A Human Rights Adviser’s Unit (HRAU) was established in Timor-Leste in 2013, after the mandate of the UN peace mission, which had a human rights component, was terminated in December 2012. The HRAU works closely with the Government, the National Human Rights Institution (the Provedoria for Human Rights and Justice), civil society organizations and the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) supporting efforts to further develop the capacity of partners to promote, protect and mainstream human rights. The HRAU comprises one international and three national staff.
Activities of the HRAU in Timor-Leste include the following:
- Providing technical advice and capacity building, including on the human rights-based approach, for, Government, civil society organizations, human rights defenders, rights-holders and the UNCT;
- Capacity building on human rights monitoring and reporting, and seeking redress for rights-holders, in particular from discriminated groups and civil society organizations acting on their behalf;
- Supporting the Government, the National Human Rights Institution, civil society and the UNCT to engage with the UN human rights mechanisms and to increase the implementation of priority recommendations of the Universal Periodic Review (U) and other UN human rights mechanisms, including the drafting of a national human rights action plan
- Assisting and supporting the National Human Rights Institution;
- Sharing evaluations of the impact of existing development programmes incorporating a human rights-based approach, and best practices;
- Support the integration of human rights in the curricula in primary schools;
- Capacity building of the police and the military on human rights.
Thematic focus areas include:
- fighting discrimination, including against women and children, with a focus on violence against women and children, as well as discrimination against persons with disabilities; HRAU supports discriminated groups to claim their rights and use national and international protection systems;
- combating impunity and strengthening accountability and the rule of law through increasing the use of international human rights law in court proceedings and decisions and by supporting the National Human Rights Institution and civil society to conduct monitoring and advocacy;
- widening the democratic space, through human rights education and training, including in schools and for the security sector, prioritizing human rights in development and in the economic sphere by supporting Government and the UNCT to integrate a human rights based approach in development;
- strengthening the effectiveness of international human rights mechanisms, through supporting all partners to engage with treaty bodies, the UPR and the Special Procedures, and contribute to implementation of priority recommendations; and integrating human rights in humanitarian action.
Universal Periodic Review
In 2017, Timor-Leste accepted fully 146 out of 154 recommendations made under its 2nd UPR, held in November 2016, and noted the eight remaining recommendations. Those that were accepted included recommendations to address past human rights violations and ensure the delivery of reparations to victims.
The 3rd UPR cycle review of Timor-Leste will take place in December 2021.