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Document of the Copenhagen Meeting of the Conference on the Human Dimension of the OSCE

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DOCUMENT
OF THE COPENHAGEN MEETING OF THE
CONFERENCE ON THE HUMAN DIMENSION OF THE CSCE

The representatives of the participating States of the Conference on
Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE), Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria,
Canada, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Finland, France, the German
Democratic Republic, the Federal Republic of Germany, Greece, the Holy
See, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta,
Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino,
Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics,
the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Yugoslavia, met in
Copenhagen from 5 to 29 June 1990, in accordance with the provisions
relating to the Conference on the Human Dimension of the CSCE contained
in the Concluding Document of the Vienna Follow-up Meeting of the CSCE.

The representative of Albania attended the Copenhagen Meeting as
observer.

The first Meeting of the Conference was held in Paris from 30 May to
23 June 1989.

The Copenhagen Meeting was opened and closed by the Minister for
Foreign Affairs of Denmark.

The formal opening of the Copenhagen Meeting was attended by Her
Majesty the Queen of Denmark and His Royal Highness the Prince Consort.

Opening statements were made by Ministers and Deputy Ministers of
the participating States.

At a special meeting of the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the
participating States of the CSCE on 5 June 1990, convened on the invitation
of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Denmark, it was agreed to convene a
Preparatory Committee in Vienna on 10 July 1990 to prepare a Summit
Meeting in Paris of their Heads of State or Government.

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The participating States welcome with great satisfaction the
fundamental political changes that have occurred in Europe since the first
Meeting of the Conference on the Human Dimension of the CSCE in Paris in
1989. They note that the CSCE process has contributed significantly to
bringing about these changes and that these developments in turn have
greatly advanced the implementation of the provisions of the Final Act and of
the other CSCE documents.
They recognize that pluralistic democracy and the rule of law are
essential for ensuring respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms,
the development of human contacts and the resolution of other issues of a
related humanitarian character. They therefore welcome the commitment
expressed by all participating States to the ideals of democracy and political
pluralism as well as their common determination to build democratic societies
based on free elections and the rule of law.

At the Copenhagen Meeting the participating States held a review of
the implementation of their commitments in the field of the human dimension.
They considered that the degree of compliance with the commitments
contained in the relevant provisions of the CSCE documents had shown a
fundamental improvement since the Paris Meeting. They also expressed the
view, however, that further steps are required for the full realization of their
commitments relating to the human dimension.
The participating States express their conviction that full respect for
human rights and fundamental freedoms and the development of societies
based on pluralistic democracy and the rule of law are prerequisites for
progress in setting up the lasting order of peace, security, justice and
co-operation that they seek to establish in Europe. They therefore reaffirm
their commitment to implement fully all provisions of the Final Act and of the
other CSCE documents relating to the human dimension and undertake to
build on the progress they have made.
They recognize that co-operation among themselves, as well as the
active involvement of persons, groups, organizations and institutions, will be
essential to ensure continuing progress towards their shared objectives.
In order to strengthen respect for, and enjoyment of, human rights
and fundamental freedoms, to develop human contacts and to resolve issues of
a related humanitarian character, the participating States agree on the
following:

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I

(1) The participating States express their conviction that the
protection and promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms is one
of the basic purposes of government, and reaffirm that the recognition of
these rights and freedoms constitutes the foundation of freedom, justice and
peace.

(2) They are determined to support and advance those principles
of justice which form the basis of the rule of law. They consider that the rule
of law does not mean merely a formal legality which assures regularity and
consistency in the achievement and enforcement of democratic order, but
justice based on the recognition and full acceptance of the supreme value of
the human personality and guaranteed by institutions providing a framework
for its fullest expression.

(3) They reaffirm that democracy is an inherent element of the
rule of law. They recognize the importance of pluralism with regard to
political organizations.

(4) They confirm that they will respect each other’s right freely to
choose and develop, in accordance with international human rights standards,
their political, social, economic and cultural systems. In exercising this right,
they will ensure that their laws, regulations, practices and policies conform
with their obligations under international law and are brought into harmony
with the provisions of the Declaration on Principles and other CSCE
commitments.

(5) They solemnly declare that among those elements of justice
which are essential to the full expression of the inherent dignity and of the
equal and inalienable rights of all human beings are the following:

(5.1) — free elections that will be held at reasonable intervals by
secret ballot or by equivalent free voting procedure, under conditions which
ensure in practice the free expression of the opinion of the electors in the
choice of their representatives;

(5.2) — a form of government that is representative in character, in
which the executive is accountable to the elected legislature or the electorate;

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(5.3) — the duty of the government and public authorities to comply
with the constitution and to act in a manner consistent with law;

(5.4) — a clear separation between the State and political parties; in
particular, political parties will not be merged with the State;

(5.5) — the activity of the government and the administration as
well as that of the judiciary will be exercised in accordance with the system
established by law. Respect for that system must be ensured;

(5.6) — military forces and the police will be under the control of,
and accountable to, the civil authorities;

(5.7) — human rights and fundamental freedoms will be guaranteed
by law and in accordance with their obligations under international law;

(5.8) — legislation, adopted at the end of a public procedure, and
regulations will be published, that being the condition for their applicability.
Those texts will be accessible to everyone;

(5.9) — 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
will prohibit any discrimination and guarantee to all persons equal and
effective protection against discrimination on any ground;

(5.10) — everyone will have an effective means of redress against
administrative decisions, so as to guarantee respect for fundamental rights
and ensure legal integrity;

(5.11) — administrative decisions against a person must be fully
justifiable and must as a rule indicate the usual remedies available;

(5.12) — the independence of judges and the impartial operation of
the public judicial service will be ensured;

(5.13) — the independence of legal practitioners will be recognized
and protected, in particular as regards conditions for recruitment and
practice;

(5.14) — the rules relating to criminal procedure will contain a clear
definition of powers in relation to prosecution and the measures preceding
and accompanying prosecution;

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(5.15) — any person arrested or detained on a criminal charge will
have the right, so that the lawfulness of his arrest or detention can be decided,
to be brought promptly before a judge or other officer authorized by law to
exercise this function;

(5.16) — in the determination of any criminal charge against him, or
of his rights and obligations in a suit at law, everyone will be entitled to a fair
and public hearing by a competent, independent and impartial tribunal
established by law;

(5.17) — any person prosecuted will have the right to defend himself
in person or through prompt legal assistance of his own choosing or, if he does
not have sufficient means to pay for legal assistance, to be given it free when
the interests of justice so require;

(5.18) — no one will be charged with, tried for or convicted of any
criminal offence unless the offence is provided for by a law which defines the
elements of the offence with clarity and precision;

(5.19) — everyone will be presumed innocent until proved guilty
according to law;

(5.20) — considering the important contribution of international
instruments in the field of human rights to the rule of law at a national level,
the participating States reaffirm that they will consider acceding to the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International
Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and other relevant
international instruments, if they have not yet done so;

(5.21) — in order to supplement domestic remedies and better to
ensure that the participating States respect the international obligations they
have undertaken, the participating States will consider acceding to a regional
or global international convention concerning the protection of human rights,
such as the European Convention on Human Rights or the Optional Protocol
to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which provide for
procedures of individual recourse to international bodies.
(6) The participating States declare that the will of the people,
freely and fairly expressed through periodic and genuine elections, is the basis
of the authority and legitimacy of all government. The participating States
will accordingly respect the right of their citizens to take part in the governing
of their country, either directly or through representatives freely chosen by
them through fair electoral processes. They recognize their responsibility to
defend and protect, in accordance with their laws, their international human

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rights obligations and their international commitments, the democratic order
freely established through the will of the people against the activities of
persons, groups or organizations that engage in or refuse to renounce
terrorism or violence aimed at the overthrow of that order or of that of
another participating State.

(7) To ensure that the will of the people serves as the basis of the
authority of government, the participating States will

(7.1) — hold free elections at reasonable intervals, as established by
law;

(7.2) — permit all seats in at least one chamber of the national
legislature to be freely contested in a popular vote;

(7.3) — guarantee universal and equal suffrage to adult citizens;

(7.4) — ensure that votes are cast by secret ballot or by equivalent
free voting procedure, and that they are counted and reported honestly with
the official results made public;

(7.5) — respect the right of citizens to seek political or public office,
individually or as representatives of political parties or organizations, without
discrimination;

(7.6) — respect the right of individuals and groups to establish, in
full freedom, their own political parties or other political organizations and
provide such political parties and organizations with the necessary legal
guarantees to enable them to compete with each other on a basis of equal
treatment before the law and by the authorities;

(7.7) — ensure that law and public policy work to permit political
campaigning to be conducted in a fair and free atmosphere in which neither
administrative action, violence nor intimidation bars the parties and the
candidates from freely presenting their views and qualifications, or prevents
the voters from learning and discussing them or from casting their vote free of
fear of retribution;

(7.8) — provide that no legal or administrative obstacle stands in the
way of unimpeded access to the media on a non-discriminatory basis for all
political groupings and individuals wishing to participate in the electoral
process;

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(7.9) — ensure that candidates who obtain the necessary number of
votes required by law are duly installed in office and are permitted to remain
in office until their term expires or is otherwise brought to an end in a manner
that is regulated by law in conformity with democratic parliamentary and
constitutional procedures.

(8) The participating States consider that the presence of
observers, both foreign and domestic, can enhance the electoral process for
States in which elections are taking place. They therefore invite observers
from any other CSCE participating States and any appropriate private
institutions and organizations who may wish to do so to observe the course of
their national election proceedings, to the extent permitted by law. They will
also endeavour to facilitate similar access for election proceedings held below
the national level. Such observers will undertake not to interfere in the
electoral proceedings.

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II

(9) The participating States reaffirm that

(9.1) — everyone will have the right to freedom of expression
including the right to communication. This right will include freedom to hold
opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without
interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. The exercise of
this right may be subject only to such restrictions as are prescribed by law
and are consistent with international standards. In particular, no limitation
will be imposed on access to, and use of, means of reproducing documents of
any kind, while respecting, however, rights relating to intellectual property,
including copyright;

(9.2) — everyone will have the right of peaceful assembly and
demonstration. Any restrictions which may be placed on the exercise of these
rights will be prescribed by law and consistent with international standards;

(9.3) — the right of association will be guaranteed. The right to form
and — subject to the general right of a trade union to determine its own
membership — freely to join a trade union will be guaranteed. These rights
will exclude any prior control. Freedom of association for workers, including
the freedom to strike, will be guaranteed, subject to limitations prescribed by
law and consistent with international standards;

(9.4) — everyone will have the right to freedom of thought,
conscience and religion. This right includes freedom to change one’s religion
or belief and freedom to manifest one’s religion or belief, either alone or in
community with others, in public or in private, through worship, teaching,
practice and observance. The exercise of these rights may be subject only to
such restrictions as are prescribed by law and are consistent with
international standards;

(9.5) — they will respect the right of everyone to leave any country,
including his own, and to return to his country, consistent with a State’s
international obligations and CSCE commitments. Restrictions on this right
will have the character of very rare exceptions, will be considered necessary
only if they respond to a specific public need, pursue a legitimate aim and are
proportionate to that aim, and will not be abused or applied in an arbitrary
manner;

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(9.6) — everyone has the right peacefully to enjoy his property
either on his own or in common with others. No one may be deprived of his
property except in the public interest and subject to the conditions provided
for by law and consistent with international commitments and obligations.

(10) In reaffirming their commitment to ensure effectively the rights
of the individual to know and act upon human rights and fundamental
freedoms, and to contribute actively, individually or in association with
others, to their promotion and protection, the participating States express
their commitment to

(10.1) — respect the right of everyone, individually or in association
with others, to seek, receive and impart freely views and information on
human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the rights to disseminate
and publish such views and information;

(10.2) — respect the rights of everyone, individually or in association
with others, to study and discuss the observance of human rights and
fundamental freedoms and to develop and discuss ideas for improved
protection of human rights and better means for ensuring compliance with
international human rights standards;

(10.3) — ensure that individuals are permitted to exercise the right to
association, including the right to form, join and participate effectively in
non-governmental organizations which seek the promotion and protection of
human rights and fundamental freedoms, including trade unions and human
rights monitoring groups;

(10.4) — allow members of such groups and organizations to have
unhindered access to and communication with similar bodies within and
outside their countries and with international organizations, to engage in
exchanges, contacts and co-operation with such groups and organizations and
to solicit, receive and utilize for the purpose of promoting and protecting
human rights and fundamental freedoms voluntary financial contributions
from national and international sources as provided for by law.

(11) The participating States further affirm that, where violations of
human rights and fundamental freedoms are alleged to have occurred, the
effective remedies available include

(11.1) — the right of the individual to seek and receive adequate legal
assistance;

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(11.2) — the right of the individual to seek and receive assistance
from others in defending human rights and fundamental freedoms, and to
assist others in defending human rights and fundamental freedoms;

(11.3) — the right of individuals or groups acting on their behalf to
communicate with international bodies with competence to receive and
consider information concerning allegations of human rights abuses.

(12) The participating States, wishing to ensure greater
transparency in the implementation of the commitments undertaken in the
Vienna Concluding Document under the heading of the human dimension of
the CSCE, decide to accept as a confidence-building measure the presence of
observers sent by participating States and representatives of
non-governmental organizations and other interested persons at proceedings
before courts as provided for in national legislation and international law; it is
understood that proceedings may only be held in camera in the circumstances
prescribed by law and consistent with obligations under international law and
international commitments.

(13) The participating States decide to accord particular attention
to the recognition of the rights of the child, his civil rights and his individual
freedoms, his economic, social and cultural rights, and his right to special
protection against all forms of violence and exploitation. They will consider
acceding to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, if they have not yet
done so, which was opened for signature by States on 26 January 1990. They
will recognize in their domestic legislation the rights of the child as affirmed in
the international agreements to which they are Parties.

(14) The participating States agree to encourage the creation, within
their countries, of conditions for the training of students and trainees from
other participating States, including persons taking vocational and technical
courses. They also agree to promote travel by young people from their
countries for the purpose of obtaining education in other participating States
and to that end to encourage the conclusion, where appropriate, of bilateral
and multilateral agreements between their relevant governmental institutions,
organizations and educational establishments.

(15) The participating States will act in such a way as to facilitate
the transfer of sentenced persons and encourage those participating States
which are not Parties to the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons,
signed at Strasbourg on 21 November 1983, to consider acceding to the
Convention.

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(16) The participating States

(16.1) — reaffirm their commitment to prohibit torture and other
cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, to take effective
legislative, administrative, judicial and other measures to prevent and punish
such practices, to protect individuals from any psychiatric or other medical
practices that violate human rights and fundamental freedoms and to take
effective measures to prevent and punish such practices;

(16.2) — intend, as a matter of urgency, to consider acceding to the
Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading
Treatment or Punishment, if they have not yet done so, and recognizing the
competences of the Committee against Torture under articles 21 and 22 of the
Convention and withdrawing reservations regarding the competence of the
Committee under article 20;

(16.3) — stress that 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;

(16.4) — will 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;

(16.5) — will 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 their jurisdiction, with a view to
preventing any cases of torture;

(16.6) — will take up with priority for consideration and for
appropriate action, in accordance with the agreed measures and procedures
for the effective implementation of the commitments relating to the human
dimension of the CSCE, any cases of torture and other inhuman or degrading
treatment or punishment made known to them through official channels or
coming from any other reliable source of information;

(16.7) — will act upon the understanding that preserving and
guaranteeing the life and security of any individual subjected to any form of
torture and other inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment will be the

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sole criterion in determining the urgency and priorities to be accorded in
taking appropriate remedial action; and, therefore, the consideration of any
cases of torture and other inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
within the framework of any other international body or mechanism may not
be invoked as a reason for refraining from consideration and appropriate
action in accordance with the agreed measures and procedures for the
effective implementation of the commitments relating to the human dimension
of the CSCE.

(17) The participating States

(17.1) — recall the commitment undertaken in the Vienna
Concluding Document to keep the question of capital punishment under
consideration and to co-operate within relevant international organizations;

(17.2) — recall, in this context, the adoption by the General Assembly
of the United Nations, on 15 December 1989, of the Second Optional Protocol
to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the
abolition of the death penalty;

(17.3) — note the restrictions and safeguards regarding the use of the
death penalty which have been adopted by the international community, in
particular article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights;

(17.4) — note the provisions of the Sixth Protocol to the European
Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms,
concerning the abolition of the death penalty;

(17.5) — note recent measures taken by a number of participating
States towards the abolition of capital punishment;

(17.6) — note the activities of several non-governmental
organizations on the question of the death penalty;

(17.7) — will exchange information within the framework of the
Conference on the Human Dimension on the question of the abolition of the
death penalty and keep that question under consideration;

(17.8) — will make available to the public information regarding the
use of the death penalty.

(18) The participating States

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(18.1) — note that the United Nations Commission on Human Rights
has recognized the right of everyone to have conscientious objections to
military service;

(18.2) — note recent measures taken by a number of participating
States to permit exemption from compulsory military service on the basis of
conscientious objections;

(18.3) — note the activities of several non-governmental
organizations on the question of conscientious objections to compulsory
military service;

(18.4) — agree to consider introducing, where this has not yet been
done, various forms of alternative service, which are compatible with the
reasons for conscientious objection, such forms of alternative service being in
principle of a non-combatant or civilian nature, in the public interest and of a
non-punitive nature;

(18.5) — will make available to the public information on this issue;

(18.6) — will keep under consideration, within the framework of the
Conference on the Human Dimension, the relevant questions related to the
exemption from compulsory military service, where it exists, of individuals on
the basis of conscientious objections to armed service, and will exchange
information on these questions.

(19) The participating States affirm that freer movement and
contacts among their citizens are important in the context of the protection
and promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms. They will ensure
that their policies concerning entry into their territories are fully consistent
with the aims set out in the relevant provisions of the Final Act, the Madrid
Concluding Document and the Vienna Concluding Document. While
reaffirming their determination not to recede from the commitments
contained in CSCE documents, they undertake to implement fully and
improve present commitments in the field of human contacts, including on a
bilateral and multilateral basis. In this context they will

(19.1) — strive to implement the procedures for entry into their
territories, including the issuing of visas and passport and customs control, in
good faith and without unjustified delay. Where necessary, they will shorten
the waiting time for visa decisions, as well as simplify practices and reduce
administrative requirements for visa applications;

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(19.2) — ensure, in dealing with visa applications, that these are
processed as expeditiously as possible in order, inter alia, to take due account
of important family, personal or professional considerations, especially in
cases of an urgent, humanitarian nature;

(19.3) — endeavour, where necessary, to reduce fees charged in
connection with visa applications to the lowest possible level.

(20) The participating States concerned will consult and, where
appropriate, cooperate in dealing with problems that might emerge as a result
of the increased movement of persons.

(21) The participating States recommend the consideration, at the
next CSCE Follow-up Meeting in Helsinki, of the advisability of holding a
meeting of experts on consular matters.

(22) The participating States reaffirm that the protection and
promotion of the rights of migrant workers have their human dimension. In
this context, they

(22.1) — agree that the protection and promotion of the rights of
migrant workers are the concern of all participating States and that as such
they should be addressed within the CSCE process;

(22.2) — reaffirm their commitment to implement fully in their
domestic legislation the rights of migrant workers provided for in
international agreements to which they are parties;

(22.3) — consider that, in future international instruments
concerning the rights of migrant workers, they should take into account the
fact that this issue is of importance for all of them;

(22.4) — express their readiness to examine, at future CSCE
meetings, the relevant aspects of the further promotion of the rights of
migrant workers and their families.

(23) The participating States reaffirm their conviction expressed in
the Vienna Concluding Document that the promotion of economic, social and
cultural rights as well as of civil and political rights is of paramount
importance for human dignity and for the attainment of the legitimate
aspirations of every individual. They also reaffirm their commitment taken in
the Document of the Bonn Conference on Economic Co-operation in Europe

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to the promotion of social justice and the improvement of living and working
conditions. In the context of continuing their efforts with a view to achieving
progressively the full realization of economic, social and cultural rights by all
appropriate means, they will pay special attention to problems in the areas of
employment, housing, social security, health, education and culture.

(24) The participating States will ensure that the exercise of all the
human rights and fundamental freedoms set out above will not be subject to
any restrictions except those which are provided by law and are consistent
with their obligations under international law, in particular the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and with their international
commitments, in particular the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
These restrictions have the character of exceptions. The participating States
will ensure that these restrictions are not abused and are not applied in an
arbitrary manner, but in such a way that the effective exercise of these rights
is ensured.
Any restriction on rights and freedoms must, in a democratic
society, relate to one of the objectives of the applicable law and be strictly
proportionate to the aim of that law.

(25) The participating States confirm that any derogations from
obligations relating to human rights and fundamental freedoms during a state
of public emergency must remain strictly within the limits provided for by
international law, in particular the relevant international instruments by
which they are bound, especially with respect to rights from which there can
be no derogation. They also reaffirm that

(25.1) — measures derogating from such obligations must be taken in
strict conformity with the procedural requirements laid down in those
instruments;

(25.2) — the imposition of a state of public emergency must be
proclaimed officially, publicly, and in accordance with the provisions laid
down by law;

(25.3) — measures derogating from obligations will be limited to the
extent strictly required by the exigencies of the situation;

(25.4) — such measures will not discriminate solely on the grounds of
race, colour, sex, language, religion, social origin or of belonging to a minority.

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III

(26) The participating States recognize that vigorous democracy
depends on the existence as an integral part of national life of democratic
values and practices as well as an extensive range of democratic institutions.
They will therefore encourage, facilitate and, where appropriate, support
practical co-operative endeavours and the sharing of information, ideas and
expertise among themselves and by direct contacts and co-operation between
individuals, groups and organizations in areas including the following:

— constitutional law, reform and development,
— electoral legislation, administration and observation,
— establishment and management of courts and legal systems,
— the development of an impartial and effective public service
where recruitment and advancement are based on a merit system,
— law enforcement,
— local government and decentralization,
— access to information and protection of privacy,
— developing political parties and their role in pluralistic
societies,
— free and independent trade unions,
— co-operative movements,
— developing other forms of free associations and public interest
groups,
— journalism, independent media, and intellectual and cultural
life,
— the teaching of democratic values, institutions and practices in
educational institutions and the fostering of an atmosphere of free enquiry.

Such endeavours may cover the range of co-operation
encompassed in the human dimension of the CSCE, including training,
exchange of information, books and instructional materials, co-operative
programmes and projects, academic and professional exchanges and
conferences, scholarships, research grants, provision of expertise and advice,
business and scientific contacts and programmes.

(27) The participating States will also facilitate the establishment
and strengthening of independent national institutions in the area of human
rights and the rule of law, which may also serve as focal points for
co-ordination and collaboration between such institutions in the participating
States. They propose that co-operation be encouraged between

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parliamentarians from participating States, including through existing
inter-parliamentary associations and, inter alia, through joint commissions,
television debates involving parliamentarians, meetings and round-table
discussions. They will also encourage existing institutions, such as
organizations within the United Nations system and the Council of Europe, to
continue and expand the work they have begun in this area.

(28) The participating States recognize the important expertise of
the Council of Europe in the field of human rights and fundamental freedoms
and agree to consider further ways and means to enable the Council of
Europe to make a contribution to the human dimension of the CSCE. They
agree that the nature of this contribution could be examined further in a
future CSCE forum.

(29) The participating States will consider the idea of convening a
meeting or seminar of experts to review and discuss co-operative measures
designed to promote and sustain viable democratic institutions in
participating States, including comparative studies of legislation in
participating States in the area of human rights and fundamental freedoms,
inter alia drawing upon the experience acquired in this area by the Council of
Europe and the activities of the Commission “Democracy through Law”.

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IV

(30) The participating States recognize that the questions relating to
national minorities can only be satisfactorily resolved in a democratic political
framework based on the rule of law, with a functioning independent judiciary.
This framework guarantees full respect for human rights and fundamental
freedoms, equal rights and status for all citizens, the free expression of all
their legitimate interests and aspirations, political pluralism, social tolerance
and the implementation of legal rules that place effective restraints on the
abuse of governmental power.
They also recognize the important role of non-governmental
organizations, including political parties, trade unions, human rights
organizations and religious groups, in the promotion of tolerance, cultural
diversity and the resolution of questions relating to national minorities.
They further reaffirm that respect for the rights of persons
belonging to national minorities as part of universally recognized human
rights is an essential factor for peace, justice, stability and democracy in the
participating States.

(31) Persons belonging to national minorities have the right to
exercise fully and effectively their human rights and fundamental freedoms
without any discrimination and in full equality before the law.
The participating States will adopt, where necessary, special
measures for the purpose of ensuring to persons belonging to national
minorities full equality with the other citizens in the exercise and enjoyment of
human rights and fundamental freedoms.

(32) To belong to a national minority is a matter of a person’s
individual choice and no disadvantage may arise from the exercise of such
choice.
Persons belonging to national minorities have the right freely to
express, preserve and develop their ethnic, cultural, linguistic or religious
identity and to maintain and develop their culture in all its aspects, free of any
attempts at assimilation against their will. In particular, they have the right

(32.1) — to use freely their mother tongue in private as well as in
public;

(32.2) — to establish and maintain their own educational, cultural
and religious institutions, organizations or associations, which can seek

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voluntary financial and other contributions as well as public assistance, in
conformity with national legislation;

(32.3) — to profess and practise their religion, including the
acquisition, possession and use of religious materials, and to conduct religious
educational activities in their mother tongue;

(32.4) — to establish and maintain unimpeded contacts among
themselves within their country as well as contacts across frontiers with
citizens of other States with whom they share a common ethnic or national
origin, cultural heritage or religious beliefs;

(32.5) — to disseminate, have access to and exchange information in
their mother tongue;

(32.6) — to establish and maintain organizations or associations
within their country and to participate in international non-governmental
organizations.
Persons belonging to national minorities can exercise and enjoy
their rights individually as well as in community with other members of their
group. No disadvantage may arise for a person belonging to a national
minority on account of the exercise or non-exercise of any such rights.

(33) The participating States will protect the ethnic, cultural,
linguistic and religious identity of national minorities on their territory and
create conditions for the promotion of that identity. They will take the
necessary measures to that effect after due consultations, including contacts
with organizations or associations of such minorities, in accordance with the
decision-making procedures of each State.
Any such measures will be in conformity with the principles of
equality and non-discrimination with respect to the other citizens of the
participating State concerned.

(34) The participating States will endeavour to ensure that persons
belonging to national minorities, notwithstanding the need to learn the official
language or languages of the State concerned, have adequate opportunities for
instruction of their mother tongue or in their mother tongue, as well as,
wherever possible and necessary, for its use before public authorities, in
conformity with applicable national legislation.
In the context of the teaching of history and culture in
educational establishments, they will also take account of the history and
culture of national minorities.

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(35) The participating States will respect the right of persons
belonging to national minorities to effective participation in public affairs,
including participation in the affairs relating to the protection and promotion
of the identity of such minorities.
The participating States note the efforts undertaken to protect
and create conditions for the promotion of the ethnic, cultural, linguistic and
religious identity of certain national minorities by establishing, as one of the
possible means to achieve these aims, appropriate local or autonomous
administrations corresponding to the specific historical and territorial
circumstances of such minorities and in accordance with the policies of the
State concerned.

(36) The participating States recognize the particular importance of
increasing constructive co-operation among themselves on questions relating
to national minorities. Such co-operation seeks to promote mutual
understanding and confidence, friendly and good-neighbourly relations,
international peace, security and justice.
Every participating State will promote a climate of mutual
respect, understanding, co-operation and solidarity among all persons living
on its territory, without distinction as to ethnic or national origin or religion,
and will encourage the solution of problems through dialogue based on the
principles of the rule of law.

(37) None of these commitments may be interpreted as implying
any right to engage in any activity or perform any action in contravention of
the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, other
obligations under international law or the provisions of the Final Act,
including the principle of territorial integrity of States.

(38) The participating States, in their efforts to protect and promote
the rights of persons belonging to national minorities, will fully respect their
undertakings under existing human rights conventions and other relevant
international instruments and consider adhering to the relevant conventions,
if they have not yet done so, including those providing for a right of complaint
by individuals.

(39) The participating States will co-operate closely in the
competent international organizations to which they belong, including the
United Nations and, as appropriate, the Council of Europe, bearing in mind
their on-going work with respect to questions relating to national minorities.
They will consider convening a meeting of experts for a
thorough discussion of the issue of national minorities.

– 21 –
(40) The participating States clearly and unequivocally condemn
totalitarianism, racial and ethnic hatred, anti-semitism, xenophobia and
discrimination against anyone as well as persecution on religious and
ideological grounds. In this context, they also recognize the particular
problems of Roma (gypsies).
They declare their firm intention to intensify the efforts to
combat these phenomena in all their forms and therefore will

(40.1) — take effective measures, including the adoption, in
conformity with their constitutional systems and their international
obligations, of such laws as may be necessary, to provide protection against
any acts that constitute incitement to violence against persons or groups based
on national, racial, ethnic or religious discrimination, hostility or hatred,
including anti-semitism;

(40.2) — commit themselves to take appropriate and proportionate
measures to protect persons or groups who may be subject to threats or acts
of discrimination, hostility or violence as a result of their racial, ethnic,
cultural, linguistic or religious identity, and to protect their property;

(40.3) — take effective measures, in conformity with their
constitutional systems, at the national, regional and local levels to promote
understanding and tolerance, particularly in the fields of education, culture
and information;

(40.4) — endeavour to ensure that the objectives of education include
special attention to the problem of racial prejudice and hatred and to the
development of respect for different civilizations and cultures;

(40.5) — recognize the right of the individual to effective remedies
and endeavour to recognize, in conformity with national legislation, the right
of interested persons and groups to initiate and support complaints against
acts of discrimination, including racist and xenophobic acts;

(40.6) — consider adhering, if they have not yet done so, to the
international instruments which address the problem of discrimination and
ensure full compliance with the obligations therein, including those relating to
the submission of periodic reports;

(40.7) — consider, also, accepting those international mechanisms
which allow States and individuals to bring communications relating to
discrimination before international bodies.

– 22 –

V

(41) The participating States reaffirm their commitment to the
human dimension of the CSCE and emphasize its importance as an integral
part of a balanced approach to security and co-operation in Europe. They
agree that the Conference on the Human Dimension of the CSCE and the
human dimension mechanism described in the section on the human
dimension of the CSCE of the Vienna Concluding Document have
demonstrated their value as methods of furthering their dialogue and
co-operation and assisting in the resolution of relevant specific questions.
They express their conviction that these should be continued and developed as
part of an expanding CSCE process.

(42) The participating States recognize the need to enhance further
the effectiveness of the procedures described in paragraphs 1 to 4 of the
section on the human dimension of the CSCE of the Vienna Concluding
Document and with this aim decide

(42.1) — to provide in as short a time as possible, but no later than
four weeks, a written response to requests for information and to
representations made to them in writing by other participating States under
paragraph 1;

(42.2) — that the bilateral meetings, as contained in paragraph 2, will
take place as soon as possible, as a rule within three weeks of the date of the
request;

(42.3) — to refrain, in the course of a bilateral meeting held under
paragraph 2, from raising situations and cases not connected with the subject
of the meeting, unless both sides have agreed to do so.

(43) The participating States examined practical proposals for new
measures aimed at improving the implementation of the commitments
relating to the human dimension of the CSCE. In this regard, they considered
proposals related to the sending of observers to examine situations and
specific cases, the appointment of rapporteurs to investigate and suggest
appropriate solutions, the setting up of a Committee on the Human
Dimension of the CSCE, greater involvement of persons, organizations and
institutions in the human dimension mechanism and further bilateral and
multilateral efforts to promote the resolution of relevant issues.
They decide to continue to discuss thoroughly in subsequent

– 23 –
relevant CSCE fora these and other proposals designed to strengthen the
human dimension mechanism, and to consider adopting, in the context of the
further development of the CSCE process, appropriate new measures. They
agree that these measures should contribute to achieving further effective
progress, enhance conflict prevention and confidence in the field of the human
dimension of the CSCE.

* * *

– 24 –

(44) The representatives of the participating States express their
profound gratitude to the people and Government of Denmark for the
excellent organization of the Copenhagen Meeting and the warm hospitality
extended to the delegations which participated in the Meeting.

(45) In accordance with the provisions relating to the Conference on
the Human Dimension of the CSCE contained in the Concluding Document of
the Vienna Follow-up Meeting of the CSCE, the third Meeting of the
Conference will take place in Moscow from 10 September to 4 October 1991.

Copenhagen, 29 June 1990

– 25 –
ANNEX

CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT

ON THE ACCESS OF NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS AND THE
MEDIA TO MEETINGS OF
THE CONFERENCE ON THE HUMAN DIMENSION

The Chairman notes that the practices of openness and access to the
Meetings of the Conference on the Human Dimension, as they were applied
at the Vienna Meeting and as contained in Annex XI of the Concluding
Document of that Meeting, are of importance to all participating States. In
order to follow and build upon those practices at forthcoming CSCE
meetings of the Conference on the Human Dimension, the participating
States agree that the following practices of openness and access should be
respected:

— free movement by members of interested non-governmental
organizations (NGOs) in the Conference premises, except for the areas
restricted to delegations and to the services of the Executive Secretariat.
Accordingly, badges will be issued to them, at their request, by the
Executive Secretariat;

— unimpeded contacts between members of interested NGOs and
delegates, as well as with accredited representatives of the media;

— access to official documents of the Conference in all the
working languages and also to any document that delegates might wish to
communicate to members of interested NGOs;

— the opportunity for members of interested NGOs to transmit to
delegates communications relating to the human dimension of the CSCE.
Mailboxes for each delegation will be accessible to them for this purpose;

— free access for delegates to all documents emanating from
interested NGOs and addressed to the Executive Secretariat for the
information of the Conference. Accordingly, the Executive Secretariat will
make available to delegates a regularly updated collection of such

– 26 –
documents.

They further undertake to guarantee to representatives of the media

— free movement in the Conference premises, except for the areas
restricted to delegations and to the services of the Executive Secretariat.
Accordingly, badges will be issued to them by the Executive Secretariat
upon presentation of the requisite credentials;

— unimpeded contacts with delegates and with members of
interested NGOs;

— access to official documents of the Conference in all the
working languages.

The Chairman notes further that this statement will be an Annex to
the Document of the Copenhagen Meeting and will be published with it.

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