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OHCHR South America Regional Office

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Established in 2009, the Regional Office for South America (ROSA) is working with State institutions, civil society organizations, regional and international organizations and the UN in order to strengthen their capacities in promoting and protecting all human rights. The Office currently establishes work agreements with governments and other entities for the new planning period 2018-21 in seven countries, on technical assistance in legislation and policies, as well as training and capacity building in all thematic areas.

The Office deployed national Human Rights Advisors to support the UN Resident Coordinators in all countries.

Type of engagement Regional Office
Year established 2009
Field offices Santiago de Chile (covering Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, and Uruguay)
Number of staff 24
Annual budget needs US$ 2,147,000


  • The Regional Office is increasingly being considered as a key reference, providing technical assistance on the inclusion of human rights standards in laws and policies to varied decision makers such as parliaments, governments and other public institutions (the judiciary, public prosecutors, public defense offices, NHRIs, NMPs), on a broad range of issues – e.g., indigenous people’s rights, people deprived of freedom, use of force, rights of migrants, freedom of assembly and freedom of expression, and the human rights implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, among others.
  • The Office has been developing more systematic monitoring activities on issues such as police violence, in the context of protests and social conflicts as well as in the context of enforcement of restrictions related to COVID-19; attacks on human rights defenders; and the situation of people on the move.
  • The Office has strengthened the relationship between the international human rights mechanisms and States as well as civil society. Capacity-building efforts dedicated to international standards have focused on different target groups – the judiciary (Ecuador), public defense offices and legislators (Uruguay, Chile), but also on human rights defenders and observers (Chile).
  • The Office has emphasized its support to human rights defenders in varied contexts (protests, defense of land and territory, etc.). Highlights included the organization of a Regional Forum focused on the particular situation of environmental human rights defenders, their protection challenges and best practices.
  • The Office has a leading role in promoting the business and human rights agenda in the subregion. After the 2020 Regional Forum on Business and Human Rights, the largest annual meeting in LAC on the subject, regional ownership was developed and support for national action plans (NAP) and policies on the matter was strengthened in Argentina, Brazil, Chile (first NAP was evaluated and the process for its update was launched), Peru (first NAP still being developed) and Ecuador (process for its first NAP was launched).
  • In the COVID-19 context, the Office pioneered a regional engagement of National Preventive Mechanisms in their response to the pandemic and built effective networks with experts on the rights of persons deprived of their liberty. The Office elaborated a document to promote the use of international human rights standards by different institutions to reduce overcrowding in prisons during the pandemic, aiming at the release of some groups of detainees, particularly on the basis of their vulnerability (e.g., support to law and policy changes in Peru, Argentina and Brazil). The Office also engaged with relevant institutions in all countries on the full inclusion of indigenous people in the health and humanitarian response during the pandemic as well in the recovery plans.

Partners and Donors

Partners: RCs and UN Country Teams in seven countries, Inter American System of Human Rights, Governments, Parliaments and Judiciary, national human rights institutions, numerous civil society organizations and universities.

Donors: Spain, UPR Trust Fund, Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF).

UN Human Rights Focus Areas

Thematic pillars
  • Mechanisms: Increasing implementation of the international human rights mechanisms outcomes
  • Development: Integrating human rights in sustainable development
  • Accountability: Strengthening rule of law and accountability for human rights violations
  • Non-discrimination: Enhancing equality and countering discrimination
  • Participation: Enhancing & protecting civic space & people’s participation
  • Prevention
  • Civic space
  • Corruption
  • Inequalities
Spotlight populations
  • Indigenous populations
  • Human Rights Defenders
  • Young people participating in protests
  • Persons deprived of freedom
  • Persons with disabilities
  • People of the move
  • Women
  • Afro-descendants
  • LGBTI persons

Last reviewed: December 2020

Contact information

Regional office website