Based upon the Security Council’s acknowledgement that the realization of human rights is essential for building and keeping peace, OHCHR works in close collaboration with the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), the Department of Political Affairs (DPA), and other actors to ensure that human rights components of UN peace missions are adequately guided and supported. These human rights components aim to prevent and redress human rights violations by monitoring the human rights situation, issuing public reports, and assisting in building national capacities to address human rights issues.
OHCHR supports human rights components of peace missions through expert advice, technical assistance and functional support. Human rights components have dual reporting lines, to the head of the peace mission and to the High Commissioner. Based on Security Council resolutions establishing the peace missions, the work of human rights components includes monitoring, documenting, investigating and reporting on the human rights situation; ensuring that peace processes promote justice and equity; preventing and redressing violations of human rights; building human rights capacities and institutions; and mainstreaming human rights into all UN programmes and activities. Most human rights officers in peace missions are covered by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations or the Department of Political Affairs, rather than OHCHR in terms of salary costs. Through its extra-budgetary resources, OHCHR contributes to the funding of human rights technical cooperation activities and human resources of some missions. OHCHR also participates in inter-departmental technical assessment missions for the design and establishment of peace operation.
In 2013, there were 15 UN peace operations and political missions mandated by the UN Security Council to promote, protect and monitor human rights. These missions have dedicated human rights staff and operate in Afghanistan, Burundi, Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Darfur (Sudan), the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Iraq, Liberia, Libya, Mali, Sierra Leone, Somalia and South Sudan.
Details on the individual field presences can be found in the relevant sections of the Strategic Management Plan.