The Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) is the principal institution of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) dealing with the "human dimension" of security. The office, originally named Office for Free Elections, was created in 1990 by the Charter of Paris and established in 1991. The name of the office was changed in 1992 to reflect the broadened mandate it received at the 1992 Helsinki Summit.

The ODIHR, based in Warsaw (Poland) is active throughout the 57 participating States of the OSCE. It assists governments to live up to their commitments as participating States of the OSCE in the areas of elections, human rights, democracy, rule of law, and tolerance and non-discrimination. The office also hosts the organisation's Contact Point for Roma and Sinti Issues.

The ODIHR is best known for its role in observing elections. It has observed over 150 elections across the OSCE region and has deployed some 35,000 observers.

The office organises the annual OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting in Warsaw, Europe's largest human rights conference.

The ODIHR's Director is Ambassador Janez Lenarčič (Slovenia). The office has a staff of close to 150.

ODIHR international electoral observer activities

  • During the United States elections, 2012—following media reports that tied ODIHR international electoral observers to the United Nations and accused them of having plans to interfere in the election—the observers, who said they were in the United States to review several benchmarks of democratic elections, were blocked from polls in nine of the 50 states—Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas. Special coordinator for the OSCE mission, Joao Soares, a member of the Portuguese parliament, said he would issue the official post-election statement on Tuesday's U.S. election on the following Thursday.[1]

ODIHR Directors

  • Janez Lenarčič (Slovenia): 2008-
  • Christian Strohal (Austria): 2003-2008
  • Gérard Stoudmann (Switzerland): 1997-2003
  • Audrey Glover (United Kingdom): 1994-1997
  • Luchino Cortese (Italy): 1991-1997


External links

  • Official websitehe:הארגון לביטחון ולשיתוף פעולה באירופה#המשרד למוסדות דמוקרטיים וזכויות אדם
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.