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 – Central Africa Regional Office (CARO 2010-2011)



The United Nations Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Central Africa (based in Yaoundé) was established in 2001, following a General Assembly resolution, at the initiative of the Member States of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and functions as the OHCHR Central Africa Regional Office. The Centre promotes and protects human rights and democracy in 11 countries of Central Africa, namely Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, and Sao Tome and Principe. The objectives of the Centre are pursued through advocacy, lobbying, dialogue, technical assistance and advisory services extended to Governments, parliaments, United Nations country teams, national human rights institutions, civil society organizations and the media amongst others. 


The Region


The human rights situation in Central Africa continues to be affected by past and ongoing conflicts and is aggravated by the economic and food crises. Many countries of the sub-region are making efforts to protect human rights and achieve full realization of economic, social and cultural rights. However, political and economic instability causes major difficulties in complying with international standards and ensuring the rule of law.

In 2010, several Central African countries held elections. In some, democracy was threatened by dominant one-party rule, corruption and undue executive influence over the judiciary and the legislative bodies.

Access to justice is generally weak due to corruption and insufficient budget allocation, which lead to a considerable backlog of lawsuits and consequent poor level of accountability for human rights abuses. Moreover, some national legislation still needs to be adapted to international standards.

Discrimination based on ethnicity, nationality, social and political affiliations, gender, sexual orientation and health status remains a serious concern. Trafficking in persons and the protection of human rights of migrant workers, as well as the absence of sub-regional coordinated actions and policies to address these situations, continue to prove challenging. Significant threats are addressed to human rights defenders, and the activities of civil society organizations are often hindered by budget constraints.

Most countries of the sub-region have generally ratified most key international human rights instruments, and some have made efforts to meet the overdue reporting obligations. Moreover, all countries engaged with the Universal Periodic Review of the Human Rights Council. However, the level of implementation of relevant recommendations by treaty bodies and the UPR working group is still weak.


Thematic Priorities


CARO has selected the following thematic priorities for its upcoming biennium:

  • Impunity.

Governments of countries of the Central African sub region need to make more efforts in the institutionalization of the rule of law in order to curb widespread impunity characterized by the unwillingness or inability of the judiciary system to prosecute perpetrators. They need assistance in terms of capacity building and the establishment of efficient justice mechanisms. In this regard, CARO will continue during the next biennium to assist them in their efforts towards ensuring justice.

  • Economic, social and cultural rights.

Based on the widening gap between the realization of civil and political rights and economic, social and cultural rights in countries of the sub region, CARO will lay emphasis on strengthening the capacities of the existing national protection systems and mechanisms to provide them with knowledge and tools in the areas of the Human Rights Based Approach to development and ESCRs.

  • Democracy and good governance.

Democracy is the second main pillar of CARO’s mandate. This implies that the integration and respect of human rights norms into electoral processes must be assured. Strengthening the capacities of electoral commissions to operate independently and in compliance with international norms will foster free and fair elections as well as accountability in the management of public affairs.

  • Discrimination

Widespread discrimination exist in most countries of the sub region especially against children, women, persons living with disabilities, and indigenous people. Progress is slow amongst governments of the sub region to adequately protect these vulnerable groups from discrimination. CARO will focus on reinforcing the role of NGOs in submitting reports on marginalized groups to treaty bodies, special procedures and the Universal Periodic Review (UPR).

  • International human rights mechanisms

Effective cooperation with international mechanisms is instrumental to having the States to take steps towards the respect, protection and fulfillment of their human rights obligations. CARO will seek to ensure that governments of the focus countries increasingly engage with the treaty bodies, special procedures and UPR process by establishing mechanisms for reporting and systematic follow up on the recommendations.


Expected accomplishments


The Central Africa Regional Office notes the following expected accomplishments which correspond to its work plan for the biennium 2010-2011:

  • Law enforcement institutions in at leasttwo countries of the sub-region include human rights in their core training content
  • National human rights institutions increasingly compliant with the Paris Principles
  • Governments, UN, and civil society progressively address, monitor, and develop policies and programs to redress violations of economic, social and cultural rights
  • Election management bodies, parliaments and the media are increasingly applying international and regional human rights standards and democracy principles before, during and after elections.
  • Increased compliance of legislation and policies with international human rights standards in the areas of migrant workers, indigenous peoples and trafficking issues
  • By 2011, the Governments of focus countries in the sub-region increasingly report to treaty bodies, engage with special procedures and follow-up to recommendations of international human rights mechanisms    

Latest News and Upcoming Events


26 August 2011: Subregional Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Central Africa: Report of the Secretary-General A/66/325 [English-French].

10 March 2011: Administrative authorities, defense and security forces, UN agencies and bilateral cooperation partners, civil society representatives of organizations of minority groups, media professionals, university students and researchers will discuss elections and human rights in a ‘food for thought’ event organized by CARO.

31 January 2011: The United Nations Human Rights Council gave far reaching recommendations towards improving the human rights situation in Sao Tomé & Principe after the country went through the Universal Periodic Review in the council’s 10th session that ended on 4 February 2011. Link

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.