OHCHR – Regional Office for Central America
OHCHR Regional Office for Central America was established in Panama City, Panama, following the signature of an agreement between OHCHR and the Government of Panama on 15 February 2007.
The Regional Office for Central America covers the countries of Belize, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Panama, as well as regional issues and activities. It coordinates its activities with other OHCHR presences in Central America and in particular the country offices in Guatemala and in Honduras.
The Regional Office promotes awareness and dissemination of human rights standards and the implementation of recommendations made to the countries of the region by international and regional human rights mechanisms. The Regional Office also promotes dialogue and cooperation between the mechanisms of the Inter-American Human Rights System and the ones of the United Nations in order to coordinate interventions and ensure maximum impact on the ground.
The Regional Office works with governments, national human rights institutions and civil society organizations to promote and protect human rights. It engages regularly with UN country teams in the countries covered and is an active member of the Regional UN Development Group Team for Latin America and the Caribbean.
It chairs the Inter Agency Working Group on Indigenous peoples.
The thematic priorities of the Regional Office are:
- Strengthening the effectiveness of international human rights mechanisms with a focus on: ratifications; submission of information by civil society actors, national human rights institutions (NHRIs) and United Nations entities to treaty bodies, special procedures and the UPR; and establishment of national participatory bodies for reporting and implementing recommendations of human rights mechanisms.
- Integrating human rights in development and the economic sphere with a focus on: land, water and sanitation and housing rights; rights to consultation and to give informed consent; post 2015-development agenda; and integration of recommendations from human rights mechanisms and a human rights-based approach in United Nations work.
- Enhancing equality and countering discrimination with a focus on: legislation and policy on non-discrimination; women; racial and religious discrimination; indigenous peoples; afro-descendants; migrants; and lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender and intersex persons.
- Combating impunity and strengthening accountability and the rule of law with a focus on: human rights in the administration of justice and promoting the effective implementation of international human rights standards by the judiciary.
- Early warning and protection of human rights in situations of conflict, violence and insecurity with a focus on: sexual and gender-based violence and insecurity
The Regional Office’s activities include:
- The dissemination of international human rights norms as well as the creation of practical tools to address human rights issues such as the “Latin American model of protocol for the investigation of gender-related killings of women”.
- The implementation of the recommendations made by treaty bodies, special procedures and the UPR including through the establishment of inter-institutional participatory mechanisms in countries under its responsibility.
- The development, jointly with national human rights institutions in the region, of intervention protocols for cases of human rights violations concerning Afro-descendants and indigenous peoples.
- Supporting civil society organizations in the region to increase their use of international human rights protection mechanisms.
- Interaction with the Central American Integration System (SICA) to strengthen the application of a human rights approach to the implementation of the new regional security strategy.
- Providing technical assistance to judicial academies in the region on the inclusion of human rights training in their educational curricula.
- Greater integration of human rights standards and principles in the inter-agency work of the United Nations at the national and regional level, particularly in the humanitarian and development areas.
For more detailed information, please visit www.oacnudh.org
Regional Representative for Central America
Panama City, Panama
Casa de las Naciones Unidas
Ciudad del Saber, Clayton
Tel: (507) 302 4698, (507) 302 4699
Fax: (507) 302 4694