Useful Information

OHCHR Human Rights Programme for the Middle East and Northern Africa Region

Country Mandates Established
by the CHR/HRC

Standing invitations to Special Procedures

Regional Members of the Human Rights Council:

Bahrain 2021

Egypt 2019

Iraq 2019

Qatar 2020

Saudi Arabia 2019

Tunisia 2019

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 - North Africa Regional Office

Human rights context

The Regional Office for North Africa was established in 2012 in Tunis and covers Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, and Mauritania. The Regional Office supported efforts to strengthen democratic institutions and governance systems in a number of countries in North African in 2012, initially from OHCHR Headquarter in Geneva and subsequently from Tunis. As of April 2013, the Regional Office for North Africa has been located temporarily in Beirut with current focus on Algeria, Egypt and Morocco.

Human rights context

The North Africa region continues to present major human rights challenges and opportunities. Almost all states of the region are undergoing their own democratic transitions, often punctuated with political disputes and/or violence; the main challenge is to ensure that the human rights and aspirations of all their people are respected, without discrimination and in accordance with international standards. Human rights challenges are in the areas of rule of law, good governance, economic, social and cultural rights, and, in some cases, effective transitional justice initiatives. Gender protection, women and children�s rights and the rights of persons in vulnerable groups, for example, minorities, people with disability and migrants, remain key areas to be strengthened. Other human rights issues of concern include freedom of expression and information, protection of human rights defenders, freedom of association, judicial independence and law enforcement, the impact of counter-terrorism legislation and economic and social rights.

The mandate of the Regional Office for North Africa, like that of other regional offices, is to technically assist all countries of the region and with particular focus on those in transition to focus their priorities and policies without discrimination, on human rights centred and in accordance with international standards. The Office will provide coverage for other countries, as requested by Headquarters; engage with regional and sub-regional intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations; and function, when and if requested, as a resource centre for country offices, human rights components of peace operations and human rights officers deployed in the region by providing relevant thematic expertise for capacity-building, fact-finding, advocacy and other activities. To that end, regional offices are intended to help bridge gaps in implementation at the national level. 


OHCHR�s Regional Office in North Africa focus on establishing bilateral cooperation frameworks with countries in the region where OHCHR has no presence and identifying relevant thematic priorities in consultation with Member States, National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs), NGOs and UN Country Teams in the region.
The Office seeks to strengthen the national human rights capacities of governments and civil society actors in the region on the promotion and protection of all human rights without discrimination, including thematic issues such as judicial independence, fighting impunity, the impact of counter-terrorism legislation, and law enforcement.

These include, but are not limited to:

  • the provision of support for the establishment of appropriate transitional justice mechanisms
  • the provision of support for strengthening national and regional stakeholders on issues relating to gender protection, women and children�s rights and human rights defenders with the aim of increasing participation and inclusion in decision-making processes.

These objectives will be met through regular analysis and reporting, sharing OHCHR materials, engagement with member states in developing national action plans on human rights, providing technical assistance and training modules, and participating in regional consultations on human rights issues.

The Regional Office also serves as a forum for sharing regional experiences and good practices in the area of human rights, particularly concerning the priority themes of impunity, weak institutions and discrimination. It will cooperate in and carry out joint programming with international and regional partners such as UN agencies, UN Country Teams, regional organizations, and national human rights institutions. The Office will support country visits by Special Procedures Mandate holders and also advocate for treaty ratification, reporting and follow-up. It will assist Member States, national human rights institutions, civil society and UN Country Teams in developing appropriate mechanisms for treaty reporting and follow-up to recommendations by special procedures, treaty bodies and the UPR mechanism. 

Contact Information


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

Middle East and North Africa Section
Tel. +41 22 917 9777

Regional Offices/Centres

Middle East and North Africa
Regional Office of the Middle East and North Africa
Beirut, Lebanon
Arab African International Bank Building
Banks Street,
Downtown Beirut, Lebanon
P.O.Box: 11-3216
Tel: 00 961 1 962 500
Fax: 00 961 1 962 555

Centre for South-West Asia and the Arab Region
(Doha, Qatar)
P.O. Box 23514, Doha – Qatar
Tel: +974 44932544 – 44935791
Fax: +974 44935790

Other OHCHR Offices

Palestine (Occupied territories)
Saudi Arabia (Technical cooperation project)

External links

International Criminal Court

Geneva Conventions

ILO Conventions

Refugee Conventions

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