Home » The Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights Collection

The Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights Collection


This series’ volumes include an extensive selection of legal documents produced by various human rights instruments, such as: declarations, principles, guidelines, standard rules and recommendations, covenants, statutes, protocols and conventions, thus providing a complete overview of the work of the OHCHR. The collection is divided into several different volumes, providing wide-ranging insights in the work of the OHCHR, thus offering a valuable legal tool for academic collections.

 

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) represents the world's commitment to universal ideals of human dignity. The OHCHR has a unique mandate from the international community to promote and protect all human rights. It is mandated to promote and protect the enjoyment and full realization, by all people, of all rights established in the Charter of the United Nations and in international human rights laws and treaties. The OHCHR is guided in its work by the mandate provided by the General Assembly in resolution 48/141, the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and subsequent human rights instruments, the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action the 1993 World Conference on Human Rights, and the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document. The mandate includes preventing human rights violations, securing respect for all human rights, promoting international cooperation to protect human rights, coordinating related activities throughout the United Nations, and strengthening and streamlining the United Nations system in the field of human rights. In addition to its mandated responsibilities, the Office leads efforts to integrate a human rights approach within all work carried out by United Nations agencies. As the principal United Nations office mandated to promote and protect human rights for all, the OHCHR leads global human rights efforts and speaks out objectively in the face of human rights violations worldwide. The OHCHR provides a forum for identifying, highlighting and developing responses to today's human rights challenges, and acts as the principal focal point of human rights research, education, public information, and advocacy activities in the United Nations system.

Since Governments have the primary responsibility to protect human rights, the High Commissioner for Human Rights provides assistance to Governments, such as expertise and technical trainings in the areas of administration of justice, legislative reform, and electoral process, to help implement international human rights standards on the ground. Since the establishment of the United Nations in 1945, promoting and encouraging respect for human rights for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion, as stipulated in the United Nations Charter, has been one of the fundamental goals of the organization. The OHCHR is tasked with mainstreaming human rights within the United Nations, which means injecting a human rights perspective into all United Nations programmes.

In the Preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it is stated that:

“(…) recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world” And Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” These clauses show that human rights are basic and essential rights that all human beings have, simply because they are human.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its core values, including non-discrimination, equality, fairness and universality, apply to everyone, everywhere and always. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms the inherent human dignity and worth of every person in the world, without distinction of any kind. However, one must keep in mind that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, although having considerable political force, is a non-binding declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. Therefore, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has provided the basis for subsequent international human rights instruments that form binding international human rights law in the International Bill of Rights. The International Bill of Rights consists of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its Optional Protocols and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Overlapping with the International Bill of Rights, there are nine core international human rights treaties. Each of these treaties has established a committee of experts to monitor implementation of the treaty provisions by its States parties. Some of the treaties are supplemented by optional protocols dealing with specific concerns. In addition to the International Bill of Rights and the core human rights treaties, there are many other universal instruments relating to human rights.

Overview of the Collection:

The main-volumes 

Volume Number
1.1 Selected Basic Documents and Background Materials
1.2 Selected Basic Documents and Background Materials
1.3 Selected Basic Documents and Background Materials
2.1 Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing as a Component of the Right to an Adequate Standard of Living, and on the Right to Non-Discrimination in this Context Part 1
2.2 Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing as a Component of the Right to an Adequate Standard of Living, and on the Right to Non-Discrimination in this Context Part 2