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The Organization of Islamic Cooperation

Established on September 25, 1969, the objective of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) was determined to protect the rights and interests of the Islamic World and to strengthen cooperation and solidarity among the Member States.

The OIC operates based in Jeddah-Saudi Arabia, and the Secretary General of the OIC is H.E. Hissein Brahim Taha. With 57 members, the OIC is the second largest intergovernmental political organization after the UN and the only official body representing all Muslims in the world.

Turkey has been a member of the OIC since its establishment. The Permanent Representation to the OIC started its operations in Jeddah on July 24, 2015.

      5 countries (the Russian Federation, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kingdom of Thailand, Turkish Cypriot State (TRNC), Central African Republic) have observer status in OIC.

The new OIC Charter was adopted at the 11th OIC Summit held in Dakar on 13-14 March 2008. Turkey signed the new OIC Charter at the 35th Permanent Human Rights Commission (June 2008, Kampala/Uganda) and the Charter entered into force for Turkey on 16 June 2012. The main issues among the objectives of the Organization within the framework of the OIC Charter are as follows:

  • Developing ties of brotherhood and solidarity among member states,
  • Protecting the common interests of member states and supporting their legitimate causes,
  • Ensuring the participation of member countries in global political, economic and social decision-making processes in order to protect their common interests,
  • To strengthen economic and commercial cooperation among Islamic countries,
  • Protecting the true image of Islam, combating the defamation of Islam and promoting dialogue between religions and civilizations,
  • Developing science and technology, and promoting research and cooperation among members.

Within the scope of the amendments made to the OIC Charter in 2008, the member states established the Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) as the first intergovernmental expert human rights body of the Islamic world.

According to Article 15 of the OIC Charter, it is stipulated that “Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) will promote the civil, political, social and economic rights protected in the OIC agreements and declarations and universally accepted human rights documents, in accordance with Islamic values”. The IPHRC performs its works through means such as ordinary meetings, extraordinary meetings, working group meetings, participation in international meetings, visits, preparation of new human rights documents at the request of member states, research, investigations and reports, advisory opinions, technical cooperation, awareness of human rights and training activities.

Many documents on human rights have been adopted by the OIC. Some of those are:

  1. The Dhaka Declaration on Human Rights in Islam dated 1983,[1]
  2. The Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam, adopted at the 19th Organization of the Islamic Conference Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) meeting in Cairo on 5 August 1990 (IPHRC, carried out a study to update the 1990 "Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam", The current “OIC Cairo Declaration on Human Rights”, prepared in the light of this study, was adopted in the 47th CFM held in 2020.)[2]
  3. Covenant on the Rights of Child in Islam,[3]
  4. OIC Convention to Combat Terrorism (1999-1420H)[4]

[1] https://www.oic-oci.org/docdown/?docID=1907&refID=1078

[2] https://www.oic-oci.org/upload/pages/conventions/en/CDHRI_2021_ENG.pdf

[3] http://ww1.oic-oci.org/english/convenion/Rights%20of%20the%20Child%20In%20Islam%20E.pdf

[4] http://ww1.oic-oci.org/english/convenion/terrorism_convention.htm