The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) was officially established by the General Assembly in 1993, although the United Nations human rights programme started as a small division at the UN headquarters in the 1940s.
The mandate of OHCHR gives lead responsibility for the promotion and protection of human rights, and for implementing the human rights programme within the UN. It includes preventing human rights violations, securing respect for all human rights, promoting international cooperation to protect 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 also works with States in order to assist governments in the implementation of international human rights standards.
One of OHCHR’s main issues is women’s rights. In 2006, the OHCHR Women’s Human Rights and Gender Unit (WRGU) was established, with the priority to develop a gender sensitive administration of justice.
OHCHR supports the implementation of SCR 1325 (2000) both within the UN system and nationally. As a human right’s body, their focus within the women, peace and security agenda lies on transitional justice, anti-discrimination against women, empowerment and protection and restoration of dignity to victims of violence in conflict.
The Civil Society
OHCHR is dedicated to building knowledge and skills about international human rights standards among civil society actors, and promoting civil society participation in decision-making processes. In this vein, the Civil Society Section is the unit in OHCHR dedicated to strengthening engagement between civil society and the United Nations Human Rights Programme.
For more information, please visit the official OHCHR website.