‘During my next two years in office, I intend to pay particularly close attention to states’ relationships with, and treatment of, human rights defenders, journalists and other key members of civil society. Human rights will not improve much without the direct participation of a robust, free and independent civil society….’
Navi Pillay, High Commissioner for Human Rights, October 2012
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.