Address/Websites


Palais Wilson. 52 rue des Pâquis. CH-1201 Geneva, Switzerland

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Pages/Home.aspx

Background


The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), guided by the mandate provided by General Assembly resolution 48/141, OHCHR represents the world’s commitment to the promotion, protection and realization of the full range of rights and freedoms set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

OHCHR has a central role in safeguarding the integrity of the three pillars of the United Nations: peace and security, human rights and development. For the four year period from 2018-2021, the Office has identified six thematic pillars, four major shifts, with person centered spotlighting particularly women, young people and persons living with disabilities. The six thematic pillars that
from
the continued solid base on which the work of the Office stands include (1) Support to the United Nations human rights system; (2) Mainstreaming human rights within the United Nations other pillars, namely development and (3) peace and security; (4) Advancing the core human rights principles of non-discrimination, (5) accountability, (6) participation. The Four major Shifts’ in OHCHR mandate focus on key threats to rights and key opportunities for leveraging support to better protect and promote rights.  This means that across our six thematic pillars, OHCHR will also work to take steps to help prevent conflict, violence and insecurity; Help protect and expand civic space; Support and further develop a global constituency for human rights; Deliver human rights in the context of emerging concerns (‘frontier issues’).

All the six areas have a strong focus on women’s human rights and gender issues, including in line with OHCHR internal policies on gender equality and the Secretary General System Wide Strategy on Gender Parity.
Institutionally, OHCHR is committed to strengthening the United Nations human rights programme and to providing it with the highest quality support. OHCHR is committed to working closely with its United Nations partners to ensure that human rights are at the center of the work of the United Nations.


Policy framework


See gender-related resolutions and decisions of the General Assembly, Security Council and Human Rights Council, and relevant subsidiary bodies.


Areas of Focus


The mission of OHCHR is to work for the protection and promotion of all human rights for all people; to help empower people to realize their rights; and to assist those responsible for upholding such rights in ensuring that they are implemented. In carrying out its mission with respect to violence against women, and within the overarching strategies to ensure country engagement, leadership, partnership, and support and strengthening of the Office and the human rights machinery, OHCHR is focusing on:
*Gender sensitive administration of justice, through the provision of expert legal analysis of international (and, where appropriate, regional and national) jurisprudence with commentary, relating to the effective prosecution of gender-based violence as well as legal analysis of obligations in relation to social and economic rights and the impact of the enjoyment of such rights for women on access to justice for victims of sexual violence.
*Piloting of integrated and thematic gender strategies for country engagement, including on violence against women.
*Mainstreaming gender and women’s human rights in OHCHR and with UN system partners.

OHCHR is an active member of UN Action against sexual violence in conflict. Since August 2008, the Coordinator for UN Action Against Sexual Violence in Conflict, previously based with UNIFEM in New York, is hosted on OHCHR premises in Geneva. Since 2009, OHCHR has chaired the Resource Management Committee of the UN-Action Multi-Donor Trust Fund.

Human rights monitoring and investigations, including in relation to sexual violence, are also key features of the field presences of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), particularly country offices and human rights components of UN peace operations.

Monitoring of the human rights situation, including advocacy and public reporting, is a fundamental tool for OHCHR to assess human rights problems, support the identification of adequate solutions, promote accountability and deter further violations. In particularly serious human rights violations including collective rape cases, the Office also conducts human rights investigations, by conducting detailed interviews with victims and witnesses, when possible visiting the location of the violations, and undertaking circumstantial analysis of facts, mapping of perpetrators to promote accountability through follow up with judiciary authorities.

OHCHR supportsthe Human Rights Council and its special procedures, including the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, the Working Group on discrimination against women in law and in practice, and the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially in women and children, as well as human rights treaty bodies, including the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.

In its’ work, the Committee on the Elimination on the Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) urges States parties to give priority attention to eliminating all forms of violence against women and to adopt comprehensive measures to address it in accordance with the Committee’s general recommendation No. 35.


Resources


Report on laws discriminatory to women, prepared by Dr. Fareda Banda, 2009

Commentary on the Recommended Principles and Guidelines on Human Rights and Human Trafficking
About 157 Results
In order to ensure gender mainstreaming, OHCHR works directly with a range of UN partners in the areas of development cooperation, humanitarian affairs, and peace and security to ensure that human rights principles, norms and standards relating to View More

In order to ensure gender mainstreaming, OHCHR works directly with a range of UN partners in the areas of development cooperation, humanitarian affairs, and peace and security to ensure that human rights principles, norms and standards relating to gender equality and women’s rights are integrated into their work, including as it relates to violence against women. OHCHR is contributing to various UN initiatives to prevent and respond to sexual exploitation and abuse by UN personnel with a view to placing such acts within the framework of violations of human rights, trying to push specifically for UN accountability in this area.

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OHCHR continued supporting the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, its causes and consequences: in supporting three country visits to Jordan (11-24 November 2011), Somalia (9 – 16 December 2011) and Italy (15-26 January 2012); in View More

OHCHR continued supporting the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, its causes and consequences: in supporting three country visits to Jordan (11-24 November 2011), Somalia (9 – 16 December 2011) and Italy (15-26 January 2012); in strengthening partnerships with other human rights mechanisms, including the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW); and in convening an Expert Group Meeting on gender motivated killings of women. The Special Rapporteur also held a bilateral meeting with the CEDAW Committee with a view to strengthening partnerships between the two mandates and mutually benefit from their respective work.

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OHCHR raised awareness among its country offices on Security Council resolutions on Women, Peace and Security and on their relevance for their work. This included the production and dissemination of an information sheet; the organization of View More

OHCHR raised awareness among its country offices on Security Council resolutions on Women, Peace and Security and on their relevance for their work. This included the production and dissemination of an information sheet; the organization of two-specific sessions during the annual meeting of heads of field presence and the OHCHR planning week respectively.

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OHCHR supports the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, whose work during 2012 included: submission of a report on gender-related killings of women to the Human Rights Council in June 2012; submission of her View More

OHCHR supports the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, whose work during 2012 included: submission of a report on gender-related killings of women to the Human Rights Council in June 2012; submission of her report to the General Assembly on violence against women with disabilities; and official country missions to Italy, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia. Support was also provided to the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children, whose work during 2012 included: submission of a report to the UN Human Rights Council on integrating a human rights-based approach into the prosecution of cases of human trafficking; her report to the General Assembly on the issue of trafficking in supply chains; country visits to the United Arab Emirates, Gabon and the Philippines; and an address to the UN Conference of the State Parties to the Convention on Transnational Organized Crime. OHCHR hosts the Working Group on Discrimination against women in law and in practice, which held four sessions and presented its first annual report at the 20th session of the Human Rights Council in June 2012. The Working Group conducted three country visits to Morocco, Moldova and Tunisia. OHCHR also submitted a study on violence against women and girls and disability to the same Human Rights Council session.

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OHCHR supported the following human rights mechanisms: the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences (SRVAW) in the conduct of 3 official country visits in the reporting period: India (22 April to 1 May, 2013), View More

OHCHR supported the following human rights mechanisms: the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences (SRVAW) in the conduct of 3 official country visits in the reporting period: India (22 April to 1 May, 2013), Bangladesh (20 to 29 May, 2013), and Azerbaijan (25 November to 5 December, 2013); the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children in convening 5 regional consultations (Geneva, Santiago, Bangkok, Abuja and Amman) and two global consultations (New York and Vienna) on the right to an effective remedy for trafficked persons pursuant to Human Rights Council Resolution 20/1; and the Working Group on Discrimination Against Women, which regards violence against women as cross-cutting in all of its work, in two country visits in Iceland (16 to 23 May 2013) and in China (12 to 19 December 2013).

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An OHCHR consultant is implementing the pilot country gender strategy aimed at mainstreaming a gender approach in all of the Office’s programming and activities, including ways to identify and analyze cases of gender-based violence and women’s rights View More

An OHCHR consultant is implementing the pilot country gender strategy aimed at mainstreaming a gender approach in all of the Office’s programming and activities, including ways to identify and analyze cases of gender-based violence and women’s rights violations.

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In Serbia, OHCHR organised and facilitated capacity building training sessions, including on topics of VaW and gender-based violence for Government officials. 
In Colombia, OHCHR continued to strengthen its capacity View More

In Serbia, OHCHR organised and facilitated capacity building training sessions, including on topics of VaW and gender-based violence for Government officials. 
In Colombia, OHCHR continued to strengthen its capacity to address sexual and gender based violence in conflict-affected areas, in the context of the Peace Agreement implementation.  This included training sessions on the use of SGBV reference documents, such as the sexual violence case investigation manual and a practical guide to understanding the protocol to follow in the context of SGBV.


In the margins of CSW62 in March 2018, OHCHR organised a consultation bringing together international and regional women’s rights mechanisms to exchange experiences and practices in the protection and promotion of women’s rights. Another event was held on “Defending the Right to Life: Securing Accountability for Violence against Women and LGBTI Persons during Conflict” in support to the SR on summary extra judiciary killings.

 

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In DRC, the UNJHRO (United Nations Joint Human Rights Office) facilitated access to justice to victims, through free legal aid in judicial procedure and judgment execution process, referral to medical, psychosocial and economic services. 22 legal View More

In DRC, the UNJHRO (United Nations Joint Human Rights Office) facilitated access to justice to victims, through free legal aid in judicial procedure and judgment execution process, referral to medical, psychosocial and economic services. 22 legal clinics were funded by UNJHRO in order to provide free legal information to population and legal aid to victims for regular and mobile trials supported by UNJHRO, and enhance referral mechanisms for services to victims and bridge with prosecution special cells.

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In Haiti, OHCHR implemented two CVR (Community Violence Reduction) projects to support women and girls victims of violence. The aim of these two projects is to construct two reception centers, in remote areas  where women and girls can seek View More

In Haiti, OHCHR implemented two CVR (Community Violence Reduction) projects to support women and girls victims of violence. The aim of these two projects is to construct two reception centers, in remote areas  where women and girls can seek temporary shelter in order to receive psycho social, medical and legal aid.

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In Kosovo, OHCHR and technical partners provided key support services for survivors of gender based violence, including psychosocial counselling and psychotherapeutic services, legal aid and access to economic empowerment programs, benefitting View More

In Kosovo, OHCHR and technical partners provided key support services for survivors of gender based violence, including psychosocial counselling and psychotherapeutic services, legal aid and access to economic empowerment programs, benefitting more than 200 women in 2016. After a successful advocacy initiative involving OHCHR, North Mitrovica municipality allocated premises for a shelter for survivors of gender based violence. OHCHR further provided necessary equipment and furniture for the shelter and will organize capacity building of relevant staff who will work with survivors in the shelter.  Moreover, OHCHR ensured sustainability of support services in 2017 and 2018 through technical support to a partner CSO in drafting a project proposal which was recently approved for funding by the EU.

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