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UN Human Rights in Lesotho


The Senior Human Rights Adviser works with the UN Country Team (UNCT) to integrate human rights into their programmes and activities; undertakes human rights assessments; provides technical advice to national institutions; and conducts human rights capacity-building for a range of governmental and non-governmental actors.

Type of engagement: Human Rights Adviser

Year established: 2021

Field office: Lesotho

Number of staff: 2

Annual budget needs: US$ 586,758


  • As part of its strategy on enhancing treaty-body reporting and follow-up to UPR, special procedures and treaty-body recommendations, OHCHR conducted training for Government officials on these frameworks whose success led to an agreement on the establishment of a National Mechanism on Reporting and Follow-up, which was subsequently established in August 2021. Additionally, OHCHR and UN partners are supporting the Government to update the CEDAW report that had stalled. An ad hoc drafting committee was established to facilitate completion.
  • To advance the strengthening a human rights-based approach to programming within the UNCT, OHCHR contributed to the CCA drafting process and organized HRBA briefings for UN technical staff. Moreover, OHCHR participated in UNDAF Outcome Groups to facilitate the inclusion of joint human activities. Due to consistent advocacy, a Governance, Human Rights and Gender Working Group was established as one of the UNCT WGs. Consultations with UN Women and UNFPA on how to best support national mechanisms in mainstreaming women rights issues including those related to SGBV are ongoing.
  • OHCHR continued advocacy for fast tracking the establishment of the National Human Rights Commission. Consultations were held with the Ministry of Law and Justice, and civil society on the views about the process and progress on the contentious issues identified in the Human Rights Commission Act 2016 that led to the civil society to challenge the law in court, resulting in the drafting of a new Human Rights Commission Bill 2020 that is yet to be enacted.
  • OHCHR has supported and trained civil society to monitor, report and advocate for the respect for human rights through training on engagement with UN human rights mechanisms with a focus on shadow reporting.
  • Against the backdrop of a history of instability occasioned in part by security sector interference in governance and elections, OHCHR is implementing a joint project with UNDP and UN Women funded through the UN Peace Building Fund to ensure a human rights-based approach to the Security Sector Reform process. The project will also ensure compliance with the Human Rights Due Diligence Policy and implement mitigation measures identified in the UNCT updated risk assessment.

Partners and Donors

Partners: UN Agencies, civil society, development partners, religious leaders.

Donors: Peacebuilding Fund.

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
  • Peace and Security: Early warning, prevention & protection of human rights in situations of conflict & insecurity
  • Participation: Enhancing & protecting civic space and people's participation


  • Prevention
  • Inequalities
  • Civic space

Spotlight populations

  • Women
  • Young people
  • Persons with disabilities

Last reviewed: June 2021