OHCHR in Central African Republic
The Human Rights Division of MINUSCA (HRD) monitors and reports on the human rights situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) and its main areas of focus include: conflict-related human rights violations (IHL, IHRL) grave child rights violations and child protection, conflict related sexual violence and women protection, foundational and institutional capacity building, transitional justice and prevention of incitement to violence and hate speech.
|Type of engagement||Human rights component in peace mission|
|Number of staff||73|
|Annual budget needs||US$ 80,000|
- The HRD continued to support national human rights institutions, CAR civil society and the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights to; develop national capacity for monitoring and data collection of human rights violations/abuses, contribute to early warning alerts on the protection of civilians as well as establish platforms for human rights dialogue at the national and local level. A total number of 153245 people including 6558 women benefited from HRD workshops, training and sensitization activities including civil society actors, human rights NGOs, religious leaders, tribal leaders, youths, women associations, association of victims, local population, media professionals. Activities organized had a positive impact on HRD's work on early earning as partners who benefited from HRD's trainings strengthened their knowledge and capacities on key concepts and were able to provide information to the HRD on POC threats against civilians, in particular, IDPs leaving in areas of active fighting. With financial and expert support of the HRD, the Haute Autorité en charge de la bonne governance – (HACBG) identified and trained 69 focal points from various CAR institutions working on minority rights, to strengthen their capacities.
- The HRD and Child Protection Section organized detention visits, held strategic meetings with CAR authorities and engaged with leaders of armed groups to advocate for appropriate actions to be taken in cases of human rights violations including grave violations of the rights of children and conflict related sexual violence. The HRD conducted: 248 visits to detention facilities controlled by the State and facilities controlled by armed groups; 151 human rights monitoring/investigations missions to verify allegations of violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, including conflict-related sexual violence and grave violations of the rights of children and 121 strategic engagements/meetings with leaders and elements of armed groups. Within this context, the advocacy conducted by the HRD with CAR authorities and armed group leaders resulted in the release of at least 873 detainees.
- Most releases following HRD advocacy took place from April to June 2020 as part of the implementation of the Presidential Decree to release individuals charged with minor offences in line with the COVID-19 preventive measures. 676 prisoners have been released within the context of the Presidential Decree. Unfortunately, this included some prisoners charged with rape which is contrary to the decree and HRD 's advocacy. Following dialogue between the Child Protection Section and armed groups, 363 children (103 girls/260 boys) associated with FPRC (117), anti-Balaka (111); 3R (83), MLCJ (46) and MPC (6) were released from Anti Balaka, FPRC and UPC as part of implementation of the plans. Further, 190 self-demobilized children (41 girls/149 boys), formerly associated with the anti-Balaka (176), FPRC (7), UPC (6) and RPRC (1) were identified and taken into reintegration programs.
- To reinforce the capacity of CAR national defence and security forces, the HRD organized 21 pre-deployment trainings, 36 sensitization sessions and 3 workshops on human rights and international humanitarian law for a total of 1114 members of the National Défense Forces including 84 women. The HRD also developed 1 thematic curriculum on human rights and IHL for the training of FACA. With regards to the Internal Security Forces, the HRD organized 67 post deployment trainings, 22 sensitization sessions and 7 workshops on human rights and international humanitarian law, including conflict-related sexual violence and child rights violations for the benefit of 1952 ISF, including 235 women. All activities contributed in reinforcing the capacities of national defence and security officers in the protection of human rights as well as contributed in integrating a human rights-based approach to their work.
- MINUSCA HRD provided support to the extension of State authority throughout CAR as well as DDR and SSR processes through continued application of the Human Rights Due Diligence Policy and support to the vetting of national security forces, in collaboration with other components of the Mission and national authorities. HRD applied HRDDP in response to 111 requests for support from the defence and security forces (FACA, Police, Gendarmerie, Customs, Eaux et Forêts and AU Military Observers). The requests were for 3,107 beneficiaries including 1,371 FACA, 1,720 ISF and 16 USMS. 111 risk assessments reports were drafted by HRD including recommendations to exclude 07 beneficiaries from support as they were alleged to have committed violations/abuses; four (04) FACA, two (02) Police and one (01) USMS who is an ex-combatant.
- HRD supported the vetting of 1,234 demobilized members of the armed groups of which 223 were to be integrated into ISF, 514 into the USMS and 497 into civil life. An additional 232 persons who were candidates for the recruitment of correction officers, also went through a vetting process. HRD recommended the exclusion of three ex combatants and two of the candidates to be recruited as correction officers, based on their human rights records.
- HRD continued to foster a human rights-based approach to the transitional justice process in the CAR by providing support to both judicial and non-judicial mechanisms and processes including support to the Inclusive Commission and the Government Steering Committee that developed the draft bill on the futureCommission Vérité, Justice, Réparation et Reconciliation (CVJRR). Since the 2015 Bangui Forum, support provided by HRD has had a positive impact on the transitional justice process in the CAR and has yielded positive results including the establishment and nomination of members of the Steering Committee tasked with establishing the CVJRR in 2017/2018; the adoption and promulgation of the law on CVJRR in 2019/2020 and the finalization of the work of the Inclusive Commission.
- On 28 May 2020, the Inclusive Commission transmitted its final report to the Prime Minister of the CAR during a working session of the Comite executif de suivi of the APPR RCA. The Presidential Decree establishing the Inclusive Commission was signed on 8 February 2019 and was fully operational on 28 May 2019 following a Decree signed by the Prime Minister. With financial and technical support of the HRD, the Inclusive Commission conducted 8 field visits to Ndele, Bambari, Bouar, Bera, Obo, Bangassou, Bossanga and Paoua in October and November 2019, to gather information on conflict related human rights violations. Following the field missions, the HRD funded a three day-expert workshop [ 17 to 19 February 2020] and provided technical support to facilitate the drafting and finalization of the report of the Inclusive Commission as per Article 11 of the Peace Agreement.
Partners and Donors
Partners: UN agencies, International and regional organizations, Government of CAR, Civil Society Organizations, African Union, the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), The Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (Geneva) national and international human rights NGOs.
Donors: UK, USA, European Union, UNDP, Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict.
UN Human Rights Focus Areas
- Mechanisms: Increasing implementation of the international human rights mechanisms outcomes
- Peace and Security: Early warning, prevention & protection of human rights in situations of conflict & insecurity
- Accountability: Strengthening rule of law and accountability for human rights violations
- Development: Integrating human rights in sustainable development
- Non-discrimination: Enhancing equality and countering discrimination
- Participation: Enhancing and protecting civic space and people's participation
- Global constituency
- Civic space
- People on the move
- Young people
- Persons with disabilities
Last reviewed: September 2020