Training Manual on Human Rights Monitoring

By Office Of The High Commissioner For Human Rights | Go to book overview

Chapter II
THE LOCAL CONTEXT

Key concepts

The mandate of a human rights field operation usually comes from the Security Council
or other UN body, an agreement with the Government, or both.

It is detailed for implementation in light of international human rights and
humanitarian law as well as the pre-deployment needs assessment.

It is applied in the context of the people, history, Government, geography, economy, and
international human rights and humanitarian law obligations of the country.

1. As discussed in Chapter I: “Introduction”, this Training Manual and any training programme based on it need to be supplemented for use in each human rights field operation in light of the operation's context — including its mandate, the factual circumstances, and the policy judgement of its leadership.

2. This chapter outlines the information which must be assembled about the context, including the specific mandate and country circumstances in order to supplement this Training Manual and to prepare for the training of HROs and others staff.

3. Each human rights field operation receives its terms of reference or mandate from the authorizing UN body (e.g., the Security Council or the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)) or on the basis of an agreement between the UN and the host country. Accordingly, the first step would be to acquire and carefully study a copy of the Security Council resolution, UN agreement with the Government and/or other document establishing the human rights field operation.

4. The mandate can be understood in the light of previous mandates given to human rights field operations and the way they have been interpreted and applied. Chapter III: “Applicable International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law: The Framework”, and Part III: “The Monitoring Function” track the interpretation given to the mandate of earlier human rights operations and the relevant provisions of international human rights and humanitarian law. After studying the precise terms of reference, it should be possible to supplement those chapters. It may also be possible to remove or exclude from training those elements of the chapters which are not relevant.

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