OHCHR report highlights tangible results despite funding gaps

Thursday, 18 June 2020

Thursday, 18 June 2020 | Geneva | OHCHR

This month, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet launched the UN Human Rights Report 2019, outlining the tangible results achieved by her office in 2019 – a year of great upheaval and increased difficulties for human rights globally. 

The report covers Bachelet’s first full year in office and spans the vast range of work the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has carried out around the world.

In 2019, OHCHR supported the integration of human rights in UN peace operations, conducted capacity-development and technical cooperation in 84 field presences across the world, and provided crucial monitoring and protection work through human rights components in 12 peace missions.

Some of the highlights over the last year are 37 ratifications or accessions to the core human rights treaties; support to almost 36,000 victims of torture in 77 countries; and the adoption of 15 new national laws outlawing discrimination in all its forms.

The year was also notable for the increased challenges the OHCHR faced, Bachelet said, in particular with regard to funding. The regular budget was cut again, with the Office receiving US$105.6 million compared to US$125.6 million in 2018, a cut of about 16 per cent.

In addition, voluntary contributions to OHCHR decreased by 4.3 per cent compared to 2018.

Despite the funding shortfalls, Bachelet says the OHCHR was still able to assist governments and civil society organizations with long-term work on human rights issues thanks to the support of 84 donors in 2019.

“Even as we recognize, with pride, the value and impact of the work we have accomplished through our partnerships, I am cognizant of the need for strengthened efforts,” Bachelet said.

“Today’s multiple predicaments are sobering on many fronts – I look forward to distilling lessons learned, building on good practice and, together, leveraging a united voice for human rights for all.”

Read the report here.