mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;
b) taking of hostages;
c) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating
and degrading treatment;
d) the passing of sentences and the carrying out of
executions without previous judgment pronounced by a
regularly constituted court affording all the judicial
guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by
civilized peoples.
2) The wounded and sick shall be collected and cared for.
An impartial humanitarian body, such as the International
Committee of the Red Cross, may offer its services to the Parties to
the conflict.
The Parties to the conflict should further endeavour to bring into
force, by means of special agreements, all or part of the other
provisions of the present Convention.
The application of the preceding provisions shall not affect the
legal status of the Parties to the conflict.
ART. 4. — A. Prisoners of war, in the sense of the present
Convention, are persons belonging to one of the following
categories, who have fallen into the power of the enemy:
1) Members of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict as well
as members of militias or volunteer corps forming part of
such armed forces.
2) Members of other militias and members of other volunteer
corps, including those of organized resistance movements,
belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or
outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied,
provided that such militias or volunteer corps, including such
organized resistance movements, fulfil the following
conditions:
a) that of being commanded by a person responsible for his
subordinates;
b) that of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a
distance;
92 THIRD GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Prisoners of war
c) that of carrying arms openly;
d) that of conducting their operations in accordance with the
laws and customs of war.
3) Members of regular armed forces who profess allegiance to a
government or an authority not recognized by the Detaining
Power.
4) Persons who accompany the armed forces without actually
being members thereof, such as civilian members of military
aircraft crews, war correspondents, supply contractors,
members of labour units or of services responsible for the
welfare of the armed forces, provided that they have received
authorization from the armed forces which they accompany,
who shall provide them for that purpose with an identity card
similar to the annexed model.
5) Members of crews, including masters, pilots and apprentices
of the merchant marine and the crews of civil aircraft of the
Parties to the conflict,who do not benefit by more favourable
treatment under any other provisions of international law.
6) Inhabitants of a non-occupied territory who, on the approach
of the enemy, spontaneously take up arms to resist the
invading forces, without having had time to form themselves
into regular armed units, provided they carry arms openly
and respect the laws and customs of war.
B. The following shall likewise be treated as prisoners of war
under the present Convention:
1) Persons belonging, or having belonged, to the armed forces of
the occupied country, if the occupying Power considers it
necessary by reason of such allegiance to intern them, even
though it has originally liberated them while hostilities were
going on outside the territory it occupies, in particular where
such persons have made an unsuccessful attempt to rejoin the
armed forces to which they belong and which are engaged in
combat, or where they fail to comply with a summons made
to them with a view to internment.
2) The persons belonging to one of the categories enumerated in
the present Article,who have been received by neutral or nonbelligerent
Powers on their territory and whom these Powers
are required to intern under international law, without
prejudice to any more favourable treatment which these
Powers may choose to give and with the exception of
Articles 8, 10, 15, 30, fifth paragraph, 58-67, 92, 126 and,
PRISONERS OF WAR 93
where diplomatic relations exist between the Parties to the
conflict and the neutral or non-belligerent Power concerned,
those Articles concerning the Protecting Power.Where such
diplomatic relations exist, the Parties to a conflict on whom
these persons depend shall be allowed to perform towards
them the functions of a Protecting Power as provided in the
present Convention,without prejudice to the functions which
these Parties normally exercise in conformity with diplomatic
and consular usage and treaties.
C. This Article shall in no way affect the status of medical
personnel and chaplains as provided for in Article 33 of the present
Convention.
ART. 5. — The present Convention shall apply to the persons
referred to in Article 4 from the time they fall into the power of the
enemy and until their final release and repatriation.
Should any doubt arise as to whether persons having committed
a belligerent act and having fallen into the hands of the enemy
belong to any of the categories enumerated in Article 4, such
persons shall enjoy the protection of the present Convention until
such time as their status has been determined by a competent
tribunal.
ART. 6. — In addition to the agreements expressly provided for in
Articles 10, 23, 28, 33, 60, 65, 66, 67, 72, 73, 75, 109, 110, 118, 119, 122
and 132, the High Contracting Parties may conclude other special
agreements for all matters concerning which they may deem it
suitable to make separate provision. No special agreement shall
adversely affect the situation of prisoners of war, as defined by the
present Convention, nor restrict the rights which it confers upon
them.
Prisoners of war shall continue to have the benefit of such
agreements as long as the Convention is applicable to them, except
where express provisions to the contrary are contained in the
aforesaid or in subsequent agreements, or where more favourable
measures have been taken with regard to them by one or other of
the Parties to the conflict.
ART. 7. — Prisoners of war may in no circumstances renounce in
part or in entirety the rights secured to them by the present
Convention, and by the special agreements referred to in the
foregoing Article, if such there be.
94 THIRD GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Beginning and end of application Special agreements Nonrenunciation of rights
ART. 8. — The present Convention shall be applied with the cooperation
and under the scrutiny of the Protecting Powers whose
duty it is to safeguard the interests of the Parties to the conflict. For
this purpose, the Protecting Powers may appoint, apart from their
diplomatic or consular staff, delegates from amongst their own
nationals or the nationals of other neutral Powers. The said
delegates shall be subject to the approval of the Power with which
they are to carry out their duties.
The Parties to the conflict shall facilitate to the greatest extent
possible the task of the representatives or delegates of the Protecting
Powers.
The representatives or delegates of the Protecting Powers shall
not in any case exceed their mission under the present Convention.
They shall, in particular, take account of the imperative necessities
of security of the State wherein they carry out their duties.
ART. 9. — The provisions of the present Convention constitute
no obstacle to the humanitarian activities which the International
Committee of the Red Cross or any other impartial humanitarian
organization may, subject to the consent of the Parties to the conflict
concerned, undertake for the protection of prisoners of war and for
their relief.
ART. 10. — The High Contracting Parties may at any time agree
to entrust to an organization which offers all guarantees of
impartiality and efficacy the duties incumbent on the Protecting
Powers by virtue of the present Convention.
When prisoners of war do not benefit or cease to benefit, no
matter for what reason, by the activities of a Protecting Power or of
an organization provided for in the first paragraph above, the
Detaining Power shall request a neutral State, or such an
organization, to undertake the functions performed under the
present Convention by a Protecting Power designated by the Parties
to a conflict.
If protection cannot be arranged accordingly, the Detaining
Power shall request or shall accept, subject to the provisions of this
Article, the offer of the services of a humanitarian organization,
such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, to assume the
humanitarian functions performed by Protecting Powers under the
present Convention.
Any neutral Power or any organization invited by the Power
concerned or offering itself for these purposes, shall be required to
act with a sense of responsibility towards the Party to the conflict on
which persons protected by the present Convention depend, and
PRISONERS OF WAR 95
Protecting Powers Activities of the International Committee of the Red Cross Substitutes for Protecting Powers shall be required to furnish sufficient assurances that it is in a position to undertake the appropriate functions and to discharge them impartially.
No derogation from the preceding provisions shall be made by
special agreements between Powers one of which is restricted, even
temporarily, in its freedom to negotiate with the other Power or its
allies by reason of military events, more particularly where the
whole, or a substantial part, of the territory of the said Power is
occupied.
Whenever in the present Convention mention is made of a
Protecting Power, such mention applies to substitute organizations
in the sense of the present Article.
ART. 11. — In cases where they deem it advisable in the interest of
protected persons, particularly in cases of disagreement between the
Parties to the conflict as to the application or interpretation of the
provisions of the present Convention, the Protecting Powers shall
lend their good offices with a view to settling the disagreement.
For this purpose, each of the Protecting Powers may, either at the
invitation of one Party or on its own initiative, propose to the
Parties to the conflict a meeting of their representatives, and in
particular of the authorities responsible for prisoners of war,
possibly on neutral territory suitably chosen. The Parties to the
conflict shall be bound to give effect to the proposals made to them
for this purpose. The Protecting Powers may, if necessary, propose
for approval by the Parties to the conflict a person belonging to a
neutral Power, or delegated by the International Committee of the
Red Cross, who shall be invited to take part in such a meeting.
PART II
GENERAL PROTECTION OF PRISONERS OF WAR
ART. 12. — Prisoners of war are in the hands of the enemy Power,
but not of the individuals or military units who have captured them.
Irrespective of the individual responsibilities that may exist, the
Detaining Power is responsible for the treatment given them.
Prisoners of war may only be transferred by the Detaining Power
to a Power which is a party to the Convention and after the
Detaining Power has satisfied itself of the willingness and ability of
such transferee Power to apply the Convention.When prisoners of
96 THIRD GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Conciliation procedure Responsibility for the treatment of prisoners
war are transferred under such circumstances, responsibility for the
application of the Convention rests on the Power accepting them
while they are in its custody.
Nevertheless if that Power fails to carry out the provisions of the
Convention in any important respect, the Power by whom the
prisoners of war were transferred shall, upon being notified by the
Protecting Power, take effective measures to correct the situation or
shall request the return of the prisoners of war. Such requests must
be complied with.
ART. 13. — Prisoners of war must at all times be humanely
treated. Any unlawful act or omission by the Detaining Power
causing death or seriously endangering the health of a prisoner of
war in its custody is prohibited, and will be regarded as a serious
breach of the present Convention. In particular, no prisoner of war
may be subjected to physical mutilation or to medical or scientific
experiments of any kind which are not justified by the medical,
dental or hospital treatment of the prisoner concerned and carried
out in his interest.
Likewise, prisoners of war must at all times be protected,
particularly against acts of violence or intimidation and against
insults and public curiosity.
Measures of reprisal against prisoners of war are prohibited.
ART. 14. — Prisoners of war are entitled in all circumstances to
respect for their persons and their honour.
Women shall be treated with all the regard due to their sex and shall
in all cases benefit by treatment as favourable as that granted to men.
Prisoners of war shall retain the full civil capacity which they
enjoyed at the time of their capture. The Detaining Power may not
restrict the exercise, either within or without its own territory, of the
rights such capacity confers except in so far as the captivity requires.
ART. 15. — The Power detaining prisoners of war shall be bound
to provide free of charge for their maintenance and for the medical
attention required by their state of health.
ART. 16. — Taking into consideration the provisions of the present
Convention relating to rank and sex, and subject to any privileged
treatment which may be accorded to them by reason of their state of
health, age or professional qualifications, all prisoners of war shall be
treated alike by the Detaining Power,without any adverse distinction
based on race,nationality, religious belief or political opinions, or any
other distinction founded on similar criteria.
PRISONERS OF WAR 97
Humane treatment of prisoners Respect for the person of prisoners Maintenance of prisoners
Equality of treatment
PART III
CAPTIVITY
SECTION I
BEGINNING OF CAPTIVITY
ART. 17. — Every prisoner of war, when questioned on the
subject, is bound to give only his surname, first names and rank,
date of birth, and army, regimental, personal or serial number, or
failing this, equivalent information.
If he wilfully infringes this rule, he may render himself liable to a
restriction of the privileges accorded to his rank or status.
Each Party to a conflict is required to furnish the persons under
its jurisdiction who are liable to become prisoners of war, with an
identity card showing the owner’s surname, first names, rank, army,
regimental, personal or serial number or equivalent information,
and date of birth. The identity card may, furthermore, bear the
signature or the finger-prints, or both, of the owner, and may bear,
as well, any other information the Party to the conflict may wish to
add concerning persons belonging to its armed forces. As far as
possible the card shall measure 6.5 x 10 cm and shall be issued in
duplicate. The identity card shall be shown by the prisoner of war
upon demand, but may in no case be taken away from him.
No physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion,
may be inflicted on prisoners of war to secure from them
information of any kind whatever. Prisoners of war who refuse to
answer may not be threatened, insulted, or exposed to any
unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind.
Prisoners of war who, owing to their physical or mental
condition, are unable to state their identity, shall be handed over to
the medical service. The identity of such prisoners shall be
established by all possible means, subject to the provisions of the
preceding paragraph.
The questioning of prisoners of war shall be carried out in a
language which they understand.
ART. 18. — All effects and articles of personal use, except arms,
horses,military equipment and military documents, shall remain in
the possession of prisoners of war, likewise their metal helmets and
98 THIRD GENEVA CONVENTION OF 1949
Questioning of prisoners
Property of prisoners
gas masks and like articles issued for personal protection. Effects
and articles used for their clothing or feeding shall likewise remain
in their possession, even if such effects and articles belong to their
regulation military equipment.
At no time should prisoners of war be without identity
documents. The Detaining Power shall supply such documents to
prisoners of war who possess none.
Badges of rank and nationality, decorations and articles having
above all a personal or sentimental value may not be taken from
prisoners of war.
Sums of money carried by prisoners of war may not be taken
away from them except by order of an officer, and after the amount
and particulars of the owner have been recorded in a special register
and an itemized receipt has been given, legibly inscribed with the
name, rank and unit of the person issuing the said receipt. Sums in
the currency of the Detaining Power,or which are changed into such
currency at the prisoner’s request, shall be placed to the credit of the
prisoner’s account as provided in Article 64.
The Detaining Power may withdraw articles of value from
prisoners of war only for reasons of security; when such articles are
withdrawn, the procedure laid down for sums of money impounded
shall apply.
Such objects, likewise the sums taken away in any currency other
than that of the Detaining Power and the conversion of which has
not been asked for by the owners, shall be kept in the custody of the
Detaining Power and shall be returned in their initial shape to
prisoners of war at the end of their captivity.
ART. 19. — Prisoners of war shall be evacuated, as soon as
possible after their capture, to camps situated in an area far enough
from the combat zone for them to be out of danger.
Only those prisoners of war who, owing to wounds or sickness,
would run greater risks by being evacuated than by remaining
where they are, may be temporarily kept back in a danger zone.
Prisoners of war shall not be unnecessarily exposed to danger
while awaiting evacuation from a fighting zone.
ART. 20. — The evacuation of prisoners of war shall always be
effected humanely and in conditions similar to those for the forces
of the Detaining Power in their changes of station.
The Detaining Power shall supply prisoners of war who are being
evacuated with sufficient food and potable water, and with the
necessary clothing and medical attention. The Detaining Power
shall take all suitable precautions to ensure their safety during
PRISONERS OF WAR 99
Evacuation of prisoners Conditions of evacuation
evacuation, and shall establish as soon as possible a list of the
prisoners of war who are evacuated.
If prisoners of war must, during evacuation, pass through transit
camps, their stay in such camps shall be as brief as possible.
SECTI