Right to Liberty and Security of Person

United Nations World Conference Documents

ICPD Principle 1 – All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 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. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

ICPD para. 7.3 – [Reproductive rights] includes [couples’and individuals’] right to make decisions concerning reproduction free of discrimination, coercion and violence, as expressed in human rights documents; para. 7.17 – Governments at all levels are urged to institute systems of monitoring and evaluation of user-centred services with a view to detecting, preventing and controlling abuses by family-planning managers and providers. . . To this end, Governments should secure conformity to human rights and to ethical and professional standards in the delivery of family planning and related reproductive health services . . .

WSSD(1) para 47 – Strengthen the capacity of health-care systems to deliver basic health services to all, in an efficient, accessible and affordable manner aimed at preventing, controlling and treating diseases, and to reduce environmental health threats, in conformity with human rights and fundamental freedoms and consistent with national laws and cultural and religious values, taking into account the reports of relevant United Nations conferences and summits and of special sessions of the General Assembly. This would include actions at all levels to: (f) Develop programmes and initiatives to reduce, by the year 2015, mortality rates for infants and children under 5 by two thirds, and maternal mortality rates by three quarters, of the prevailing rate in 2000, and reduce disparities between and within developed and developing countries as quickly as possible, with particular attention to eliminating the pattern of disproportionate and preventable mortality among girl infants and children;


CCPR(2) article 6.1 – Every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law; 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; articles 8 and 3 (a) states that “[n]o one shall be held in slavery; slavery and the slave trade in all their forms [which includes sexual exploitation through forced prostitution] shall be prohibited.” It then goes on to mention that “[n]o one shall be required to perform forced or compulsory labor, which is typically the case with illegal or undocumented migrants; article 9 (1) – Everyone has the right to liberty and security of the 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 established by law.

CRC(3) article 6.1 – State Parties recognize that every child has the inherent right to life; article 6.2 – State Parties shall ensure to the maximum extent possible the survival and development of the child; article 19(1) – In the specific case of refugee girls, the CRC protects children from any form of violence and, more applicable in the case of refugees; article 22 (1) protects children with refugee status; article 34 – States Parties shall 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 36 – States Parties shall protect the child against all other forms of exploitation prejudicial to any aspects of the child’s welfare; article 37 (b-d) – No child should be deprived of his or her liberty unlawfully or arbitrarily ... MWC article 16 – Migrant workers and their families shall have the right to liberty and security of person.

CEDAW(4) 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 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; (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; (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 6 – States Parties shall take all appropriate measures, including legislation, to suppress all forms of traffic in women and exploitation of prostitution of women;

CERD(5) article 5 (b) – In compliance with the fundamental obligations laid down in article 2 of this Convention, States Parties undertake to prohibit and to eliminate racial discrimination in all its forms and to guarantee the right to everyone, without distinction as to race, colour or national or ethnic origin, to equality before the law, notably in the enjoyment…(b) the right to security of the person and protection by the State against violence or bodily harm, whether inflicted by government officials or by any individual group or institution.


1. WSSD: World Summit on Sustainable Development

2. CCPR: Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

3. CRC: Convention on the Rights of the Child

4. CEDAW: Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women

5. CERD: International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination