OHCHR in Yemen


On 10 December 2011, a Government of National Unity was sworn in following the transfer of power agreement brokered by the Gulf Cooperation Council. This was followed by a national and inclusive National Dialogue Conference (NDC) that began on 18 March 2013, which marks a critical process leading to a new Constitution and the holding of general elections in February 2014. Events of 2011 brought to the forefront human rights issues and the need for OHCHR to be present in the country to accompany Yemen in bringing about a peaceful and inclusive transition where human rights of all are fulfilled and respected without any kind of distinction.  

Despite some progress being registered since 2011, Yemen still faces many serious human rights challenges. Issues of concern include the transitional justice framework, allegations of ill-treatment and torture in the law-enforcement context and excessive use of force against peaceful protesters. The tense security situation throughout the country has contributed to the further deterioration of the humanitarian situation as well as to raising concerns related to the counter terrorism strategy. Traditional conservative influences and practices have had adverse impacts on women, children and marginalized groups, particularly the Al Muhammasheen community.

Yemen has ratified seven core human rights instruments (ICCPR; ICESCR; ICERD; CEDAW; CAT; CRC and CRPD with its OP) and the Cabinet approved the ratification of the Convention on Enforced Disappearances, currently under consideration by the Parliament. It has constructively engaged with the UN Human Rights Mechanisms, albeit with scope for further improvement. Yemen has no open invitations extended to Special Procedures mandate holders and has hosted three visits by special rapporteurs since 1999. Yemen went through its first UPR in May 2009, receiving 142 recommendations and accepting 121. It is due for the second UPR in early 2014.



Since establishing its first presence in March 2012, OHCHR Yemen provides technical assistance and support to relevant Government institutions and civil society organizations on matters related to transitional justice, the judiciary sector, civil and political rights, women's and children's rights, the rights of the marginalized communities, right to development, economic, social and cultural rights.

OHCHR Yemen builds and strengthens existing national capacities for the promotion and protection of human rights, in cooperation with other UN agencies and other entities. It has built trust and a strong network with key government institutions and civil society organizations.

OHCHR monitors and regularly reports on the human rights situation and developments in Yemen and undertakes direct and sustained interaction with national counterparts, including advocacy on sensitive human rights issues, institutional, legal and judicial reforms.

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

Feature stories