The Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) is the specialized institution of the OSCE dealing with elections, human rights, and democratization.
Based in Warsaw, Poland, ODIHR:
- Promotes democratic election processes through the in-depth observation of elections and conducts election assistance projects that enhance meaningful participatory democracy;
- Assists OSCE participating States in the implementation of their human dimension commitments by providing expertise and practical support in strengthening democratic institutions through longer-term programmes to strengthen the rule of law, civil society, and democratic governance;
- Assists OSCE field missions in implementing their human dimension activities, including through training, exchange of experiences, and regional co-ordination;
- Contributes to early warning and conflict prevention by monitoring the implementation of OSCE human dimension commitments by participating States; provides regular human-rights training for government authorities, civil society, and OSCE staff;
- Assists participating States with the implementation of international legal obligations and OSCE commitments on anti-terrorism in compliance with international human-rights standards;
- Assists participating States in implementing their commitments on tolerance and non-discrimination and supports efforts to respond to, and combat, hate crimes and incidents of racism, anti-Semitism, and other forms of intolerance, including against Muslims;
- Serves as the OSCE Contact Point for Roma and Sinti Issues; promotes the full integration of Roma and Sinti groups into the societies in which they live;
- Organizes regular meetings on the implementation of human dimension commitments, such as the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting, the annual Human Dimension Seminar, and Supplementary Human Dimension Meetings; and
- Implements a gender strategy by developing and adjusting its policies and actions to ensure gender mainstreaming while implementing, in parallel, activities designed to improve the situation of women in the OSCE region.
Within the broader fields of human rights and democratization, ODIHR's expertise and activities focus on the following areas: democratic elections, monitoring the implementation of OSCE human-rights commitments by participating States, combating trafficking in human beings, Roma and Sinti issues, protecting human rights in the fight against terrorism, freedom of religion, civil society, freedom of movement, rule of law, gender equality, and combating racism and related forms of intolerance.