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In this section
Transitional Justice
Right to the truth
Prevention of Genocide

Democracy and Human Rights

Right to a nationality

United Nations Rule of Law Website and Document Repository
Feature stories

Ensuring the right to fair trial for terrorist suspects

Human rights violations and war crimes committed by both sides – the latest report on Libya

What the victims want: reparations for northern Ugandans

‘A people driven constitution’ – building respect for human rights in Somalia

End impunity for peace and development in West Africa

Protecting witnesses and victims: special measures for women and children

Measuring justice and rule of law

Human rights chief calls for accountability on her mission to Russia

Pillay addresses ICC Review Conference panel

Protection of civilians in armed conflict

A cooperative effort to protect the human rights of stateless persons

Rule of Law

The 2005 OHCHR Plan of Action identified some key challenges in human rights protection. These challenges include armed conflict and violence, impunity, democratic deficit and weak institutions.  The Plan also outlined strategic priorities guiding OHCHR in its work in addressing these challenges. These strategies include the elaboration of approaches leading to greater country engagement to be pursued through inter-alia work on the rule of law.

OHCHR aims to protect people and empower them to realize their rights. Bearing in mind the objective of helping to bridge gaps in human rights implementation at the national level, Rule of Law is particularly relevant in the following 4 OHCHR expected accomplishments in 2008:

  • Increased compliance with human rights standards by national laws and programmes;

  • Justice and accountability mechanisms established in accordance with international human rights standards, to monitor, investigate and redress civil and political, as well as economic, social, and cultural human rights violations;

  • International community increasingly aware, alert and responsive to critical human rights situations; and

  • Increased integration of human rights standards and principles into the UN system policies and programmes.

The work being done in the area of Rule of Law also includes:

  • Legal analysis and comments on draft laws and technical advice on how such legislation can be strengthened to fully respect human rights
    Operational tools, best practices, concept papers, guidance notes, and legal advice to support justice and accountability initiatives;
  • Support and coordination of OHCHR’s lead responsibilities in the rule of law and democracy area pursuant to the Policy Committee decisions, including on transitional justice and investigations, and within the framework of the SG’s Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.


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