‘The determination and integrity of civil society actors working for human rights bring me, and perhaps bring to you, a sense of humility, a feeling of a great and powerful debt being owed, and the will to continue working for the equal and inalienable dignity and rights of every human being.’
Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Every day in every part of the world, civil society contributes to the promotion, protection and advancement of human rights. Whatever they call themselves -- human rights defenders, human rights NGOs, bar associations, student clubs, trade unions, university institutes, bloggers, or charities working with discriminated groups -- civil society actors work for a better future and share the common goals of justice, equality, and human dignity.
OHCHR's cooperation with civil society remains a strategic priority because it bolsters our shared objectives, helps to address our mutual concerns, and supports the Office’s human rights mission and initiatives.
A dynamic, diverse and independent civil society, able to operate freely, knowledgeable and skilled with regard to human rights, is a key element in securing sustainable human rights protection in all regions of the world.
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.
OHCHR is also dedicated to protecting civil society space. Countries have the primary responsibility to protect civil society actors, but when their space, or they themselves, are at risk because of their work to advance human rights, the international community, including OHCHR, has a shared responsibility to support and protect them
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Working with the United Nations Human Rights Programme: A Handbook for Civil Society
||The essential reference to understanding what UN human rights mechanisms are and how to contribute to and benefit from their work.
Download the handbook in A-C-E-F-R-S. You can also download one chapter at a time.
The Handbook is also available in English and French CD-Roms in DAISY and Braille formats for persons with visual and print disability.