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concerning freedom of religion, assembly, and
association.

Implementation of Covenant

The Connnission, at its 1950 session, decided to
include in the Covenant articles 19 to 41 authoriz-
ing only States Parties to the Covenant to file com-
plaints with respect to violations. The Commis-
sion did not object to giving this right to States
Parties to the Covenant. Some members of the
Commission, however, felt that nongovernmental
organizations and individuals should also be given
the right to file complaints with respect to alleged
violations of the Covenant. A proposal to extend
the right to complain to nongovernmental organi-
zations was rejected by a vote of 7 against (Aus-
tralia, Belgium, Egj'pt, Greece. France. United
Kingdom, United States) , 4 in favor ( Chile. India,
Lebanon, Uruguay), with 3 absentions (China,
Denmark, Yugoslavia). The proposal to cxtnd
the right to complain to individuals was rejected
by a vote of 8 against (Australia, Belgium, Chile,
Egypt. France, Greece, United Kingdom, United
States), 3 in favor (India, Lebanon, Uruguay),
with 3 abstentions (Chile, Denmark, Yugoslavia).
The Commission approved the establishment of
a permanent Human Rights Committee to consist
of 7 members who would serve for a ti'im of 5 years
each. It is proposed that the members of the Com-
mittee be elected by States Parties to tiie Cove-
nant. Members of the Conuuitti'c will be eligible
for reelection. Each State would ndiuinate from
2 to 4 persons of high standing atul of recognized
exiierience in tiie Held of liuinan rights to a panel,
and tlic iiienibcrs of the C(tiumittee would lie
elected from this i)anel.

It is i)ro])osed that, initially, if one Slate Party

948



to the Covenant considei-s that another State Party ,
to the Covenant is not giving effect to the pro- I
visions of the Covenant, it would call the matter '
to the attention of that State by a written com-
nuuiication. Within 3 months after the receipt of
this connnunication. the receiving State would
afford the complaining State an explanation or a
statement in writing concerning the matter.

If the matter is not adjusted within 6 months,
either State would have the right to refer the
matter to the Human Rights Committee. It is
provided that the Committee would normally not
deal with the matter referred to it if available
domestic remedies have not been invoked and
exhausted.

If local remedies have been exhausted, the Com-
mittee would ascertain the facts and make avail-
able its good offices to the States concerned with
a view to a friendly solution of the matter on the
basis of respect for human rights as recognized
in the Covenant. In every case, the Committee
would, within 18 months, draw up a report which
the United Nations would publish. If a solution
of the matter is reached, the Committee would
confine its report to a brief statement of the facts
and the solution reached. If a solution is not
reached, the Committee would state in its report
its conclusions on the facts.

Federal State Article

Because of the lack of time, the Commission de-
cided to postpone its consideration of article 43
concerning federal states. The United States rep-
resentative stressed in the Commission the impor-
tance of including a federal state article in the
Covenant along the lines of the United States pro-
posal in order to make it possible for federal states
1(1 adhei-c to the Covenant. The United States
proposal for a federal state article will be con-
sidered either in the Economic and Social Council
(u- in the General Assembly when the Coveiumt is
reviewed further.

The United States jiroposal for a federal state
article undertakes to make it clear that the obli-
gations undertaken by the United States under
the Covenant would be limited to mattei's which
are determined in accordance with the constitu-
tional i)rocesses of the United States to be appro-
]iriate for federal action. AVith the inclusion of
this federal state article in the Covenant, the only
obligation which the United States would have
with respect to matters determined not to be ap-

Deparfment of Sfofe Bulletin



propriate for federal action will be to brinj; these
matters to the attention of the appropriate au-
thorities of the States in the United States with
a favorable recommendation.

Although the United States is not prepared to
undertake all the obligations of the Covenant and
since all the rights set forth in the Covenant do
not relate to federal matters, the United States is
prepared to undertake as many of the obligations
of the Covenant as are determined in accordance
вАҐwith the constitutional processes of the United
States to be appropriate for federal action.

Economic and Social Articles

The Commission decided not to include economic
and social articles in the Covenant but, instead,
to postpone the consideration of these articles un-
til its 1950 session. It will consider at its 1950
session whether these articles should be contained
in additional conventions on human rights or
whether other measures should be proposed with
respect to them. Consideration will particularly
be given to the extent to which other organs and
specialized agencies within the framework of the
United Nations are already taking action with
respect to these rights.

Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

A representative of the Union of Soviet So-
cialist Republics attended the first meeting of the
1950 session of the Commission at which he pro-
posed that the Commission "exclude the represent-
ative of the Kuomintang" from membership in
the Commission. This proposal was ruled out of
order by the Chairman since members of the Com-
mission, although nominated by their Govern-
ments, are confirmed by the Economic and Social
Council.

The Chairman pointed out that the representa-
tive of China was confirmed by the Economic and
Social Council and that, accordingly, if the Soviet
Union wished to challenge his membership on the
Commission, this should be done in the Economic
and Social Council rather than in the Commission
on Human Rights. The Soviet member chal-
lenged this ruling of the Chairman, but it was
sustained by a vote of 12 to 2, with Yugoslavia and
the Soviet Union voting against the ruling of the
Chairman. The representative of the Soviet
Union thereupon protested against the decision of
the Commission and withdrew from the meeting.



The Ukraine Soviet Socialist Republic was not
represented at this meeting nor at any later meet-
ing of this session of the Commission.

At the 1949 session of the Commission, the
Soviet representative at that time, A. P. Pavlov,
abstained when the Commission voted to approve
the report of its work. Mr. Pavlov, at the 1949
session, repeatedly sought to include provisions in
the draft Covenant which would weaken the
effectiveness of the rights and freedoms being safe-
guarded. The other members of the Commission,
however, rejected his amendments to the Covenant
just as they had rejected similar amendments he
had proposed to the Declaration of Human Rights
the previous year.^

Chairman of the Commission

Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, the representative of
the United States on the Commission, was elected
Chairman of the 1950 session of the Commission.
She has been elected Chairman of each session of
the Commission on Human Rights since its estab-
lisliment in 1947. At the close of the 1950 session,
the members of the Commission expressed their
appreciation for her leadership in the work of the
Commission.

TEXT OF COVENANT

(As reviged by the United Nations CommlsBion on Human
Rlgbta at Its March-May 1950 Session)

Preamble

The States Parties hereto,

CoNsiDERiNo the obligation under the Charter of the
United Nations to promote universal respect for, and
observance of, human rights and freedoms,

Bearino in mind the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights,

Recoonizino that the rights and freedoms recognized
In this Covenant flow from the Inherent dignity of the
human person,

By this Covenant agree upon the following articles with
respect to these rights and freedoms.



Part I



Article 1



1. Each State party hereto undertakes to respect and
to ensure to all Individuals within its territory and subject
to its jurisdiction the rights recognized in this Covenant,
v^lthout 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 legisla-
tive or other measures, each State undertakes to take the



' Bulletin of July 11, 1949, p. 3.



June J2, 1950



949



necessary steps, in accordance with its constitutional
processes and with the provisions of this Covenant, to
adopt within a reasonable time such legislative or other
measures as may be necessary to give effect to the rights
recognized in this Covenant.
3. Each State party hereto undertakes to ensure:

(a) that any person whose rights or freedoms as
herein recognized are violated shall have an effective
remedy, notwithstanding that the violation has been com-
mitted by persons acting in an official capacity ;

(b) that any person claiming such a remedy shall
have his right thereto determined by competent authori-
ties, political, administrative or judicial ;

(c) that the competent authorities shall enforce such
remedies when granted.

Article 2

1. In the case of a state of emergency officially pro-
claimed by the authorities or in the case of public disaster,
a State may talie measures derogating, to the extent
strictly limited by the exigencies of the situation, from
its obligations under Article 1, paragraph 1, and Part II
of this Covenant.

2. No derogation from Articles 3, 4, 5 (paragraphs 1
and 2) 7, 11, 12 and 13 may be made under this provision.
No derogation which is otherwise incompatible with in-
ternational law may be made by a State under this
provision.

3. Any State party hereto availing itself of the right of
derogation shall inform immediately the other States
parties to the Covenant, through the intermediary of the
Secretary-General, of the provisions from which it has
derogated and the date on which it has terminated such
derogation.



Part II



Article 3



1. Everyone's right to life shall be protected by law.

2. To take life shall be a crime, save in the execution
of a sentence of a court, or in self-defense, or in the case
of enforcement measures authorized by the Charter.

3. In countries where capital punishment exists,
sentence of death may be imposed only as a penalty for
the most serious crimes, pursuant to the sentence of a
competent court and in accordance with law not contrary
to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

4. Anyone sentenced to death shall have the right to
seek amnesty, or pardon, or commutation of the sentence.
Amnesty, pardon or commutation of the sentence of death
may be granted in all cases.

Article 4

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman
or degrading treatment or punishment. In particular, no
one shall be subjected against his will to medical or scien-
tific experimentation involving risk, where such is not
required by his state of physical or mental health.

Article 5

1. No one shall be held in slavery ; slavery and the
slave trade in all their forms shall be prohibited.

950



2. No one shall he held in servitude.

3. (a) No one shall be required to perform forced or
compulsory labour.

(b) The preceding subparagraph 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 comiwtent court.

(c) For the purpose of this paragraph, the term "forced
or compulsory labour" shall not include :

( i ) Any work or service, other than work performed
in pursuance of a sentence of "hard labour" required to
be done in the course of detention in consequence of a
lawful order of a court ;

(ii) Any service of a military character or, in the
case of conscientious objectors, in countries where they
are recognized, service exacted in virtue of laws re-
quiring compulsory national service;

(iii) Any service exacted in cases of emergency or
calamity threatening the life or well-being of the com-
munity ;

(iv) Any work or service which forms part of
normal civic obligations.

Article 6

1. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or
detention.

2. No one shall be deprived of his liberty except on such
grounds and in accordance with such procedures as are
established by law.

3. 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.

4. 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.
Pending trial, detention shall not be the general rule, but
release may be subject to guarantees to appear for trial.

5. Anyone who is deprived of his liberty by arrest or
detention shall be entitled to take proceedings by which
the lawfulness of his detention shall be decided without
delay by a court and his release ordered if the detention
is not lawful.

6. Anyone who has been the victim of unlawful arrest
or deprivation of liberty shall have an enforceable right
to compensation.

Article 7

No one shall be imprisoned merely on the ground of
inability to fulfil a contractual obligation.

Article 8

1. Subject to any general law, consistent with the
rights recognized in this Covenant :

(a) Everyone legally within the territory of a State
shall, within that territory, have the right to (1) liberty
of movement and (2) freedom to choose his residence;

(b) Everyone shall be free to leave any country
including his own.

2. (a) No one shall be subjected to arbitrary exile.

(b) Subject to the preceding subparagraph, any one
shall be free to enter the country of which he is a
national.

Department of State Bulletin



Article 9

No alien legrally admitted to the territory of a State
shall be expelled therefrom except on established legal
grounds and nccordinK to procedure and safeguards which
shall In all cases be provided by law.

Article 10
X. 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 heariug,
by an indeiiendent and impartial tribunal established by
law. The press and public may be excluded from all or
part of a trial for reasons of morals, public order or
national security, or where the interest of juveniles so
requires, or to the extent strictly necessary in the opinion
of the court in special circumstances where publicity
would prejudice the interest of justice; but the Judgment
shall be pronounced publicly except where the interest
of juveniles otherwise requires.

2. Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall have
the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty
according to law. In the determination of any criminal
charge against him, everyone shall be entitled to the fol-
lowing minimum guarantees, in full equality :

(a) To be Informed promptly of the nature and cause
of the accusation against him ;

(b) 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 where he does not have sufficient means to
pay for it ;

(c) To examine, or have examined, the witnesses
against him and to obtain compulsory attendance of wit-
nesses in his behalf who are within the jurisdiction and
snbject to the process of the tribunal.

(d) To have the free assistance of an interpreter if
ne cannot understand or speak the language used in court ;

(e) No one shall be compelled to testify against him-
self, or to confess guilt ;

(f ) In the case of juveniles, the procedure shall be
such as will take account of their age and the desirability
of promoting their rehabilitation.

3. In any case where by a final decision a person has
been convicted of a criminal offence and where subse-
quently 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 convic-
tion shall be compensated. This compensation shall be
awarded to the heirs of a person executed by virtue of
an erroneous sentence.

Article 11
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 tliat 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 a lighter penalty, the
offender shall benefit thereby.



2. Nothing in this Article shall prejudice the trial and
punishment of any person for the commission of any act
which, at the time when it was committed, was criminal
according to the generally recognized principles of law.

Article 12

Everyone shall have the right to recognition ever3rwhere
as a person before the law.

Article 13

1. Every one shall have the right to freedom of thought,
conscience and religion ; this right shall include 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, wor-
ship and observance.

2. Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs shall be
subject only to such limitations as are pursuant to law
and are reasonable and necessary to protect public safety,
order, health, or morals or the fundamental rights and
freedoms of others.

Article 14

1. Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions with-
out interference.

2. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expres-
sion ; 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 right to seek, receive and impart information
and ideas carries with it special duties and respousibilities
and may therefore be subject to certain penaltie.s, lia-
bilities, and restrictions, but these shall be such only as
are provided by law and are necessary for the protection
of national security, public order, safety, health or morals,
or of the rights, freedoms or reputations of others.

Article 15

The right of peaceful assembly shall be recognized.
No restrictions shall be placed on the exercise of this
riglit other than those imposed in conformity with the
law and which are necessary to ensure national security,
public order, the protection of health or morals or the
protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

Article 16

1. The right of association shall be recognized.

2. No restrictions shall be placed on the exercise of
this right other than those prescribed by law and which
are necessary to ensure national security, public order, the
protection of health or morals or the protection of the
rights and freedoms of others.

3. Nothing in this article shall authorize States parties
to the Freedom of Association and Protection of the
Right to Organize Convention, to take legislative meas-
ures which would prejudice, or to apply the law in such
a manner as to prejudice, the guarantees provided for
in that Convention.

Article 17

All are equal before the law : all shall be accorded equal
protection of the law without discrimination on any



June 12, 1950



951



ground such as race, colour, sex, language, religion,
political or other opinion, national or social origin, prop-
erty, birth or other status.

Article 18

1. Nothing in this Covenant may be interpreted as im-
plying for any State, group or person any right to engage
in any activity or perform any act aimed at the destruc-
tion of any of the rights and freedoms recognized herein
or at their limitation to a greater extent than is provided
for in this Covenant.

2. Nothing in this Covenant may be interpreted as
limiting or derogating from any of the rights and free-
doms which may be guaranteed under the laws of any
Contracting State or any conventions to which it is a
party.



Part III



Article 19



1. With a view to the implementation of the provisions
of the International Covenant on Human Rights, there
shall be set up a Human Rights Committee, hereinafter
referred to as "the Committee", composed of seven mem-
bers with the fimctions hereinafter provided.

2. The Committee shall be composed of nationals of the
States Parties to the Covenant who shall be i)ersons of
high standing and of recognized exi)erience in the field
of human rights.

Article 20

1. The members of the Committee shall be elected from
a list of persons possessing the qualifications prescribed
in Article 19 and specially nominated for that purpose
by the States Parties to the Covenant

2. Each State shall nominate at least two and not more
than four persons. These persons may be nationals of
the nominating State or of any other State Party to the
Covenant.

3. Nominations shall remain valid until new nomina-
tions are made for the purpose of the next election under
Article 25. A person shall be eligible to be renominated.

Article 21

At least three months before the date of each election to
the Committee, the Secretary-General of the United Na-
tions shall address a written request to the States Parties
to the Coverant inviting them, if they have not already
submitted their nominations, to submit them within two
months.

Article 22

The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall pre-
pare a panel of the persons thus nominated, and submit
it to the States Parties to the Covenant

Article 23

The Committee shall be elected from the i>anel pro-
vided for in Article 22 by the States Parties to the Cov-
enant, who shall send representatives to a meeting con-
vened by the Secretary-General for the purpose of such
elections. No more than one national of any State may
be a member of the Committee at any time. In the elec-



tion of the Committee consideration shall be given to
equitable geographical distribution of membership.

Article 24

The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall
make the arrangements for, and fix the time of, elections.
The members of the Committee shall be elected by a
majority (vote) of the representatives of the States
Parties to this Covenant present and voting.

A quorum for such election shall consist of two thirds
of the States Parties to the Covenant.

Article 25

The members of the Committee shall be elected for a
term of five years and be eligible for re-election. How-
ever, the terma of four of the members elected at the
first election shall expire at the end of two years. Imme-
diately after the first election the names of the members
whose terms expire at the end of the initial period of two
years shall be chosen by lot by the Secretary-General of
the United Nations.

Article 26

1. Vacancies shall be filled by election and articles 21,
22, 23 and 24 shall apply.

2. A member of the Committee elected to fill a vacancy
shall, If his predecessor's term of office has not expired,
hold office for the remainder of that term.

Article 27

A member of the Committee shall remain in office until
his successor has been elected ; but if the Committee has,
prior to the election of his successor, begun to consider a
case, he shall continue to act in that case, and his succes-
sor shall not act in that case.

Article 2B

The resignation of a member of the Committee shall
be addressed to the Chairman of the Committee through
the Secretary of the Committee who shall immediately
notify the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Article 29

The members of the Committee, when engaged on the
business of the Committee, shall enjoy diplomatic privi-
leges and Immunities.

Article SO

The Secretary and the Assistant Secretary of the Com-
mittee shall be appointed by the Secretary-General of
the United Nations, with the approval of the Committee.

Article SI



Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of State. Office of Public CoDepartment of State bulletin (Volume v. 22, Apr- Jun 1950) → online text (page 87 of 116)