I am based in Dakar and part of a dedicated team of five people working towards the promotion and protection of human rights across the 14 West African States. A challenging and fascinating mission in a few words is but a gross understatement.
My area of responsibility includes economic, social and cultural rights of the local people, the rights of people on the move, especially asylum seekers, as well the human rights situation in Niger. This is especially where I saw my mission bringing the United Nations closer to the people we serve.
Aissata Ba (France) is a UN Volunteer Communications Officer with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, West Africa Regional Office (OHCHR/WARO) in Senegal.
Kankan, Upper Guinea; Guinea-Conakry: When I took up the role of the UN Youth Volunteer for the High Commissioner for Human Rights, I was not quite sure what to expect.
"From the university benches, past lectures and books to the real-life practice of human rights on the field." These words are what come to mind when I try to summarise those three weeks on mission to monitor human rights in Guinea.
La Paz, Bolivia: During my one-year assignment in Bolivia as a UN Youth Volunteer, I worked at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) within the Indigenous Peoples Unit. I became familiar with indigenous peoples’ rights in a country where 42% of the population identify themselves as indigenous.
My background as a human rights lawyer helped me to understand the serious challenges and threats that are living the Guarani peoples in the Chaco region.
La Paz, Bolivia: When I heard about the opportunity to come to Bolivia as a UN Volunteer with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), I was very excited to be able to take on new challenges in my professional and personal life. With a Master’s Degree in International Studies, specializing in Human Rights, and experience in Latin America, I felt that this volunteer opportunity was ideal for me.
Quito, Ecuador: I am a 27-year-old lawyer and I just finished my one-year assignment with the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme at the Office of the Human Rights Adviser in Ecuador.
Suva, Fiji: On Monday 7 March UN Women organized an awareness-raising event in UN Park, Suva, where information about various gender issues was distributed from a number of different organizations and UN agencies, including the Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), where I am currently serving as a UN Volunteer. Monday morning was hot and sunny, and music contributed to the festive mood at the Park. A quiz about women’s progress was organized by UN Women, and a banner was set up to be signed by participants.