The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) was created in 1993 following the World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna. It is headquartered in Geneva and aims to promote and protect human rights worldwide. The OHCHR ensures the implementation of international human rights instruments and promotes their ratification. It works with other United Nations bodies so that human rights standards are mainstreamed in all UN actions.
It also works with governments to promote the involvement of all of them in issues linked to human rights. In this capacity, it has an advisory role with governments.
The OHCHR has strengthened its presence in the field and now has offices in some 20 countries, where it plays a monitoring and advisory role concerning promotion and respect for human rights. Notably, it contributes to strengthening cooperation between national institutions and civil society. It can also dispatch human rights advisors in the field to support teams sent by the UN in the framework of peacekeeping operations.
Since 2006, the OHCHR has been authorized to send or support missions and commissions of inquiry examining allegations of serious human rights violations. Lastly, the OHCHR provides the secretariat of the Human Rights Council and assists it in preparing the Universal Periodic Review (UPR).
updated : 24.12.13