HRC General Comment No. 16: Article 17 (Right to Privacy)

UN Human Rights Committee (HRC), CCPR General Comment No. 16: Article 17 (Right to Privacy), The Right to Respect of Privacy, Family, Home and Correspondence, and Protection of Honour and Reputation, 8 April 1988, HRI/GEN/1/Rev.9 (Vol. I).
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Year of entry into force: 1988
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1. Article 17 provides for the right of every person to be protected against arbitrary or unlawful
interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence as well as against unlawful
attacks on his honour and reputation. In the view of the Committee this right is required to be
guaranteed against all such interferences and attacks whether they emanate from State
authorities or from natural or legal persons. The obligations imposed by this article require the
State to adopt legislative and other measures to give effect to the prohibition against such
interferences and attacks as well as to the protection of this right.

2. In this connection, the Committee wishes to point out that in the reports of States parties to the
Covenant the necessary attention is not being given to information concerning the manner in
which respect for this right is guaranteed by legislative, administrative or judicial authorities,
and in general by the competent organs established in the State. In particular, insufficient
attention is paid to the fact that article 17 of the Covenant deals with protection against both
unlawful and arbitrary interference. That means that it is precisely in State legislation above all
that provision must be made for the protection of the right set forth in that article. At present the
reports either say nothing about such legislation or provide insufficient information on the