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 2018 UN Human Rights Report 2018
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 – Southern Africa Regional Office (2008-2009)

Human rights context

The Regional Office for Southern Africa was the first regional presence established by OHCHR. It was set up in 1998 in response to demand for human rights advice, guidance and assistance from the UN Country Teams in Southern Africa at a time when countries in the region were undergoing a transition to democracy. Now, almost ten years later, the need for human rights advice, guidance and assistance has not diminished.

The Regional Office covers Botswana, Comoros, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

The Regional Office works in partnership with governments, national institutions, civil society, the UN system, and the growing number of subregional organizations, such as the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the SADC Parliamentary Forum, the Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Cooperation Organization (SARPCCO), the Association of Law Reform Agencies of Eastern and Southern Africa (ALRAESA), and the Central, Eastern and Southern African Heads of Correctional Services Association. By working jointly with these and other organizations, the Office contributes to strengthening African regional institutions and local partners and facilitates the exchange of regional experience in solving local problems.



The Office has worked to raise the profile of human rights in the region, and has achieved considerable success in integrating a human rights perspective into the work of the UN Country Teams. It was instrumental in creating a Gender and Human Rights cluster as part of the Regional Director’s Team. It has also assisted in establishing national human rights institutions and worked with other partners to initiate or stimulate consultative processes with the aim of establishing or rejuvenating national human rights institutions, notably in Zimbabwe, Malawi and Madagascar. The Office sought to ensure that domestic legislation incorporated international human rights instruments through consultations with regional mechanisms, such as the SADC tribunal.

During the 2006-2007 biennium, the Office engaged with UN Country Teams and focused on two of the leading problems in the region, namely the spread and treatment of HIV and AIDS and the continuing discriminatory attitudes and practices and violence against women. The Office helped plan and launch the 365 Days Campaign against Gender Violence,which stoked momentum for the adoption of legislation in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mauritius on gender discrimination and violence.



In 2008-2009, the Regional Office will become more involved in UNDP’s governance programmes in Southern Africa,which include elements that are core concerns for OHCHR, such as establishing and strengthening human rights commissions and providing human rights training for government officials, police, prison officers, judges, lawyers and NGOs.

OHCHR will continue to expand its network of partnerships and strengthen awareness of its role as a regional resource for human rights information, advice, training and assistance accessible to a broad range of partners and institutions. Given the worsening situation in Zimbabwe,which has prompted an exodus, particularly into South Africa, the Office will work with the UN Country Team, civil society, and relevant government authorities in Zimbabwe to help protect human rights and strengthen rule-of-law institutions.

Contact Information


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

Africa Branch
Tel. +41 22 928 93 60

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.