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Centre for South-West Asia and the Arab Region


The UN Human Rights Training and Documentation Centre was established by General Assembly Resolution 60/153 of 2005 and is mandated to undertake training and documentation activities according to international human rights standards and to support such efforts within the region by Governments, UN agencies and programmes, national human rights institutions and non-governmental organizations. The Centre's activities are also aimed at strengthening of national and regional institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights through capacity-building, public information and human rights education.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights officially inaugurated the Centre in May 2009. The main objective of the Centre is to strengthen human rights knowledge and skills within its region of operation.

The mandate of the Centre covers 25 countries, the majority of which are situated in the Arab region and three are situated in South-West Asia. The countries are: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Occupied Palestinian Territory, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

The Centre has established strategic partnerships with Government institutions, the League of Arab States, national human rights institutions, national and regional non-governmental organisations and UN agencies. The Centre conducts it activities in close coordination with the OHCHR Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa in Beirut, the geographic sections at OHCHR headquarters, OHCHR country offices and human rights components of peace/political missions.

The Centre provides training on a number of focus areas: international human rights law; UN human rights mechanisms; human rights and diplomacy; human trafficking; human rights and media; human rights for law enforcement institutions; rights of persons with disabilities; tackling hate speech; gender and discrimination.

The Centre develops, translates and makes available in Arabic training and promotional materials to respond to the needs of the region. The Centre translates OHCHR publications into Arabic to make them accessible to individuals, NGOs, academic institutions and Governments in the Arab region. The Centre also compiles documents of UN human rights bodies to support efforts of Governments in the region to fulfil their international human rights obligations.

The Centre is committed to promoting the culture of human rights in the region through working with ministries of education, experts in human rights education and inter-governmental and civil society organisations involved in education, especially youth education. The Centre undertakes consultations, host discussions and conducts training on human rights education methodology.