Useful Information

OHCHR Human Rights Programme for Africa

Latest activities

Establishment of the Human Rights Resource Centre at the Oliver Tambo Law Library, University of Pretoria, South Africa

18 August 2011: Publication: 'la justice transitionnelle: une voie vers la reconciliation et la construction d'une paix durable', Conference paper 1/2011, Dealing with the past.

Bi-monthly publication on human rights and democracy in the sub region:
September 2011
July 2011

10 years at the service of Central Africa

Country Mandates Established
by the CHR/HRC

Standing invitations to Special Procedures

Regional Members of the Human Rights Council:

Botswana 2017
Congo 2017
Côte d'Ivoire 2015
Ethiopia 2015
Gabon 2015
Ghana 2017
Kenya 2015
Namibia 2016
Nigeria 2017
Sierra Leone 2015
South Africa 2016

Voluntary Pledges and Commitments


OHCHR report 2014 OHCHR Report 2014
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 Human Rights Programme for Africa (2008-2009)

Regional human rights context

Many of the most grave and complex human rights challenges facing the world today are found in Africa. Poverty, discrimination and exclusion are reinforced in many countries by poor governance, corruption and ethnic divisions. Impunity is pervasive, and violence and discrimination against women, especially in conflict and postconflict settings, persist. While violent conflict continued into late 2007 in several countries in Africa, notably Somalia, Sudan, and eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, several African States continued to evolve from post-conflict status towards stability and development.

The extremely varied security and political environments across the continent were reflected in differing levels of national capacity and commitment to promote and protect human rights. Many of the regional and subregional human rights mechanisms and institutions, such as the African Union (AU), the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and others are in need of institutional support and technical assistance to increase their capacity to promote and protect human rights.

In addition to the large number of potential national and regional partners, rapidly changing political and security environments presented a further challenge to OHCHR in balancing the need to respond quickly to urgent human rights problems while not diverting resources from long-standing, but sometimes less visible, issues with equally or more dramatic impact on rights-holders.


During the 2008-2009 biennium, OHCHR will engage with national and regional actors to bolster efforts to build the peace in post-conflict States by promoting the rule of law and respect for human rights. Critical to establishing lasting peace will be helping countries to ensure accountability for past crimes, combating impunity, confronting discrimination and violence against women and vulnerable groups, and addressing poverty and social and economic rights by promoting a human rights-based approach in development and humanitarian programming. OHCHR’s overall programme in Africa will focus on assisting local, national and regional institutions to understand and respond to human rights concerns.

The programme seeks to increase the integration of human rights standards and principles into national legislation and policies, including through interaction with the treaty bodies, ensuring the implementation of voluntary pledges by new Human Rights Council members, and building on visits and recommendations from special procedures mandate-holders.

OHCHR’s programme in Africa includes helping to build the capacity of the African Union, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) and other relevant subregional organizations to promote and protect human rights. At the national level, OHCHR will continue to strengthen relevant national institutions and to collaborate with UN Country Teams to promote a human rights-based approach to development in their programming. Regional Offices will continue to serve as the entry point in countries where OHCHR has no presence.

During the 2008-2009 biennium, OHCHR will support 22 field presences in sub-Saharan Africa. These include regional offices or centres in Addis Ababa (East Africa), Pretoria (Southern Africa), Yaoundé (Central Africa), and Dakar (West Africa); country offices in Angola, Togo and Uganda; human rights components in 12 UN Peace Missions in Burundi, the Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ethiopia/Eritrea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan as well as the AU-UN hybrid mission in Darfur; and human rights advisers to the UN Country Teams in Rwanda, Niger, and Guinea. In addition, a regional human rights adviser for the Great Lakes Region, based in Bujumbura, will be deployed in 2008.

The Office will also continue to support the work of the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Burundi, the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in DRC, the Independent Expert on technical cooperation and advisory services in Liberia, the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia, and the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Sudan.

Contact Information


Field Operations and Technical Cooperation Division (FOTCD)
Contact is in Geneva, Switzerland.

Africa Section
Tel. +41 22 928 9694

Regional Offices/Centres

Central Africa
(Yaounde, Cameroon)
Nouvelle route Bastos
Rue 1705, Numéro 606
B.P. 836
Yaoundé, Cameroon
Tel.: +237 2221 2474 +23 74 83 03 56 ;
74 83 01 78
+8821 637 220 464 (satellite)
Fax: (237) 221 2475
Website: http://www.cnudhd.org/

East Africa
(Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)
New ECA Building
Room 1N16
P.O.Box 3001
Addis Ababa
Tel.: (251 11) 544 3105
Fax: (251 11) 551 6078

Southern Africa
Regional Office for Southern Africa
UN House, Metropark Building
351 Francis Baard Street
P.O. Box 6541
Pretoria 0001
South Africa
Tel.: +27 12 354 8686
Fax: +27 12 354 8681
E-mail: rosa@ohchr.org

West Africa
Parcelle n°20, en face de l'hôtel Azur, Route du King Fahd Palace, BP 154, Dakar, Senegal , Tel. : +221 33 869 39 69
Website: http://www.westafrica.ohchr.org/Contact.html

Other OHCHR Offices

Cote d'Ivoire
Democratic Republic of Congo
Sierra Leone

Feature stories


United Nations Country Teams in Africa region

Other UN links

Security Council resolutions

Secretary-General reports to the Security Council

External links

International Criminal Court

Geneva Conventions

ILO Conventions

Refugee Conventions

African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights

African Court of Justice

African Union

Economic Community of Central African States

Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa

National Institutions

Note: OHCHR is not responsible for the content of external links.