Useful Information

OHCHR Human Rights Programme for Africa

Latest activities

Establishment of the Human Rights Resource Centre at the Oliver Tambo Law Library, University of Pretoria, South Africa

18 August 2011: Publication: 'la justice transitionnelle: une voie vers la reconciliation et la construction d'une paix durable', Conference paper 1/2011, Dealing with the past.

Bi-monthly publication on human rights and democracy in the sub region:
September 2011
July 2011

10 years at the service of Central Africa

Country Mandates Established
by the CHR/HRC

Standing invitations to Special Procedures

Regional Members of the Human Rights Council:

Angola 2020
Burundi 2018
Côte d'Ivoire 2018
Democratic Republic of the Congo 2020
Ethiopia 2018
Kenya 2018
Nigeria 2020
Rwanda 2019
Senegal 2020
South Africa 2019
Togo 2018

Voluntary Pledges and Commitments


UN Human Rights Report 2017 UN Human Rights Report 2017
OHCHR Management Plan 2018-2021 OHCHR Management Plan 2018-2021
Brochure: Human Rights in action Human Rights in Action (PDF)
Working with the United Nations Human Rights Programme: A Handbook for Civil Society A Handbook for Civil Society (PDF)

Human Rights Adviser for the Great Lakes

Great Lakes Region 2010 - 2011


A Regional Human Rights Adviser (RHRA) was deployed to support the Executive Secretariat of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) for the implementation of the human rights dimension of the Pact for Stability, Security and Development. A major aspect of the RHRA’s work is to translate the 7 associated Protocol related to human rights into national laws of the signatory countries. The RHRA is focusing in particular on the Protocol on the Prevention and Suppression of Sexual Violence Against Women and Children, the Protocol on the Protection and Assistance to Internally Displaced Persons as well as the Protocol for the Prevention and the Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity and all forms of Discrimination.

Human Rights context

The Great Lakes Region continues to suffer from a complex and interconnected set of challenges. These include weak governance and democracy, monopolization of political power by individuals or ethnic groups, widespread corruption, and deepening poverty. Many of these problems are regional in nature and have contributed to a spread of localized conflicts beyond national borders that continue to affect negatively on the realization of human rights.

In addition, some of the main human rights challenges faced by the countries in the region include sexual violence, the inadequate protection of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and returning populations, the illegal exploitation of natural resources,  wide spread poverty and social inequality, widespread impunity and the absence of adapted  transitional justice mechanisms and weak institutional and human capacity in the administration of justice and more generally in public service provision.

The ICGLR is an inter-governmental organization of the countries in the African Great Lakes Region. Its establishment was based on the recognition that political instability and conflicts in these countries have a considerable regional dimension and thus require a concerted effort in order to promote sustainable peace and development. The organization is composed of eleven member states, namely: Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania and Zambia.

In December 2006, the Heads of state and government of the ICGLR member states adopted the Pact on Security, Stability and Development in the Great Lakes Region. The Pact includes 10 Protocols and 4 programmes of action with 33 priority projects covering four areas of activity: peace and security, democracy and good governance, economic development and regional integration, and human, social and environmental issues. It entered into force in June 2008.

The objectives of the RHRA in 2011 were as follows:

  1. Strengthen the capacity of UN country teams in countries of the region and the ICGLR to deal with human rights and their integration into programming, especially the rights of IDPs and returning populations, the combat against sexual violence, the prevention of genocide, economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR) and exploitation of natural resources and the fight against impunity in close collaboration with ICGLR. Notably, the RHRA supported the ICGLR in setting up its regional Committee on the Prevention of Genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and all forms of discrimination which was approved by the Heads of States Summit in Lusaka on 15 December 2010.

  2. Facilitate the development of joint programmes aimed at supporting the work of national, regional and international partners in strengthening national systems for the protection and promotion of human rights, especially during the pre- and post-election process.

  3. Foster collaboration and sharing of knowledge and experience among UN country teams and the National Coordination Mechanisms of ICGLR in the region.

  4. Support the implementation of the human rights dimension of the Security, Stability and Development Pact of the Great Lakes Region and the programme activities of the ICGLR.

Perspectives 2012-2013

The RHRA will continue to strengthen the human rights capacity of the UN country teams in the core countries and help establish a regional UNCT cooperation network.
The priorities for the 2012-2013 can be summarised as follows:

  • To strengthen the UN country teams capacity to integrate human rights into their analysis, plans and programs, involving also national partners and foster a network of UN country teams to facilitate the exchange of experiences between countries and promote consultations on issues of common interest related to human rights.
  • To continue to support the UN System in the Great Lakes Region and foster regional cooperation to address common challenges faced in strengthening human rights in the region and support the implementation of the human rights dimension of the regional projects and protocols of the ICGLR, especially the Regional Center on Democracy, Good Governance, Human Rights and Civic Education and the regional human rights observatory, the prevention of genocide, the combat against illegal exploitation of resources, the rights of IDPs  and the combat against sexual violence.

Contact Information


Field Operations and Technical Cooperation Division (FOTCD)
Contact in Geneva, Switzerland.

Africa Branch
Tel. +41 22 917 92 50

Regional Offices/Centres

Central Africa
(Yaounde, Cameroon)
Nouvelle route Bastos
Rue 1705, Numéro 606
B.P. 836
Yaoundé, Cameroon
Tel.: +237 2221 2474 +23 74 83 03 56 ;
74 83 01 78
+8821 637 220 464 (satellite)
Fax: (237) 221 2475

East Africa
(Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)
New ECA Building
Room 1N16
P.O.Box 3001
Addis Ababa
Tel.: (251 11) 544 3105
Fax: (251 11) 551 6078

Southern Africa
Regional Office for Southern Africa
UN House, Metropark Building
351 Francis Baard Street
P.O. Box 6541
Pretoria 0001
South Africa
Tel.: +27 12 354 8686
Fax: +27 12 354 8681

West Africa
Parcelle n°20, en face de l'hôtel Azur, Route du King Fahd Palace, BP 154, Dakar, Senegal , Tel. : +221 33 869 39 69

Other OHCHR Offices

Cote d'Ivoire
Democratic Republic of Congo
Sierra Leone

Feature stories


United Nations Country Teams in Africa region

Other UN links

Security Council resolutions

Secretary-General reports to the Security Council

External links

International Criminal Court

Geneva Conventions

ILO Conventions

Refugee Conventions

African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights

African Court of Justice

African Union

Economic Community of Central African States

Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa

National Institutions

Note: OHCHR is not responsible for the content of external links.