Original HRC document


Document Type: Final Resolution

Date: 2017 Apr

Session: 34th Regular Session (2017 Feb)

Agenda Item: Item3: Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development

Topic: Human Rights Defenders



Human Rights Council Thirty-fourth session

27 February–24 March 2017

Agenda item 3

Resolution adopted by the Human Rights Council on 23 March 2017

34/5. Mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human

rights defenders

The Human Rights Council,

Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, the

Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants on Human Rights and

other relevant instruments,

Recalling General Assembly resolution 53/144 of 9 December 1998, by which the

Assembly adopted by consensus the Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of

Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized

Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms annexed to that resolution, and reiterating the

importance of the Declaration and its promotion and implementation,

Recalling also the continued validity and application of all the provisions of the

above-mentioned Declaration,

Recalling further all previous resolutions on this subject, including Human Rights

Council resolutions 16/5 of 24 March 2011, 25/18 of 28 March 2014 and 31/32 of 24

March 2016, and General Assembly resolutions 68/181 of 18 December 2013 and 70/161

of 17 December 2015,

Recalling Human Rights Council resolutions 5/1, on institution-building of the

Council, and 5/2, on the Code of Conduct for Special Procedures Mandate Holders of the

Council, of 18 June 2007, and stressing that the mandate holder shall discharge his or her

duties in accordance with those resolutions and the annexes thereto,

Emphasizing the important role that individuals and civil society institutions,

including non-governmental organizations, groups and national human rights institutions,

play at the local, national, regional and international levels in the promotion and protection

of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all,

Reiterating the grave concerns expressed by the General Assembly and the Human

Rights Council with regard to the serious risks faced by human rights defenders due to

threats, attacks, reprisals and acts of intimidation against them,

United Nations A/HRC/RES/34/5

General Assembly

Reaffirming that States are under the obligation to protect all human rights and

fundamental freedoms of all persons,

Stressing that respect and support for the activities of all human rights defenders,

including women human rights defenders, are essential to the overall enjoyment of human


Mindful that domestic law and administrative provisions and their application should

facilitate the work of human rights defenders, including by avoiding any criminalization,

stigmatization, impediments, obstructions or restrictions thereof contrary to international

human rights law,

Underscoring that the legal framework within which human rights defenders work

peacefully to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms is that of

national legislation consistent with the Charter and international human rights law,

Gravely concerned that, in some instances, national security and counter-terrorism

legislation and other measures, such as laws regulating civil society organizations, have

been misused to target human rights defenders or have hindered their work and endangered

their safety in a manner contrary to international law,

Recognizing the urgent need to address, and to take concrete steps to prevent and

stop, the use of legislation to hinder or limit unduly the ability of human rights defenders to

exercise their work, including by reviewing and, where necessary, amending relevant

legislation and its implementation in order to ensure compliance with international human

rights law,

1. Welcomes the work and takes note with appreciation of the report of the

Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders,1 and strongly urges all

States to take concrete steps to create, in law and in practice, a safe and enabling

environment in which human rights defenders can operate free from hindrance and


2. Decides to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of

human rights defenders for a period of three years in the same terms as provided for by the

Human Rights Council in its resolution 16/5;

3. Urges all States to cooperate with and assist the Special Rapporteur in the

performance of his or her tasks, to provide all information and to respond to the

communications transmitted to them by the Special Rapporteur without undue delay;

4. Calls upon States to give serious consideration to responding favourably to

the requests of the Special Rapporteur to visit their countries, and urges them to enter into a

constructive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur with respect to the follow-up to and

implementation of his or her recommendations so as to enable him or her to fulfil the

mandate even more effectively;

5. Requests the Secretary-General and the United Nations High Commissioner

for Human Rights to provide the Special Rapporteur with all the assistance necessary for

the effective fulfilment of his or her mandate;

6. Encourages all concerned United Nations agencies and organizations, within

their mandates, to provide all possible assistance and support to the Special Rapporteur for

the effective fulfilment of his or her mandate, including in the context of country visits and

1 A/HRC/34/52.

through suggestions on ways and means of ensuring the protection of human rights


7. Decides to continue consideration of this issue in accordance with its annual

programme of work.

56th meeting

23 March 2017

[Adopted without a vote.]