Since early 2007, the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) established the Focal Point for Human Rights Defenders and national human rights institutions.

Based in Warsaw, Poland, the Focal Point follows the situation of HRDs and aims to promote and protect their interests and to strengthen cooperation with national human rights institutions (NHRIs) in the 56 member States of the OSCE. In its report Human Rights Defenders in the OSCE Region: Challenges And Good Practices. April 2007 – April 2008 of  December 2008, the Focal Point identifies patterns of human rights violations affecting defenders in the OSCE area as well as a number of good practices with respect to protecting the rights of HRDs. This followed the report Human Rights Defenders in the OSCE Region: Our Collective Conscience, which was published the previous year.

The Focal Point delivers capacity-building sessions to HRDs, training to NHRI officials, as well as other activities conducive to facilitate the work of human rights NGOs and HRDs. In this regard, the Focal Point collaborates with the Council of Europe, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights Defenders and NGOs.

Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights

The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights is based in Warsaw, Poland. It is active throughout the OSCE area in the fields of election observation, democratic development, human rights, tolerance and non-discrimination, and rule of law.

http://www.osce.org/odihr/