dcsimg
English Site French Site Spanish Site Russian Site Arabic Site Chinese Site OHCHR header
Make a donation to OHCHR


Useful Information

OHCHR Human Rights Programme for Europe and Central Asia
2008-2009
2006-2007

Country Mandates Established
by the CHR/HRC

Open invitation to Special Procedures

Regional Members of the Human Rights Council:

Austria 2014
Czech Republic 2014
Estonia 2015
Germany 2015
Ireland 2015
Italy 2014
Kazakhstan 2015
Montenegro 2015
Romania 2014
United States of America 2015

Voluntary Pledges and Commitments

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 Human Rights Programme for Europe, North America and Central Asia (2006-2007)


Situation Analysis: The region comprising Europe, North America, Central Asia (and the Caucasus) is unique because of the diversity of its constituent countries, the profound changes the region has undergone since the early 1990s, and the potential for the transfer of knowledge among those countries. The countries comprising the region vary significantly in terms of economic and social development. The human rights situation in the region ranges from established democracies with strong human rights protection systems to countries in transition struggling with an institution-building process. However, interlinkages between the countries are close.

Regional organizations, particularly the European Union (EU), play a leading role in the region. The countries of the EU have a strong record of cooperation with international human rights mechanisms. The benefit of regional cooperation extends beyond the countries of the EU, as all countries of the region are members of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and most are members of the Council of Europe. Partnerships with regional organizations have given OHCHR opportunities to coordinate assistance to countries that have embarked on substantial human rights reforms, particularly the countries of the former Soviet Union.

Regional Priorities and Strategy: In helping countries to close gaps in their human rights protection systems, the Office will focus on encouraging governments to fulfil their human rights obligations through dialogue, assistance, and advocacy. The strengthening of existing regional offices and the establishment of new ones will help to engage with governments and civil society, while partnerships with relevant United Nations agencies and regional organizations, particularly the OSCE and the Council of Europe, will maximize OHCHR’s impact.

The posting of a Senior Human Rights Officer in Moscow will be an important first step toward providing adequate human rights expertise in the Russian Federation, a task the Office considers particularly important because of the size of the country and the cross-border nature of many of the country’s human rights concerns.

Strengthening the regional office in Central Asia will help to provide protection in an area where there are no regional human rights protection instruments or protection bodies, like the Council of Europe. At the same time, by emphasizing transfers of knowledge and building capacities to implement international human rights mechanisms, OHCHR, working closely with OSCE and other partners, will help Central Asian countries to benefit from positive experiences in human rights protection in the wider region.

The presence of a human rights officer in the Southern Caucasus (Tbilisi, Georgia) will make it easier to work with regional partners in an area that has shown a growing commitment to meeting its human rights obligations as it struggles with inadequate capacities.

Offices in southeast Europe, where OHCHR has had a long-term presence, will be phased out during the 2006-2007 biennium, except in Kosovo, where the office will be strengthened to respond to developments related to status talks. Activities will focus on ensuring that human rights become a cornerstone of future legislation and institutions. All offices in the region will be continuing the activities they have been implementing in close cooperation with governments, civil society, and international counterparts, providing technical assistance in integrating human rights into legislative, policy, and institutional reforms, and working to improve institutional and civil society capacities to protect human rights. OHCHR will remain focused on: protecting the most vulnerable; the fight against discrimination; access to economic, social, and cultural rights; and fighting impunity for war-related crimes and post-conflict acts of violence, with the aim of achieving local sustainability.

To take full advantage of the expertise available in the region, closer linkages with the countries of North America is crucial. The functions of the New York Office will be enlarged to ensure closer cooperation with these countries and with the multilateral financial and development institutions located there. The importance of ties with multilateral institutions should not be underestimated, as only by engaging with the main international development actors can the Office help to significantly reduce the human rights capacity gap.

The Office will continue to support country rapporteurs, such as the Special Rapporteur on Belarus. Countries where the establishment of a presence is not possible but where human rights concerns persist will receive enhanced coverage from Headquarters in close cooperation with the regional offices concerned.

The most prominent human rights challenges in the region include the establishment of the rule of law, the prevention of organized crime and corruption, the protection of human rights in the framework of anti-terrorism measures, the participation of civil society within the wider context of good governance, the fight against impunity for past human rights violations, trafficking in human beings, and discrimination and intolerance between different ethnic groups. The cross-border nature of many of these issues makes sub-regional approaches and cooperation among countries indispensable. OHCHR will also focus on the realization of economic and social rights within the context of the economic reform process, particularly in the countries of the former Soviet Union.

In the Europe, North America, and Central Asia region, OHCHR’s field deployment is projected as follows:

 

Maintained

Strengthened

To be established

Regional Offices  

Central Asia
New York Office

 
Country Offices Bosnia and Herzegovina (2006)
Serbia (incl. Kosovo)
   
HR Advisors Southern Caucasus (Tbilisi) Russian Federation  

Contact Information

Headquarters

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

Europe and Central Asia Section
Tel. +41 22 928 9291

Regional Offices/Centres

Southern Caucasus

Central Asia

Other OHCHR Offices

Bosnia and Herzegovina
Serbia
Russian Federation

Links

United Nations Country Teams in Europe, Central and the Caucasus Region

Other UN links

External links

Geneva Conventions

ILO Conventions

Refugee Conventions

Council of Europe

European Union

Organization of American States

International Criminal Court

Inter-American Commission for Human Rights

Inter-American Court of Human Rights

Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe

International Monetary Fund

World Bank

National Institutions

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