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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 – Regional Office for Southern Africa (ROSA)


The Regional Office for Southern Africa (ROSA) of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights was established in 1998. ROSA assists States (government ministries, Parliaments, the judiciary and law enforcement agencies), United Nations agencies, national human rights institutions, and civil society organizations with the goal of achieving the full realization of human rights in the region. ROSA covers the following 14 countries: Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. ROSA provides training and advisory and capacity-building services to stakeholders, and works closely with regional mechanisms, such as the African Union (AU) and sub-regional mechanisms, such as the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC).  


The Region

The Southern African region is very diverse. It has some of the richest and some of the poorest States in Africa. Several countries have well-functioning national institutions and mechanisms to protect and promote human rights, but a number of human rights challenges remain. The region c. Some countries have recently faced, and others continue to face, political violence, insecurity, and serious human rights abuses. Discrimination remains an important human rights concern. The independence of the judiciary, access to justice, prison conditions, freedom of expression and assembly, economic, social and cultural rights, land issues, migration and xenophobia, impunity and sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) are among the main human rights challenges in the region.The relative stability in most of the countries, and the encouraging development and human rights achievements made by some States, give hope for the overall improvement of the human rights situation in the region.



The Regional Office for Southern Africa conducts activities in the following areas:

  • Strengthening national and regional human rights protection systems, with a special focus on national human rights institutions.
  • Addressing discrimination through technical assistance and advocacy.
  • Increasing engagement of national stakeholders with international human rights mechanisms, such as the Universal Periodic Review, Treaty-based bodies, and special procedures of the Human Rights Council.
  • Ensuring a human rights-based approach in UN Country Teams’ programmes and planning.


Expected accomplishments

ROSA is working towards achieving the following Expected Accomplishments by the end of the biennium (2012-2013):

  • Increased number of national anti-discrimination and equality legislation, administrative measures, policies and programmes, including national action plans, as well as practices in compliance with international norms and standards, with an emphasis on women’s rights.
  • Increased compliance of national laws, policies and programmes with international norms and standards on economic, social and cultural rights.
  • Increased engagement of national human rights institutions in addressing impunity.
  • Increased ratification of international human rights instruments, with a focus on the ICESCR and the CRPD.
  • Increased compliance of States with their obligation under the UPR in terms of reporting and putting in place efficient mechanisms to ensure follow-up of their recommendations and increased cooperation with special procedures.
  • Increased integration of equality and non-discrimination standards and principles, with a specific focus on women’s rights, in UN policies and programmes and in other key areas including at the country level.


10 July 2013: Sale and sexual exploitation of children: UN rights expert in fact-finding mission to Madagascar, click here.

9 July 2013 : “Will Malawi’s progress endure?” – UN expert on eve of right to food mission, click here.

13 June 2013 : UN rights expert deplores human rights violations in Belarus, urges co-operation, click here.

6 April 2013 : Human Rights Council holds interactive dialogues with Experts on the situation of human rights in Eritrea and in Belarus, click here.

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

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