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)

East Africa Regional Office (2010-2011)


The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights’ East Africa Regional Office (EARO) was established in 2002 to provide assistance to the countries of the sub-region for the protection and promotion of human rights. The Office is also responsible for building the human rights capacity of the organs and institutions of the African Union.

The region

East African countries have suffered from weak democratic institutions and governance challenges. The lack of an independent judiciary and the lack of accountability present significant human rights challenges.

The sub-region has been heavily affected by the economic, environmental and food crisis, with negative consequences for the overall enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights. In spite of this, some countries in the sub-region are making steady progress towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.

Political and territorial disputes and the lack of consensus on the utilization of the Nile waters pose challenges to the stability of the region and call for an increased surveillance of the respect for human rights.

Long-standing crises, such as the conflict in Somalia, raise major humanitarian and human rights concerns and affect the entire sub-region. Women, internally displaced persons, refugees, minority groups, children and migrants are particularly vulnerable.

In some countries of the region, civil society organizations play an important role in monitoring and promoting human rights. Moreover, national human rights institutions increasingly engage with UN and AU human rights mechanisms and bodies.

The Africa Union

The African Union organs and institutions are increasingly active in the areas of peace and security, economic and political governance, human rights and humanitarian questions. With the signing of the 10 year capacity-building programme (10YCBP) between the UN and the AU, and the signing of the MoU between OHCHR and the AU, EARO takes part in all implementation meetings organized by the Regional Coordination Mechanism and the cluster system to ensure that human rights are taken on board in all programmes and activities geared towards the implementation of the 10YCBP.

In January 2012, OHCHR organized a dialogue between the Special Procedures Mandate-Holders of the UN Human Rights Council and the African Commission on Human and People’ Rights (ACHPR) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Dialogue was part of the ongoing consultations between the international and regional mechanisms, based on General Assembly Resolution 60/251 of 15 March 2006 and Human Rights Council resolution 12/15. Mandate-holders of both organizations pledged to cooperate more and to coordinate their activities, through information-sharing, joint public statements, joint awareness-raising events, possible joint missions, peer learning, and joint follow-up on the status of the implementation of country-based recommendations.

Thematic priorities

EARO has selected the following thematic priorities for the biennium 2012-2013:

  • Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
  • Rule of law, accountability/combating impunity, strengthening administration of justice/democratic institutions
  • Strengthening human rights mechanisms
  • Protecting human rights in the context of migrations, in particular, refugees and IDP issues
  • Protecting human rights in the situation of armed conflict, violence and insecurity, in particular humanitarian emergencies.

Expected accomplishments

The East Africa Regional Office notes the following expected accomplishments which correspond to its work plan for the biennium 2012-2013:

  • Increased integration of human rights standards and principles, including the right to development, into the policies and programs of the UNECA and the UNCTs in Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Djibouti.
  • Increased ratification of international and regional human rights instruments
  • The African Union Commission and the AU human rights institutions progressively strengthened to promote and protect human rights and to implement their human rights related decisions and recommendations
  • The Governments of Djibouti and Tanzania increasingly comply and engage with UN and AU human rights mechanisms and bodies in terms of preparing and submitting relevant reports;
  • Recommendations from the UN treaty bodies and UPR process are increasingly considered and followed up in Ethiopia, Djibouti and Tanzania;
  • Awareness level on human rights standards relevant to law enforcement activities (in particular related to discriminated and vulnerable groups) is increased among police and prison officials in Ethiopia, Djibouti and Tanzania.
  • The investigation units of NHRIs in Ethiopia and Tanzania are established/strengthened in order to handle civil and political, as well as ESCR complaints, particularly regarding discriminated groups including Albinos (Tanzania), refugees, migrants, persons living with disabilities and women

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.