The UN Human Rights Training Centre was established by the General Assembly Resolution 60/153 of 2005 and is mandated “to undertake training and documentation activities according to international human rights standards and to support such efforts within the region by Governments, UN agencies and programmes, national human rights institutions and non-governmental organizations”. The Centre was officially inaugurated by the High Commissioner in May 2009. The main objective of the Centre is to strengthen human rights knowledge and skills within its region of operation.
The geographical mandate of the Centre covers 25 countries, the majority of which are situated in the Arab region and three are situated in South-West Asia. The countries are: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen and State of Palestine.
Within its specific training and documentation mandate, the Centre works in close coordination with regional representatives in the field, heads of country offices, human rights units of peace missions and coordinators of regional units at OHCHR headquarters. The unique mandate of the Centre complements the broader mandates of existing OHCHR field presences through the development and provision of training and documentation adapted to the linguistic and capacity-building needs of these contexts.
The Centre has been piloting regional programmes, some of which have also been adapted and implemented at the country level. The Centre’s key training programmes cover: Human Rights and Diplomacy; Human Trafficking; National Human Rights Institutions; Human Rights and Media; Human Rights Education; Police Training on Human Rights; and Other Regional Human Rights Consultations.
Amongst other activities, the Centre provides training on human rights protection mechanisms to national human rights institutions; organises annual regional workshops on human rights-based diplomacy for Arab diplomats; provides human rights training to law enforcement agencies and serves as a platform for promoting human rights based approach to combatting human trafficking in the region.
The Centre launched its Arabic website in December 2011, which provides information about the Centre's current and upcoming activities, country reports in Arabic (UPR, TBs and SPs), and contains all of OHCHR's Arabic publications.