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What does the regional office for europe do?

Strategic priorities

The priorities of the Regional Office for Europe for the period 2018 - 2021 were decided following consultations with a broad range of stakeholders. They are based on the global priorities and theory of change of the UN Human Rights Office (see Organisational Management Plan 2018 - 2021). The Regional Office for Europe is committed to achieving tangible results in the following areas:

  • Countering the shrinking of civil society space for national human rights institutions, the media, non-governmental organisations, national, ethnic and religious minorities
  • Advocating for the rule of law, in particular the independence of the judiciary
  • Protecting human rights defenders
  • Strengthening economic and social rights, with a focus on the right to adequate housing, the European Social Pillar, and the Sustainable Development Goals
  • Strengthening EU anti-discrimination legislation
  • Closing human rights gaps through EU budgeting
  • Addressing online hate speech against women and girls
  • Groups in focus: ethnic, racial and religious minorities, persons with disabilities, older persons, homeless persons, LGBTI, children and youth
  • Access to information and due process in migration procedures
  • Ending the immigration detention of children and advocating for alternatives to administrative detention in the context of migration
  • Access for migrants to health services and justice
  • Challenging xenophobic narratives
  • Strengthening national human rights protection systems
  • Promoting engagement with the UN human rights mechanisms
  • Advising on the implementation of human rights recommendations
  • Encouraging the EU to defend human rights globally
  • Advocating for policy coherence between EU internal and external policies
  • Assisting the EU to incorporate a human rights-based approach in its development cooperation

How do We Work?

  • Advises the EU and Governments in the region on the integration of human rights in legislation, policy, budgeting and programmes, and on engagement with the UN human rights mechanisms
  • Increase awareness of human rights and mobilises people to stand up for human rights, particularly in the context of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • Empowers human rights networks, national human rights institutions, equality bodies, civil society, and human rights defenders
  • Monitors human rights in the region and issues public reports and position papers
  • Conducts strategic litigation before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg
  • Undertakes joint initiatives with the EU Fundamental Rights Agency, the Council of Europe, the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe
  • Advocates for a human rights-based approach to the EU’s external policies, migration management, and development cooperation
  • Fosters the integration of human rights in UN Brussels Team’s engagement on the Sustainable Development Agenda
  • Facilitates cooperation between other field presences and EU institutions, considering the relationship between the EU and the UN Human Rights Office globally
  • Actively contributes to the EU – UN Partnership Visibility Strategy
  • Provides support to thematic and country-specific Special Procedures of the UN Human Rights Council who seek to engage with EU institutions