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 – West Africa Regional Office (2008-2009)

Human rights context

West Africa is currently the most volatile subregion of the continent, with most States immersed in various degrees of political, economic and humanitarian crises. The subregion is host to some 25,000 troops as a result of the presence of UN peacekeeping and peace-building missions in Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Violations and abuses of human rights are the root causes of the various crises in the subregion. Such crises, especially armed conflict,when they flare up in one country have repercussions in others because of cross-border ethnic relations, a high level of migration in the region and the inter-related economies. Conflicts have also created added pressures due to the large flows of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) they have generated. There are also problems associated with cross-border involvement in conflicts and the presence of mercenaries from within and outside the region participating in conflicts. These diverse experiences underline the need for a long-term strategy aimed at addressing root causes of conflict while dealing in the short and medium term with its consequences. Arms, combatants, child soldiers, as well as HIV and AIDS and other epidemics, continue to spread across the region. Communities hosting refugees and returning migrants are over-burdened and government social services in many countries are on the verge of collapse.

The mandate of the West Africa Regional Office, expected to be operational in early 2008, is to help develop engagement strategies for countries of the region; cooperate with subregional intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations; and function as resource centre for country offices, human rights advisers and human rights components of peace operations deployed in the region. In this regard, OHCHR will in particular continue to work with the human rights component of the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA).

The Regional Office will cover Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo. Its work will be complementary to that of existing OHCHR presences in the region, namely the country office in Togo and the human rights components of peace missions in Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

OHCHR will address issues relating to impunity and the rule of law, migration, trafficking in persons, economic, social and cultural rights, and integrating a rights-based approach into the policies and programmes of the UN Country Teams and other partners, including regional organizations.


In its initial phase, the Office will focus on increasing the capacity of the human rights components of peace missions and establishing cooperative relations with countries where OHCHR has no presence, including Benin, Burkina Faso and Cape Verde. As part of its development phase, the Office will identify relevant thematic priorities in consultation with Member States, national human rights institutions, NGOs and UN Country Teams in the region.

The Office will advocate for the development of strong national protection mechanisms, including national human rights institutions and civil society networks, and will assist States in this endeavour.

OHCHR will initiate discussions on key thematic issues, such as impunity, migration and trafficking in persons, and will encourage regional-level focus on issues of common concern by releasing reports and statements.

The Office will build partnerships to develop activities and programmes to address regional human rights challenges with other UN agencies, UN Country Teams, national institutions and regional organizations. The Office will also serve as a platform for sharing regional experience and best practices, particularly in the areas of impunity, poverty and discrimination.

OHCHR will advocate for treaty ratification, reporting and follow-up. It will also promote greater engagement with the special procedures through referral of individual complaints and support for mandate-holder visits. It will help develop appropriate mechanisms for treaty reporting and follow-up to recommendations by both special procedures and treaty bodies 

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.