Useful Information

OHCHR Human Rights
Programme for Asia-Pacific

Country Mandates Established
by the CHR/HRC

Standing invitations to Special Procedures

Regional Members of the Human Rights Council:

Bangladesh 2021

China 2023

Fiji 2021

India 2021

Indonesia 2022

Japan 2022

Marshall Islands 2022

Nepal 2023

Pakistan 2023

Philippines 2021

Republic of Korea 2022

Uzbekistan 2023

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 - Pacific Regional Office (2008-2009)

Human rights context

The Pacific region is primarily composed of small island communities that are extremely isolated, both geographically and politically, and face widespread social and economic problems and ethnic tensions that have, at times, resulted in instability and civil unrest. In most instances, the national capacity to address these problems is low.

Some of the most pressing human rights issues in the region include widespread poverty, violence against women and children, lack of judicial independence and ill treatment in detention. These issues are compounded by political and social instability and weak justice systems. There are also significant instances of racial discrimination. Processes of social reconciliation and peacebuilding in the Solomon Islands, civil unrest and emergency rule in Tonga, and a political crisis in Fiji all affect those nations’ key institutions.

Australia and New Zealand have advanced economies and have ratified almost all international human rights treaties; nevertheless, both face ongoing challenges related to their indigenous populations, migrants and other minority groups. The national human rights institutions in these two countries undertake effective work on a wide range of issues.


OHCHR has raised awareness about and encouraged the use of international human rights norms, standards and mechanisms, including the Human Rights Council and its special procedures mandates, and human rights conventions and treaty bodies. An increased number of human rights communications from the region have been sent to and processed by special procedures, attesting to the higher level of awareness about international human rights mechanisms.

Through the use of a cooperative and consultative approach, OHCHR supported regional initiatives aimed at reinforcing national protection systems, including through the Pacific Islands Forum and the Asia-Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions. These included activities to establish new national institutions and reinforcing the existing ones. The Regional Office collaborated with the New Zealand Human Rights Commission on a study that explored the most suitable means for creating new and reinforcing existing human rights institutions in countries in the region. The possibility of establishing a regional human rights body for the region was also explored.

Awareness-raising activities, dissemination of information, and training on human rights led to a better understanding of human rights concepts and standards among duty-bearers and rights-holders. In collaboration with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, the Regional Office commissioned an expert to study the added value of integrating international human rights norms and standards into national human rights protection mechanisms.

The Office worked to strengthen the capacity of UN Country Teams to mainstream human rights in selected strategic programmes. OHCHR ensured that a human rights-based approach was adopted and employed in a regional UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF). In cooperation with the UNDP Pacific Centre, the Office examined human rights issues in disaster management with the aim of reducing the vulnerability of affected populations and special groups, enabling the transition to normalcy and reducing protection risks within a rights-based framework.

In addition, OHCHR provided advice and support on reconciliation processes in Fiji and the Solomon Islands; contributed to discussions on regional human rights initiatives within the Pacific Islands Forum; facilitated the establishment of a juvenile court in the Solomon Islands; launched an OHCHR-Pacific website for the purpose of providing information specific to the region; published a compilation of recommendations adopted by UN human rights treaty bodies for the Pacific region; initiated steps, including with UN Country Teams, to address the emerging issue of trafficking and sale of human beings, especially women and children; and co-organized the 11th Annual Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Forum of National Institutions in Fiji in 2006.


During the next biennium, OHCHR will expand its cooperation with regional organizations and institutions. The main regional intergovernmental organization is the Pacific Islands Forum,which covers the same 16 Member States as the OHCHR Pacific Regional Office. The Pacific Islands Forum launched the Pacific Plan in 2005,which aims to tackle common regional challenges, including cooperation on human rights issues. There are also moves within the Forum to establish regional judicial structures and develop national human rights institutions or other analogous mechanisms. OHCHR and the United Nations have aligned their planning closely to the nationally owned and endorsed the Pacific Islands Forum’s regional platform.

In general, the region has a low rate of human rights treaty ratification. Though almost all of these countries have ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), only three are Parties to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and two to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The Regional Office will continue advocating for the ratification of other treaties and will seek to forge strong links among UN Member States, national institutions, UN Country Teams, civil society and the UN human rights system, particularly the special procedures of the Human Rights Council.

As part of its country engagement efforts, OHCHR will continue advocating in all the countries of the region that duty-bearers provide redress to those rights-holders whose human rights have been violated. In line with this approach, the Office will seek to foster increased compliance with human rights standards and the implementation of laws, regulations, policies and administrative instructions that meet human rights obligations. The Office will increase its cooperation and foster a participatory approach with regional, national and local stakeholders in their engagement with international human rights mechanisms, including UN treaty bodies, special procedures, and the Universal Periodic Review.

OHCHR will assume a leadership role in working to ensure that justice and other accountability mechanisms are established and function in accordance with international human rights standards. The Office will promote the monitoring, investigation and redress of human rights violations.  

Contact Information


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

Asia Pacific Section
Tel. +41 22 928 9650

Regional Offices/Centres

Officer in charge
Tel: 679 3310 46565
Fax: 679 3310 485
Address: Level 5, Kadavu House, Victoria Parade, Suva, Fiji

South-East Asia
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Regional Office for South East Asia
6th Floor, United Nations Buidling, Rachadamnern Nok Avenue, Bangkok 10200,
Tel. +66 2 288 1235,
Fax: +66 2 288 1039


UNDG-HRM Regional Human Rights Adviser
UNDG Asia and the Pacific
UN Service Building, 3rd Floor, Room 326
Rajdamnern Nok Avenue, Bangkok 10200 Thailand
Office: +66-2-304-9100 Ext. 5222
Skype: h.alefsen

Other OHCHR Offices

Sri Lanka
Timor Leste

Feature stories

Human rights meeting in the Asia-Pacific region

External links

International Criminal Court

Geneva Conventions

ILO Conventions

Refugee Conventions

National Institutions

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