OHCHR-Mexico was established, following an official invitation of the Mexican Government, through an agreement signed by OHCHR in July 2002. Later that year, the Mexican Senate ratified the agreement and the office was formally established. Shortly thereafter, OHCHR conducted an in-depth assessment of the country's human rights situation, identifying the main obstacles to the full integration of international human rights standards into domestic legislation.
The thematic priorities of OHCHR in Mexico are:
- widening the democratic space;
- the protection of human rights in development and in the economic sphere;
- countering discrimination;
- combating impunity, strengthening accountability and the rule of law;
- early warning and protection of human rights in the context of conflict, violence and insecurity; and
- strengthening the effectiveness of international human rights mechanisms and the progressive development on international human rights law.
Within the framework of its mandate, OHCHR-Mexico monitors the human rights situation in the country, including the situation of human rights defenders, the fulfilment of economic, social and cultural rights, the impact of businesses on human rights, and indigenous peoples’ rights to consultations. OHCHR-Mexico has published a number of reports on its findings, including several reports on the situation of human rights defenders.
Following the landmark 2011 constitutional reform on human rights, OHCHR-Mexico promotes its implementation through secondary legislation and regulations. In collaboration with the Supreme Court of Justice, a local human rights institution and academia, OHCHR-Mexico promotes the adoption by institutions of the web-based educational tool Reforma DH, on the application and implementation of the constitutional reform. It further advocates for legislative reforms at the federal and state level on issues of freedom of expression, military jurisdiction, and the pre-detention form “arraigo”, in line with the recommendations of international human rights mechanisms.
OHCHR-Mexico promotes the elaboration and implementation of human rights indicators, based on OHCHR’s methodology, which are developed to assist state and federal institutions in evaluating the impact of public policies on the national human rights situation, and to monitor their compliance with international human rights standards. The office has provided technical assistance and advice in the elaboration of human rights indicators on the right to a fair trial, the rights to life, liberty and security, the right not to be subjected to torture, the right to access to water, and the right to a healthy environment. It has further elaborated a publication on regional experiences in Latin America in the elaboration of human rights indicators.