OHCHR – South America Regional Office
The OHCHR Regional Office for South America was established in Santiago, following the signature of an agreement between the OHCHR and the Government of Chile on 23 September 2009. This Office complies with the mandate and general competences assigned to the OHCHR by the General Assembly in its resolution 48/141 of 20 December 1993.
The Regional Office for South America covers Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. It coordinates its activities and actions with Headquarters and other field presences.
The Regional Office for South America works with governments, parliaments, the judiciary, national human rights institutions, civil society organizations, human rights defenders, regional and international organisations and the United Nations to develop and strengthen their capacities, so as to improve the promotion and protection of human rights, according to international human rights standards.
The thematic priorities of the Regional Office for South America are: combating impunity and strengthening accountability and the rule of law; integrating human rights in development and in the economic sphere; enhancing equality and countering discrimination; early warning and protection of human rights in situations of conflict, violence and insecurity; strengthening the effectiveness of international human rights mechanisms and the progressive development on international human rights law; and widening democratic space.
The main activities of the OHCHR-South America Office are:
- Promoting the ratification and implementation of international human rights instruments;
- Organizing seminars, workshops and research around various human rights issues;
- Building the capacity of stakeholders on how to use United Nations human rights mechanisms and how to follow-up on their rulings and recommendations;
- Training on the Universal Periodic Review and how to follow-up on its recommendations
- Providing technical assistance to introduce international human rights commitments into legislation and public policies;
- Supporting the establishment of strong mechanisms and institutions, such as National Human Rights Institutions and National Mechanisms on Prevention of Torture according to international standards;
- Strengthening the capacities of the UN system to apply a human-rights based approach in planning and in development programmes;
- Promoting the exchange of best practices and lessons learnt amongst peers such as States, National Human Rights Institutions, civil society organizations, international cooperation and business enterprises;
- Building the capacity of civil society organizations, and particularly human rights defenders, to use protection mechanisms to claim their rights;
- Providing support to Governments, parliamentarians and the judiciary on the compliance of anti-discrimination laws and policies with international human rights standards;
- Providing support to the visits of Special Rapporteurs and Working Groups and disseminating their recommendations;
- Cooperating with other international or regional and inter-governmental or non-governmental organizations;
- Cooperating with Resident Coordinators and UNCTs on human rights issues;
- Informing and promoting all of these activities by means of press releases, articles, interviews, videos, factsheets and other publications.