The Human Rights Working Group (COHOM)

What is it?

COHOM is the Council's working group on the human rights aspects of EU external relations. It comprises:

  • the Council's Directors for Human Rights
  • national delegates
  • European External Action Service (EEAS) representatives
  • Commission representatives

What does it do?

COHOM's remit is to:

  • develop EU human rights policy instruments (e.g. EU human rights guidelines, human rights dialogues / consultations with over 40 countries)
  • define EU positions on human rights issues in EU external relations
  • carry out preparatory work for high-level discussions on human rights issues  (Political & Security Committee, Coreper, Council)
  • incorporate human rights in all aspects of EU external relations ('mainstreaming') by engaging with other Council working groups
  • oversee the worldwide implementation of EU human rights instruments
  • set the EU's strategic priorities in multilateral human rights fora (UN General Assembly, UN Human Rights Council, etc)
  • help ensure consistency in EU external and internal policy with regard to human rights