Useful Information

OHCHR Human Rights Programme for Europe and Central Asia

Country Mandates Established
by the CHR/HRC

Standing invitations to Special Procedures

Regional Members of the Human Rights Council:

Austria 2021

Bulgaria 2021

Croatia 2019

Czechia 2021

Denmark 2021

Iceland 2019

Italy 2021

Hungary 2019

Slovakia 2020

Spain 2020

Ukraine 2020

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 2019

Voluntary Pledges and Commitments


UN Human Rights Report 2019 UN Human Rights Report 2019
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)

OHCHR – Central Asia Regional Office

Regional Office for Central Asia, Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights’ (OHCHR) Regional Office for Central Asia (ROCA) was established in 2008 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan and currently covers four of five countries in the region: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.

The mandate of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights as set out in General Assembly resolution 48/141 of 20 December 1993, states that ROCA will engage with Governments, intergovernmental organizations, civil society, the private sector as well as relevant United Nations partners, to formulate and implement strategies, programmes and measures for the promotion and protection of all human rights in the countries of Central Asia.

ROCA works with countries in the region to strengthen the capacity of national governments, national human right institutions, non-governmental organisations and civil society organisations to increase compliance with human rights standards and improve protection against human rights violations, in particular violations relating to torture and the right to a fair trial.

ROCA has a presence in Bishkek and Osh, Kyrgyzstan, in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, and in Astana, Kazakhstan.

ROCA’s thematic priorities for 2014-2017 are; widening the democratic space, strengthening the effectiveness of international human rights mechanisms and the progressive development of international human rights laws and standards and combating impunity and strengthening accountability and the rule of law. 

OHCHR previous engagement and achievements


Since its establishment in 2008, ROCA has positioned itself as a solid, trusted source of human rights expertise and has established close links with many actors in the region, in particular with civil society and the international community. Over 2014 - 2017, ROCA will continue to focus on the human rights situation in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.

Across the region, ROCA undertook activities to strengthen the capacity of governments, National Human Rights Institutions (NHRI), civil society, and the international community (including United Nations Country Team (UNCT)) to protect and promote human rights. In particular, ROCA continued to promote human rights safeguards relating to fair trial, prevention of torture, and minority and housing rights.

In the past biennium, ROCA’s engagement has contributed to the following human rights achievements:

  • Adoption of legislation and policies in line with international standards
  • Increased state and civil society engagement with human rights mechanisms. This can be seen through submission of national and parallel reports; interaction with special procedures; ratification or signature of the International Covenants and Conventions and a degree of follow-up to the recommendations of UN human rights mechanisms including adoption of UPR actions.
  • Accreditation of NHRIs in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan with “B” status from the ICC.

Previous engagement has resulted in ROCA developing a comparative advantage for promoting and protecting human rights in Central Asia. ROCA’s key added value lies in three main areas:

  • Expertise and authoritative voice on human rights: ROCA is often asked by state authorities, NHRIs, civil society and the international community to provide advice on international standards. ROCA’s input is often sought as it is seen to give legitimacy to processes. Further, expertise from OHCHR is sought due to its role as secretariat of UN human rights mechanisms. ROCA has a good standing with partners for providing credible, balanced information, comprehensive guidance, and constructive engagement in difficult situations. ROCA has demonstrated its ability to provide timely advice to many partners which bodes well for future cooperation.
  • Mainstreaming and advocacy: ROCA has privileged access to authorities to advocate for human rights issues and to encourage practice in line with international standards. Furthermore, ROCA regularly provides advice on mainstreaming human rights into UN programmes including human rights based approach training sessions for UN partners, state authorities, civil society, non-government organizations and other human rights actors and stakeholders.
  •  Coordination: ROCA’s coordination on human rights issues with international and national counterparts as well as with UNCTs has facilitated synergies. ROCA’s coordination role ensures strategic planning around human rights developments and that human rights issues are on the agenda of other actors.

These elements highlight ROCA’s comparative advantage and explain why the Office is best placed to further advance human rights in Central Asia, by playing an active role in promoting and protecting human rights.

Contact Information


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

Europe and Central Asia Section

Regional Offices/Centres

Southern Caucasus

Central Asia

Other OHCHR Offices

Bosnia and Herzegovina
Russian Federation

External links

Geneva Conventions

ILO Conventions

Refugee Conventions

Council of Europe

European Union

Organization of American States

International Criminal Court

Inter-American Commission for Human Rights

Inter-American Court of Human Rights

Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe

International Monetary Fund

World Bank

National Institutions

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