UN OFFICE OF THE HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS (OHCHR)
“The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is mandated to promote and protect the enjoyment and full realization, by all people, of all rights established in the Charter of the United Nations and in international human rights laws and treaties. OHCHR is guided in its work by the mandate provided by the General Assembly in resolution 48/141, the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and subsequent human rights instruments, the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action the 1993 World Conference on Human Rights, and the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document.
The mandate includes preventing human rights violations, securing respect for all human rights, promoting international cooperation to protect human rights, coordinating related activities throughout the United Nations, and strengthening and streamlining the United Nations system in the field of human rights. In addition to its mandated responsibilities, the Office leads efforts to integrate a human rights approach within all work carried out by United Nations agencies.” (OHCHR Website, http://www.ohchr.org/EN/AboutUs/Pages/Mandate.aspx, accessed on 31 October 2008)
“As the principal United Nations office mandated to promote and protect human rights for all, OHCHR leads global human rights efforts speaks out objectively in the face of human rights violations worldwide. We provide a forum for identifying, highlighting and developing responses to today's human rights challenges, and act as the principal focal point of human rights research, education, public information, and advocacy activities in the United Nations system.
Since Governments have the primary responsibility to protect human rights, the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) provides assistance to Governments, such as expertise and technical trainings in the areas of administration of justice, legislative reform, and electoral process, to help implement international human rights standards on the ground. We also assist other entities with responsibility to protect human rights to fulfil their obligations and individuals to realize their rights.” (OHCHR Website, http://www.ohchr.org/EN/AboutUs/Pages/WhatWeDo.aspx, accessed on 31 October 2008)
Scope of reporting:
Geographic focus: Worldwide; field presences through Country Offices, Regional Offices, Peace Missions and Human Rights Advisers
“Our method of work focuses on three major dimensions: standard-setting, monitoring, and implementation on the ground. We work to offer the best expertise, and substantive and secretariat support to the different United Nations human rights bodies as they discharge their standard-setting and monitoring duties. OHCHR, for example, serves as the Secretariat of the Human Rights Council. The Council, consisting of State representatives, is the key United Nations intergovernmental body responsible for human rights.
We also support the work of special prodecures –including special rapporteurs , independent experts, and working groups-- appointed by the Council to monitor human rights in different countries or in relation to specific issues. We assist these independent experts as they carry out visits to the field, receive and consider direct complaints from victims of human rights violations, and appeal to governments on behalf of victims. Another example of the standard-setting and monitoring dimensions of our work is the legal research and secretariat support it provides to the core human rights treaty bodies. These committees of independent experts are mandated to monitor State parties' compliance with their treaty obligations. They meet regularly to examine reports from State parties and issue their recommendations.”
Annual Report; numerous other publications on an irregular basis
Website in English, French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic and Chinese; not all publications in all of these languages
Navigation of website:
Main menu: Publications > Human Rights basics, Fact Sheets etc.; on the right side: “Other recent publications” and “OHCHR’s annual reports and biennial plans”