Useful Information

OHCHR Human Rights Programme for Africa

Latest activities

Establishment of the Human Rights Resource Centre at the Oliver Tambo Law Library, University of Pretoria, South Africa

18 August 2011: Publication: 'la justice transitionnelle: une voie vers la reconciliation et la construction d'une paix durable', Conference paper 1/2011, Dealing with the past.

Bi-monthly publication on human rights and democracy in the sub region:
September 2011
July 2011

10 years at the service of Central Africa

Country Mandates Established
by the CHR/HRC

Standing invitations to Special Procedures

Regional Members of the Human Rights Council:

Angola 2020

Burkina Faso 2021

Cameroon 2021

Democratic Republic of the Congo 2020

Eritrea 2021

Nigeria 2020

Rwanda 2019

Senegal 2020

Somalia 2021

South Africa 2019

Togo 2021

Voluntary Pledges and Commitments


UN Human Rights Report 2019 UN Human Rights Report 2019
OHCHR Management Plan 2018-2021 OHCHR Management Plan 2018-2021
Brochure: Human Rights in action Human Rights in Action (PDF)
Working with the United Nations Human Rights Programme: A Handbook for Civil Society A Handbook for Civil Society (PDF)

OHCHR Human Rights Programme for Africa (2006-2007)

Situation Analysis: Despite some positive normative developments, including the adoption of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and its two Protocols relating to the establishment of an African Regional Court and to the Rights of Women, human rights violations continue with impunity throughout a large part of the continent. The many protracted conflicts, high levels of illiteracy and poverty (of the 48 countries in the region, 34 are classified as “least developed”), the scourge of HIV/AIDS, widespread corruption, and weak institutions of redress are major obstacles to the full enjoyment of human rights in Africa. Other challenges include ensuring accountability for past crimes (transitional justice) while seeking to secure peace; combating impunity, protecting women, children and other vulnerable groups; ending discrimination; and harmonizing laws and access to justice.

While the number of national human rights institutions and NGOs in the region is increasing, like the governmental structures dealing with human rights issues, they are often weak. Most African countries have ratified the core international human rights treaties; however few have ratified the various optional protocols. The levels of incorporating human rights standards into domestic law, reporting on how the treaties are applied, and implementing treaty-body recommendations are inadequate. Few countries have allowed visits by the special procedure mechanisms.

Often, too, there is no common approach or strategy among national and international actors to strengthen human rights protection at the national level.

The success of OHCHR’s human rights actions in Africa depends on the work of its field offices. Through the activities of human rights units of peacekeeping operations and technical assistance programmes facilitated by field offices at the national and regional levels, OHCHR has been intervening to protect civilians in armed conflicts and providing expertise to strengthen the capacities of the United Nations Country Teams and the ability of government and non-governmental actors to protect human rights.

In 2005, OHCHR had four country offices and three regional offices in Africa and provided support to nine human rights components of DPA and DPKO operations.

Regional Priorities and Strategy: Human rights protection in much of Africa suffers from gaps in knowledge, capacity, commitment, and security. OHCHR’s Africa programme will work to equip policy-makers and key actors with the skills to identify and address human rights problems. It will also support efforts to ensure that individuals/rightsholders are empowered to know their rights and the mechanisms to protect those rights.

OHCHR will enhance its strategic partnerships with United Nations peace missions, United Nations Country Teams, and other national and regional actors, including the organs of the African Union and the regional economic communities to help close the capacity gap. To address the gap in commitment, engagement with individual African governments will be increased to improve implementation of their international human rights obligations. In an effort to close the security gap, OHCHR will focus on ensuring better protection of civilians during armed conflict and better protection from policies that directly threaten their personal security. OHCHR will work to assure that those who violate human rights are identified and brought to justice, and that the victims of human rights abuses or violations of international humanitarian law have access to redress.

OHCHR’s strategy for Africa will focus on the rule of law and administration of justice, human rights and development, discrimination, institutional capacitybuilding, and human security, which involves the issues of trafficking, slavery, and civilians in armed conflict.

In implementing its programme in Africa, the Office will strengthen the capacity of its national and regional offices to respond to the specific challenges in their respective areas. OHCHR will provide greater expert support to the United Nations Country Teams, regional economic communities, and African human rights institutions with the aim of empowering them to strengthen national human rights protection systems. The Office will also provide greater support to human rights components of peace missions in an effort to monitor and report promptly on the human rights situation in the countries where the missions are deployed. A country office will be opened in Togo and a regional office is planned for West Africa.

OHCHR’s field deployment in Africa is projected as follows:





Regional Offices Southern Africa (Pretoria) East Africa
(Addis Ababa)
West Africa
Regional HR Centres Central Africa
Country Offices


Angola Togo
UN Peace Missions

Democratic Republic of the Congo,

Cote d'Ivoire,
Ethiopia/Eritrea, Liberia,
Sierra Leone

Contact Information


Field Operations and Technical Cooperation Division (FOTCD)
Contact in Geneva, Switzerland.

Africa Branch
Tel. +41 22 917 9220

Regional Offices/Centres

Central Africa
(Yaounde, Cameroon)
Nouvelle route Bastos
Rue 1705, Numéro 606
B.P. 836
Yaoundé, Cameroon
Tel.: +237 2221 2474 +23 74 83 03 56 ;
74 83 01 78
+8821 637 220 464 (satellite)
Fax: (237) 221 2475

East Africa
(Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)
New ECA Building
Room 1N16
P.O.Box 3001
Addis Ababa
Tel.: (251 11) 544 3105
Fax: (251 11) 551 6078

Southern Africa
Regional Office for Southern Africa
UN House, Metropark Building
351 Francis Baard Street
P.O. Box 6541
Pretoria 0001
South Africa
Tel.: +27 12 354 8686
Fax: +27 12 354 8681

West Africa
Parcelle n°20, en face de l'hôtel Azur, Route du King Fahd Palace, BP 154, Dakar, Senegal , Tel. : +221 33 869 39 69

Other OHCHR Offices

Cote d'Ivoire
Democratic Republic of Congo
Sierra Leone

Feature stories

External links

International Criminal Court

Geneva Conventions

ILO Conventions

Refugee Conventions

African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights

African Court of Justice

African Union

Economic Community of Central African States

Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa

National Institutions

Note: OHCHR is not responsible for the content of external links.