Useful Information

Ratifications and Reservations

Country Mandates Established by the CHR/HRC

Open invitation to Special Procedures

Voluntary Pledges and Commitments

Members by region of the Human Rights Council

OHCHR in the Field

Regional Offices

Country Offices

Human Rights Components of Peace Missions

Human Rights Advisers

Action 2

Technical Cooperation Programme

National Human Rights Institutions


UN Human Rights Report 2018 UN Human Rights Report 2018
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 Components of UN Peace Missions

The United Nations Security Council has recognised that the realization of human rights is essential for building and keeping peace, as evidenced by the Security Council's consistent inclusion of robust human rights mandates for peace missions. OHCHR partners with the Departments of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), Political Affairs (DPA) and Field Support (DFS) to ensure that H uman Rights Components of UN peace missions are adequately staffed, resourced and provided with the policy, tools and guidance they need to operate in increasingly complex environments and deliver on Security Council mandates. To this end, in 2011 OHCHR, DPKO, DPA and DFS concluded a policy on the integration of human rights in UN Peace Operations and Political Missions.


A Human Rights Component's mandated activities are derived from the Security Council resolution establishing the peace mission. Generally, the work of Human Rights Components includes:

  • daily monitoring, investigating, documenting and reporting on the human rights situation;
  • advocating with local and national authorities, engaging civil society and national governments in order to prevent and ensure redress for violations of human rights;
  • reporting publicly on human rights gains and gaps;
  • ensuring that peace processes promote justice and equity;
  • building human rights capacities and institutions;
  • mainstreaming human rights into the work of the UN peace mission as well as that of all UN programmes and activities in the country.

The Head of the Human Rights Component serves as the human rights adviser to the Head of Mission and as the representative of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the mission area, which means he/she reports simultaneously to the head of the peace mission and the High Commissioner.

OHCHR's role

OHCHR supports human rights components of peace missions through providing strategic planning, policy and expert advice, technical assistance and operational support. OHCHR is engaged with DPKO, DPA and DFS from the design of a peace mission, to its start-up, through transitions and eventually drawdown. As new crises evolve, OHCHR participates in inter-departmental technical assessments and human rights mandate definition for the creation of a new peace mission, defines human rights priorities and identifies start-up teams of human rights officers with the right expertise for early deployment. OHCHR participates in UN strategic assessments during mission reconfigurations and works with UN partners to ensure continuity during the exit of a UN peace mission and its Human Rights Component. More broadly, OHCHR develops human rights methodology, training and guidance for Human Rights Components and works to mainstream human rights in UN policies on the maintenance of international peace and security. OHCHR also uses extra-budgetary resources financed through Member States voluntary contributions to fund human rights technical cooperation activities and project-based staff costs in some peace missions, where possible and/or necessary.

In 2018, UN Human Rights supported nearly 900 international and national human rights officers and support staff in 13 Human Rights Components of UN peace missions in Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea Bissau, Haiti, Iraq, Kosovo, Liberia, Libya, Mali, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan.

Details on the individual field presences can be found in the relevant sections of the Office Management Plan 2018-2021.

Africa region

Middle East and North Africa region

Asia Pacific region

Europe and Central Asia region

Americas region

Human Rights Components of Peace Missions
  •  Kosovo**


** Reference to Kosovo should be understood in full compliance with United Nations Security Council resolution 1244 and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo.

Contact Information

Field Operations and Technical Cooperation Division (FOTCD)
All contacts are in Geneva, Switzerland.

Africa Branch
Tel. +41 22 917 9220

Middle East and North Africa Section
Tel. +41 22 928 9153

Asia Pacific Section
Tel. +41 22 928 9650

Europe and Central Asia Section
Tel. +41 22 928 9291

Americas Section
Tel. + 41 22 928 9167

Peace Missions Support Section
Tel. +41 22 917 9220

National Institutions and Regional Mechanisms Section
Tel. +41 22 928 9467

Coordinator Voluntary Fund for Technical Co-operation
Tel. +41 22 928 9287

External Links

United Nations Peacekeeping
Department of Political Affairs
The Security Council
Peacebuilding Support Office
International Criminal Court
Geneva Conventions (ICRC)
Refugee Conventions (UNHCR)
National Institutions
Note: OHCHR is not responsible for the content of external links.