The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in the occupied Palestinian territory (OHCHR oPt) is a field presence of the Office of United Nations the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). OHCHR oPt is the only internationally-mandated entity to monitor and report publicly on the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), and is the official United Nations voice on human rights in the oPt. The Office is based in Ramallah and has a sub-office in Gaza, and field offices in East Jerusalem and Hebron.
OHCHR oPt implements the broad mandate of the High Commissioner to promote and protect the effective enjoyment and full realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all people, without discrimination, in the oPt. This mandate includes monitoring and reporting, technical assistance, and capacity building. In addition, OHCHR oPt is specifically mandated by Human Rights Council resolutions S-9/1 and S-12/1 of 2009 to report regularly on the human rights situation in the oPt, including East Jerusalem.
Pursuant to its mandate, OHCHR submits periodic reports to the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly, and also informs discussions at other United Nations bodies. In addition to the High Commissioner for human rights, the Special Rapporteur on the situation on human rights in the opT, and the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories, issue regular reports on the human rights situation in the OpT. The UN Secretary General is also regularly reporting on the situation in the oPt.
In fulfilling its mandate, OHCHR oPt is guided by the principles and spirit of international human rights law and international humanitarian law. Respect for human dignity and non-discrimination is at the core of our work, and we are committed to the values of impartiality, objectivity, accountability and professionalism.
OHCHR oPt is involved in the whole spectrum of United Nations engagement from peace and security and humanitarian relief to the development agenda, and brings a human rights perspective to the work of the United Nations in these areas. OHCHR oPt is a member of the United Nations Country Team and the Humanitarian Country Team, and leads the Protection Cluster in the oPt.
OHCHR oPt works for all rights holders and victims of human rights violations, with particular attention to marginalized and vulnerable groups. In doing so, we work with Israeli and Palestinian authorities that have legal obligations under international law, including executive, legislative and judicial bodies, and with relevant non-State actors. We work in partnership with other United Nations actors and international human rights mechanisms, the international community, the national human rights institution, civil society organizations and the media.
- Monitors, documents and reports on human rights violations perpetrated by all duty bearers in the oPt, with a view to ensuring accountability for human rights violations. This includes a specific focus on the right to life and security, freedom of expression, arbitrary detention, arrest and detention of children, human rights defenders, and accountability for settler violence. OHCHR oPt uses the OHCHR human rights case database to manage information gathered through its monitoring, and to support its analysis and reporting on the human right situation.
- Provides technical assistance and capacity building for Palestinian authorities, institutions and civil society, with a view to assist duty bearers to fulfill their obligations, empower rights holders to claim their rights, and anchor human rights in Palestinian society and the legal framework. This includes advice and assistance on the legislative and administrative steps necessary to become a State Party to the core human rights treaties as soon as legally possible, and to implement their provisions. It also includes capacity building for civil society on human rights mechanisms.
- Leads the Protection Cluster in the oPt and coordinates the protection activities of international and national humanitarian and human rights actors, with a view to ensuring respect for human rights and international humanitarian law in humanitarian action. This includes coordinating Protection Cluster inputs to the Consolidated Appeals Process, leading specific protection initiatives on accountability for settler violence and violations committed in Access Restricted Areas in Gaza, mainstreaming protection in the work of other clusters, and ensuring that protection partners have access to the legal advice and analysis required to guide and support their work.
- Engages in advocacy to strengthen respect for and implementation of human rights obligations. This includes ongoing dialogue with duty bearers and the international community, and active engagement in the development and implementation of the Humanitarian Country Team advocacy strategy.
- Supports the work of United Nations treaty bodies and Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. This includes close cooperation with relevant thematic Special Procedures mandates, and support to civil society to engage with Special Procedures and treaty bodies.