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OHCHR’s “2007 Report on Activities and Results” is now available

The report, the last under High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour’s leadership of OHCHR, is made available this week on the OHCHR website.

Staff from OHCHR-Nepal and UNMIN Civil Affairs on a joint trip to Bhajura - a remote district 500km west of Kathmandu -UN Photo/Robel Mockonen“Implementation of human rights standards must be the guiding principle and objective of all components of the human rights institutional machinery, both at the national and the international levels,” the High Commissioner writes in her foreword to the report.

The 2007 report documents OHCHR’s support for the key mechanisms of the international human rights system, such as the Human Rights Council, the human rights treaty bodies and the special procedures, as well as its contribution to the promotion and protection of human rights at the country level through fieldwork.

It also reviews the Office’s programme of research into a wide range of thematic human rights issues and progress in developing new methodology to support human rights investigations, monitoring and training.

Highlighted in the report are cases where OHCHR’s intervention has helped bring about new laws improving human rights protection or the creation of national human rights institutions. For example, in 2007:

  • Human rights-related laws were drafted or adopted in Afghanistan, Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, Cambodia, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Kosovo (Serbia), Mexico, the Philippines, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka and Tajikistan.
  • Measures to prevent torture were introduced in Cambodia, Guatemala, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, the Maldives, Thailand and Uganda.
  • New national human rights institutions were established in Sudan and Sierra Leone, and steps were taken to strengthen the capacity of existing institutions in Azerbaijan, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Madagascar, Uganda, and Timor-Leste.

In 2008, the year in which the world celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the High Commissioner is encouraging all Member States to make a financial contribution to support the work being carried out by OHCHR to give practical effect to the ideals enshrined in the Declaration.

“The commemoration of the 60th anniversary will serve as a reminder that, despite undeniable progress in refining our knowledge of human rights standards and their application, and despite our increased ability to sharpen our tools, and to deliver support, the tasks ahead of us remain as daunting as they have always been,” the High Commissioner noted.

April 2008