History - Working Group on Arbitrary Detention

The former Commission on Human Rights has addressed the distributing expansion of arbitrary detention since 1985. In 1990, it requested the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities to undertake a thorough study of the matter and submit recommendations to it for the reduction of such practices.

At the same time, concern about the guarantees which should be enjoyed by all persons deprived of their liberty was manifested in the adoption by the United Nations General Assembly in December 1988 of the Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment.

In 1991, in pursuance of the recommendations made in the above-mentioned report of the Sub-Commission, the former Commission on Human Rights, in its resolution 1991/42, set up the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.

In 2006, the United Nations General Assembly, by resolution 60/251 of 3 April 2006, established the Human Rights Council; which in turn, by its decision 1/102 of 13 November 2006, decided to assume all mandates of the former Commission on Human Rights.

The mandate of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention was most recently extended by Human Rights Council resolution 33/30 of 30 September 2016 for a further three year period.

See also:  Revised Fact Sheet No.26

Special events

Commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD), Paris, France, 14 November 2011