OHCHR-Guatemala seeks to engage national stakeholders towards establishing a broad human rights agenda. It performs a wide range of activities, including human rights monitoring, the provision of technical assistance to State institutions and civil society, and the issuing of an annual report by the High Commissioner on the activities of the Office to the Human Rights Council (HRC).
Based on its monitoring activities, the Office obtains solid information to support its programmes and projects. Regular monitoring includes key human rights issues: justice and impunity, security, non-discrimination and indigenous peoples’ rights, women’s rights, and economic, social and cultural rights. OHCHR’s reports have become a reference, a source of information and even an advocacy tool for the international community and other key actors in Guatemala, contributing to place key human rights issues on the political agenda.
OHCHR-Guatemala has drafted seven annual analytical reports of the High Commissioner on Guatemala to the HRC. These reports aim at evaluating the general human rights situation, as well as relevant laws, institutions, policies and programmes, and provide specific recommendations to the authorities and other relevant actors.
OHCHR-Guatemala substantially contributes to normative and institutional reforms to ensure increased consistency with international human rights standards, such as the ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and the inclusion of international standards in the law that regulates the election process for magistrates and the Public Prosecutor.
The Office also contributes to strengthening the knowledge and awareness of human rights standards of a wide variety of state agents including judges, magistrates of the Supreme Court and Constitutional Court, prosecutors (particularly the Human Rights Section of the Public Prosecutor’s Office), police officers and members of governmental commissions such as the Commission against discrimination. Similar assistance is provided to Congress, where the Office formally participates in discussion tables providing technical advice and recommendations on the application of human rights standards.
OHCHR-Guatemala also supports the capacity of key civil society actors to claim their rights and make better use of international protection mechanisms, particularly for the empowerment of indigenous organizations through strategic litigation.
Through technical programmes on combating discrimination, and strategic litigation aimed at capacity-building for indigenous people, the Office continues to support the strengthening of public institutions created to combat discrimination and empowering civil society organizations working on indigenous peoples’ human rights.
The Office has locally released more than 100 publications including investigations, reports, international standards, guidelines and promotional bulletins regarding a wide range of rights. It continuously works on promoting human rights education, and has also collaborated with the media to inform and raise awareness on human rights issues of special concern.