Minority Secretariat

Legal framework

Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)

In 1992 the office of the High Commissioner on National Minorities was established at the OSCE. It is the task of the High Commissioner to identify potential ethnic conflicts at an early stage and to take measures to prevent these conflicts from occurring. The OSCE has not adopted any legally binding documents on minority protection. However, from 1996 on, the High Commissioner has published a number of Recommendations on the protection and support for national minorities.

From 2013 Astrid Thors (Finland) has been the High Commissioner on National Minorities. 

Besides the High Commissioner on National Minorities, also the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), the main institution in the field of the “human dimension” and the field operations are important for minority rights. ODIHR is undertaking election monitoring in relation to the participation of minorities. The Office also established a contact point for Roma and Sinti issues, e.g. to encourage them to participate in elections.

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24.05.2017

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