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Report No. 152

4.2. Positive and negative aspects.-

So far as the international covenants are concerned, they seem to impose both a positive and a negative responsibility on the State. In their positive aspect, those covenants require the State and its agencies not to violate the right to life. This is implicit in the obligation to respect such right. In their negative aspect, the State must take at least such reasonable steps as are necessary to ensure protection of the right conferred by the Covenant. In regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Human Rights Committee established under the Covenant seems to have taken the view that the obligations of the particular States under the Covenant encompass both positive and negative dimensions.1

1. See Dadiel Monguya Mbengo v. Zaire, Communication No. 16/1977, in Reports of the Human Rights Committee to the General Assembly, U.N. Doc. A/38/40 (1983), p. 134; Pedro Pablo Connargog v. Colombia, Communication No. R. 11/45, in Reports of the Human Rights Committee to the General Assembly, U.N. Doc. A/37/40 (1982), p. 137. Also see Olive Farrell v. United Kingdom, Application No. 9013/80, in Vol. 25, Yr. Bk. of the European Convention on Human Rights, p. 124.



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