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Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The mandate and leadership of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) 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 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, OHCHR leads efforts to integrate a human rights-based approach within all work carried out by the United Nations agencies.

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 head office was established in Geneva in 1993. The current UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, was appointed in October 2023.

Assistance to States
Since States have the primary responsibility to protect human rights, OHCHR 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.

Field presence
OHCHR works to ensure the implementation of international human rights standards on the ground through greater country engagement and its field presences. Over the years, OHCHR has increased its presence in the field. The field offices and presences play an essential role in identifying, highlighting, and developing responses to human rights challenges, in close collaboration with governments, the United Nations system, non-governmental organizations, and members of civil society.

Treaty Bodies
An additional example of the standard-setting and monitoring dimensions of OHCHR’s work is the legal research and secretariat support it provides to the core human rights treaty bodies. These committees of independent experts are mandated to monitor State parties' compliance with their treaty obligations, e.g. obligations under the Convention against Torture. They meet regularly to examine reports from State parties and issue their recommendations.

Denmark’s contribution to the OHCHR
In 2023, Denmark supported the OHCHR with an annual voluntary contribution of DKK 60 million, including DKK 27 million of core funding for OHCHR, DKK 27 million channelled through the Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation, and DKK 2 million earmarked to the Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture.