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OHCHR in Serbia 

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Working with the United Nations Human Rights Programme: A Handbook for Civil Society A Handbook for Civil Society (PDF)

OHCHR in Serbia (2006-2007)


In line with the 2006-2007 Strategic Management Plan, OHCHR closed its   Office in Belgrade in June 2007. In consultation with the UN Resident Coordinator, OHCHR will deploy a National Human Rights Adviser and Programme Assistant to the UN Country Team in Serbia as of November 2007.

Before the closure of the office in Belgrade, OHCHR had been operating in the country for eleven years. OHCHR having established a field presence in the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in March 1996, with a mandate to monitor, promote and protect human rights.

In light of the demands of the human rights situation expected to emerge during the coming period OHCHR is currently in the process of strengthening its presence in Kosovo. Current activities focus on the human rights dimension of the transition processes in Kosovo, with the aim of ensuring continued human rights protection and promoting accountability for all institutions in Kosovo. Other priorities include the development of new approaches to transitional justice issues; encouraging legislation and policy initiatives that are compatible with international human rights principles; monitoring the consequences of rule of law gaps on minority communities in Kosovo; and increased attention to human rights in the UN Kosovo Team.

2006-2007 Programme

The work programme of OHCHR Offices in Serbia and Kosovo includes reviewing the legislative and policy framework reforms, and contributing to human rights trainings, and to public debates, issuing recommendations and advisory support. They will also evaluate the use of national and international human rights mechanisms, cooperate with government and civil society on state obligations under international human rights treaties, thematic reports and issue recommendations The Offices will contribute to the process of adoption of national strategies and plans of action for human rights. They will collect data, inter alia , on the situation of human rights defenders and vulnerable groups, as well as on the gravest human rights violations; bring the problems which are identified to the attention of the general public, including governments and civil society; organize public debates, press conferences and issue reports; provide comments on draft legislation or policies, provide input for the work of treaty bodies and special procedures mechanisms; provide training for government, civil society and partners in sister UN agencies or other international organizations. The Prishtine/Pristina Office will also contribute to identifying and resolving human rights concerns which arise from the process of defining and implementing Kosovo's future status. The Belgrade Office has developed an exit plan, and will complete its implementation in 2007, whilst the Kosovo Office is currently strengthening its capacities.

Expected Accomplishments

Government officials, civil society activists and staff in international partner agencies will have a better knowledge of human rights and a better understanding of human rights-based approaches. Enhanced use of international human rights mechanisms and increased attention to the implementation of recommendations generated by the mechanisms. Human rights defenders, in particular those dealing with sensitive human rights issues (e.g. mass graves, war crimes, corruption), are better protected by relevant national bodies. Gaps and concerns emerging from the change of Kosovo's status will be identified and recommendations given to appropriate actors. Full transfer of the Belgrade Office capacity to national counterparts or other appropriate actors during 2007, and simultaneous strengthening of the Office in Prishtine/Pristina.

Contact Information


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

Europe and Central Asia Section
Tel. +41 22 928 9294 or +41 22 928 9279


EULEX police HQ (temporary address)


Human Rights Adviser


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