OHCHR – Regional Office for Southern Africa (ROSA)
The Regional Office for Southern Africa (ROSA) of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights was established in 1998. ROSA assists States (government ministries, Parliaments, the judiciary and law enforcement agencies), United Nations agencies, national human rights institutions, and civil society organizations with the goal of achieving the full realization of human rights in the region. ROSA covers the following 14 countries: Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. ROSA provides training and advisory and capacity-building services to stakeholders, and works closely with regional mechanisms, such as the African Union (AU) and sub-regional mechanisms, such as the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC).
The Southern African region is very diverse. It has some of the richest and some of the poorest States in Africa. Several countries have well-functioning national institutions and mechanisms to protect and promote human rights, but a number of human rights challenges remain. The region c. Some countries have recently faced, and others continue to face, political violence, insecurity, and serious human rights abuses. Discrimination remains an important human rights concern. The independence of the judiciary, access to justice, prison conditions, freedom of expression and assembly, economic, social and cultural rights, land issues, migration and xenophobia, impunity and sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) are among the main human rights challenges in the region.The relative stability in most of the countries, and the encouraging development and human rights achievements made by some States, give hope for the overall improvement of the human rights situation in the region.
The Regional Office for Southern Africa conducts activities in the following areas:
- Strengthening national and regional human rights protection systems, with a special focus on national human rights institutions.
- Addressing discrimination through technical assistance and advocacy.
- Increasing engagement of national stakeholders with international human rights mechanisms, such as the Universal Periodic Review, Treaty-based bodies, and special procedures of the Human Rights Council.
- Ensuring a human rights-based approach in UN Country Teams’ programmes and planning.
ROSA is working towards achieving the following Expected Accomplishments by the end of the biennium (2012-2013):
- Increased number of national anti-discrimination and equality legislation, administrative measures, policies and programmes, including national action plans, as well as practices in compliance with international norms and standards, with an emphasis on women’s rights.
- Increased compliance of national laws, policies and programmes with international norms and standards on economic, social and cultural rights.
- Increased engagement of national human rights institutions in addressing impunity.
- Increased ratification of international human rights instruments, with a focus on the ICESCR and the CRPD.
- Increased compliance of States with their obligation under the UPR in terms of reporting and putting in place efficient mechanisms to ensure follow-up of their recommendations and increased cooperation with special procedures.
- Increased integration of equality and non-discrimination standards and principles, with a specific focus on women’s rights, in UN policies and programmes and in other key areas including at the country level.
10 July 2013: Sale and sexual exploitation of children: UN rights expert in fact-finding mission to Madagascar, click here.
9 July 2013 : “Will Malawi’s progress endure?” – UN expert on eve of right to food mission, click here.
13 June 2013 : UN rights expert deplores human rights violations in Belarus, urges co-operation, click here.
6 April 2013 : Human Rights Council holds interactive dialogues with Experts on the situation of human rights in Eritrea and in Belarus, click here.
Field Operations and Technical Cooperation Division (FOTCD)
Contact in Geneva, Switzerland.
Tel. +41 22 917 9220
Nouvelle route Bastos
Rue 1705, Numéro 606
Tel.: +237 2221 2474 +23 74 83 03 56 ;
74 83 01 78
+8821 637 220 464 (satellite)
Fax: (237) 221 2475
(Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)
New ECA Building
Tel.: (251 11) 544 3105
Fax: (251 11) 551 6078
Regional Office for Southern Africa
UN House, Metropark Building
351 Francis Baard Street
P.O. Box 6541
Tel.: +27 12 354 8686
Fax: +27 12 354 8681
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
Republic of Congo
International Criminal Court|
African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights
African Court of Justice
Economic Community of Central African
Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa
Note: OHCHR is not responsible for the content of external links.