Other regional organisations

The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)

The OSCE was founded in the 1970s during the Cold War in an aim to ensure security in Europe, in spite of the political divergences which existed at that time. Since then, the OSCE has continued to carry out its mission as a structured organisation and today has 56 member states. Its mandate has been extended to cover issues including human rights protection. This jurisdiction is part of the ‘human dimension’ of its remit and is covered by the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, based in Warsaw. This body leads various initiatives in the field, organises research studies and seminars on themes such as conflict prevention, the protection of minorities and democratic governance and also organises electoral observation missions. Member states’ representatives meet annually for the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting, where decisions are made on this topic. Several NGOs also take part in this event.

For further information on the Council of Europe’s human rights activities, please visit the related page.

Other regional organisations

Organisations aiming to protect and promote human rights have also been founded in other regions of the world.

In America, the American Convention on Human Rights was adopted in 1969 by the Organization of American States (OAS) which also has an Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and an Inter-American Court of Human Rights. This Court is responsible for monitory the implementation of this Convention in the 25 member states, in both North and South America.

The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights was adopted by the African Union in 1981. This organisation has two main human rights bodies: the African Commission and the African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights.

A human rights mechanism is being created in Asia within the framework of the Association of South-East Asian nations (ASEAN).

OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights website

Organization of American States website 

African Union website