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Useful Information

OHCHR in Angola
2008-2009
2006-2007

Calendar of Events

Publications

OHCHR report 2013 OHCHR Report 2013
OHCHR Management Plan 2014-2017 OHCHR Management Plan 2014-2017
Brochure: Human Rights in action Human Rights in Action (PDF)
Working with the United Nations Human Rights Programme: A Handbook for Civil Society A Handbook for Civil Society (PDF)

OHCHR in Angola (2008-2009)


Human rights context

 
After more than 37 years of war, Angola has enjoyed peace since the ceasefire accords were signed in April 2002. The absence of armed conflict for the first time in the lives of most Angolans is, in itself, the most important indication of progress in human rights. Still, access to justice is limited, the judiciary is weak, and there are serious limits to press freedom and to civil society activities. Even with the country’s massive mineral wealth and economic growth, the most serious human rights challenge is abject poverty, with 68 per cent of the population living below the poverty line. Access to health, education, land, food and adequate housing,water and sanitation need to be improved, particularly for women. Maternal and child mortality rates are among the highest in the world.

Parliamentary and presidential elections are scheduled for 2008 and 2009, respectively.

At the same time, and as pledged by Angola for the election to the Human Rights Council, interaction with the UN human rights mechanisms has been growing. In 2007, Angola invited the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and the Special Rapporteurs on freedom of expression and on freedom of religion and belief. The Special Rapporteur on the right to education has been invited to visit Angola in 2008. Angola was also due to submit a Common Core Document, for which it is a pilot country, and a treaty-specific report to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in 2007.

OHCHR’s office in Angola works under the mandate of the UN Resident Coordinator. The office has initiated discussions with the Government on signing OHCHR’s standard memorandum of understanding for country offices. 

 

Achievements

 

Besides encouraging and supporting Angola’s interaction with UN human rights mechanisms, OHCHR has played a critical role in establishing a national human rights institution (Ombudsman) and the Human Rights Coordination Council, an umbrella civil society organization.

An active partnership with the Ministry of Justice has resulted in the recognition of alternative mechanisms of justice such as mediation and conciliation. OHCHR has trained mediators and promoted necessary law reforms and the establishment of legal clinics. Through the ongoing justice reform process, traditional justice has been incorporated into the justice system.

There is greater awareness about human rights issues both in and outside the capital, Luanda, thanks to a training programme on human rights that OHCHR implemented in cooperation with the Office of the Attorney General and the National Police.

 

Priorities

 
OHCHR’s strategy for the 2008-2009 biennium aims to strengthen the capacity of the Government and civil society to promote and to protect human rights. Given its limited capacity and the many operational challenges in working in the country, the Office has decided to focus on the provinces of Cabinda, Huambo and Lunda Norte.

OHCHR will continue to work to build the capacity of government institutions, such as the judiciary and the police, and that of the Ombudsman and civil society to promote and to protect human rights. OHCHR will support efforts to adopt a national human rights plan of action.

OHCHR Angola will raise awareness among the Government and civil society about the need to improve social policies and legal frameworks and to respect economic, social and cultural rights, particularly the rights to housing, food and health.

The political transition from a one-party State to democracy and rule of law is guaranteed by the country’s constitution, but has yet to be put into practice. The elections expected to take place in 2008 and in 2009 will be the first since 1992. OHCHR will advocate for respect for civil and political rights, particularly in the context of the electoral process.

The Office will also support improved access to justice, particularly for women and people living in poor and remote areas, by encouraging the use of alternative mechanisms for conflict resolution and ensuring that traditional authorities adhere to international standards.

OHCHR Angola will continue to support the country’s interaction with UN human rights mechanisms through ratification of core international instruments, reporting to treaty bodies, cooperation with special procedures of the Human Rights Council, and preparing for the Universal Periodic Review (Angola is due for review in early 2010).

OHCHR will continue to help incorporate a human rights-based approach in the UNDAF and UN agencies’ programming.

Contact Information

Headquarters

Field Operations and Technical Cooperation Division
Geneva, Switzerland

Africa Section 
Tel. +41 22 928 9694
Geneva, Switzerland

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OHCHR in the field

Map of OHCHR field presences

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