WASHINGTON—The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission, today announced the following hearing:
“Update on the OSCE: Religious Freedom, Anti-Semitism, and Rule of Law”
February 11, 2015
House Visitor’s Center (HVC)
Live Webcast: www.youtube.com/HelsinkiCommission
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is the world’s largest regional security body. The Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) spearheads the OSCE’s work in the fields of election observation, democratic development, human rights, and the rule of law.
At the hearing, ODIHR Director Michael Georg Link will testify to current efforts by ODIHR, the OSCE, and countries in the region to battle rising anti-Semitism and promote and protect religious freedom; respond to the European refugee crisis; and to address anti-democratic government crackdowns, including in Crimea and other occupied territories of eastern Ukraine, as well as in Azerbaijan and Central Asia.
More than 40 years ago, the OSCE adopted a comprehensive definition of security, recognizing that human rights, democracy, and the rule of law are part of security, along with military security, disarmament, and border issues. Participating states made commitments covering political-military matters, economics, and human rights and fundamental freedoms.
ODIHR aids the 57 OSCE participating States in fully meeting their OSCE commitments to human rights and fundamental freedoms; abiding by the rule of law; promoting principles of democracy; and building, strengthening, and protecting democratic institutions.