OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights ODIHR and Human Rights Why do human rights matter? Since the signing of the 1975 Helsinki Final Act, OSCE participating States have committed to “respect human rights and fundamental freedoms”. Human rights are an essential element of the OSCE’s comprehensive concept of security. What are ODIHR’s key activities in the area of human rights? In fulfilling its mandate, the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) assists OSCE participating States in meeting their human dimension commitments in the area of human rights. The Office’s activities serve three core functions: human rights monitoring, providing e xpert advice and capacity building. Human rights m onitoring serves the purpose of independently assessing, analyzing and reporting on the implementation of human dimension commitments by OSCE participating States, identifying gaps and good practices, and recommending improvements. It is based on an established methodology that includes direct observation, field deployments and triangulated/corroborated data collection through desk research and engagement with stakeholders. Human rights monitoring efforts aim to reflect the different needs and experiences of women and men and to produce a concrete output (e.g., a report, a non-paper or other document). Recent examples of reports include those resulting from the 2014 and 2015 human rights assessment missions to Ukraine and on Crimea, respectively, jointly carried out with the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, and the 2015 “Report on the Human Rights Situation of Detainees at Guantanamo”. Expert advice delivered by ODIHR aims to align the implementation of OSCE human dimension commitments and international human rights standards across all OSCE participating States. It includes the development of thematic guidelines; contributions to legislative reviews; commenting on policies, strategies and other such state documents; the establishment of and work with expert panels; the organization of and contribution to thematic conferences, roundtables and workshops; and the production of position papers and background documents. Capacity-building activities provide state and non-state actors with knowledge, skills and competencies, and promote human right compliant attitudes to enable target audiences to be effective and gender and human rights-conscious. They are based on a thorough and gender-sensitive assessment of needs of the target audiences. Capacity-building activities are delivered using set curricula, interactive approaches and modern teaching methods, and followed up on to assess results and impact. Human rights capacity-building work includes the production of capacity-building tools (training handbooks, training-of-trainers guidebooks, manuals, curricula, lesson plans, training modules, case studies, etc.), their adjustment to the needs of specific audiences and their delivery.