Freedom of religion or belief
ODIHR’s work in the area of freedom of religion or belief focuses on assisting participating States, religious or belief communities, and civil society in protecting and promoting the right to freedom of religion or belief. ODIHR also works on preventing and responding to intolerance and discrimination based on religious grounds.
ODIHR is assisted in its work by the 12-member Advisory Panel of Experts on Freedom of Religion or Belief, which serves as an advisory and consultative body that highlights issues that deserve attention and suggests constructive approaches that might be undertaken by ODIHR to assist participating States in meeting OSCE commitments related to religious freedom.
The Panel consists of experts from throughout the OSCE region. Members serve in their personal capacities as experts and do not represent any organization or confession. ODIHR makes the Panel's expertise available to participating States, OSCE field operations and non-governmental organizations.
Members of the Panel participate regularly in ODIHR meetings and events related to freedom of religion or belief.
In the area of freedom of religion or belief, ODIHR undertakes a number of activities, including:
- Reviewing legislation for governments, upon request, to help them bring their legislation into line with OSCE commitments and other international standards;
- Providing expert opinions on issues related to freedom of religion or belief;
- Monitoring cases involving violations of the right to freedom of religion or belief; and
- Developing and disseminating guidance to assist participating States in strengthening implementation of OSCE commitments and other international standards on freedom of religion or belief.