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Who we are

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) represents the world's commitment to universal ideals of human dignity. We have a unique mandate from the international community to promote and protect all human rights.

Leadership

High Commissioner for Human RightsThe High Commissioner for Human Rights is the principal human rights official of the United Nations.

The High Commissioner heads OHCHR and spearheads the United Nations' human rights efforts. We offer leadership, work objectively, educate and take action to empower individuals and assist States in upholding human rights.

We are a part of the United Nations Secretariat with our headquarters in Geneva.

The Office's priorities are set out in two key strategic documents: the OHCHR Plan of Action and its OHCHR Management Plan 2012-2013.

These priorities include greater country engagement, working closely with our partners at the country and local levels, in order to ensure that international human rights standards are implemented on the ground; a stronger leadership role for the High Commissioner; and closer partnerships with civil society and United Nations agencies.


United Nations human rights system

We also support the work of the United Nations human rights mechanisms, such as the Human Rights Council and the core treaty bodies set up for monitoring State Parties' compliance with international human rights treaties, promote the right to development, coordinate United Nations human rights education and public information activities, and strengthens human rights across the United Nations system. We work to ensure the enforcement of universally recognized human rights norms, including through promoting both the universal ratification and implementation of the major human rights treaties and respect for the rule of law.

Our structure

We have an office at United Nations headquarters in New York and offices in numerous countries and regions. In addition to the Executive Office of the High Commissioner and a number of units that report to the Deputy High Commissioner, OHCHR has two major divisions and four branches.

To implement our comprehensive mandate, we employ 1085 staff (as of 31 December 2013) based in Geneva, New York and in 13 country offices and 13 regional offices or centres around the world, as well as a workforce of 689 international human rights officers serving in UN peace missions or political offices. We are funded from the United Nations regular budget and from voluntary contributions from Member States, intergovernmental organizations, foundations and individuals.