ARTICLE 19 joins FIDH, Reporters Without Borders, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies and Forum-Asia to make an oral statement at UN Human Rights Council on freedom of religious belief.
In 2011, the adoption of resolution 16/18 paved the way for a human rights approach to tackling discrimination, incitement and intolerance. However, in 2015 we continue to witness attempts by governments to act directly against the spirit of resolution 16/18, challenging international standards.
An upsurge of movements targeting people with violence and discrimination in the name of national, cultural or religious protectionism highlight how the importance of the principle that freedom of expression and freedom of religion or belief are mutually dependent and reinforcing cannot be overstated.
We call on States to:
- demonstrate their commitment to resolution 16/18 and deepen the consensus behind it by implementing it at the domestic level:
- reenergise the “Istanbul Process” to support implementation, and ensure the full and effective participation of all stakeholders;
- utilise the Rabat Plan of Action to guide legal and policy measures;
- repeal blasphemy laws, as recommended in the Rabat Plan of Action and by the Human Rights Committee
Now more than ever, it is crucial that States fulfil the promise of resolution 16/18 and affirm that freedom of expression and freedom of religion or belief are truly universal rights.
Read our full statement here.