The Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has recently embarked on an ambitious project to promote the effective protection of human rights defenders (HRDs) in its 57 participating States from Europe, Central Asia and North America.

Protection International (PI) was invited along with 24 other intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations working in the field of HRD protection to participate in a two-day meeting (10 and 11 June 2013) in Warsaw, Poland, to discuss and develop recommendations to assist OSCE/ODIHR participating States in fulfilling commitments they have made to protect HRDs.

Through lively sessions, the participants outlined the main challenges and threats faced by defenders and defined the key focus areas for issuing recommendations. Mauricio Angel, Policy and Research Officer at PI, contributed to the discussions by sharing some of Protection International’s experiences and lessons learnt working with defenders in several countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America. The meeting will soon be followed by consultations with HRDs working at the national level throughout the OSCE region.