European Interreligious Forum For Religious Freedom


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The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe takes the lead on FoRB in the workplace
On January 29, 2020 the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) passed a resolution called "The protection of freedom of religion or belief in the workplace".  As all PACE's resolutions, this one is not a binding law for the 47 countries of the Council of Europe. Nevertheless, it has the strength of its consensus amongst European members of national parliaments that represent their countries at the PACE. In terms of soft law, every government in the Council of Europe's should pay attention and head to compliance.
Following a long tradition of resolutions and recommendations by PACE aimed at preserving FoRB, the aforementioned resolution states: 
1. The Parliamentary Assembly recalls that Europe is home to a wide range of religious beliefs and that it promotes the culture of “living together” based on religious pluralism. On many occasions, it has condemned acts of intolerance and discrimination on grounds of religion or belief and has called on Council of Europe member States to take stronger measures to combat such acts.
6. The Assembly also notes that the presence of members of different religious or non-religious groups may cause challenges in the workplace that some employers may try to resolve by imposing prima facie neutral rules. However, the application of prima facie neutral rules in the workplace – such as those on dress codes, dietary rules, public holidays or labour regulations – can lead to indirect discrimination of representatives of certain religious groups, even if they are not targeted specifically.
7. The Assembly reaffirms that member States have an obligation to ensure non-discrimination in the workplace including on the grounds of religion or belief. The freedom of employees to practice their religion or belief may only be restricted if the restrictions
are in line with human rights law and standards, necessary, proportionate, and pursue a legitimate aim.
8. The Assembly, therefore, calls on Council of Europe member States to:
    8.1. promote a culture of tolerance and “living together” in a religiously pluralist society, in accordance with Articles 9 and 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights and other international legal instruments on human rights protection;
    8.2. ensure that the right of all individuals under their jurisdiction to freedom of thought, conscience and religion is respected without impairing for anyone the other rights guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights and other international human rights instruments;
    8.3. take all necessary measures to combat discrimination based on religion or beliefs in all fields of civil, economic, political and cultural life.
9. Given the importance of the right to manifest one’s religion or belief in the workplace, the Assembly calls on Council of Europe member States to:
    9.1. adopt effective anti-discrimination legislation which covers prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion or belief and establish appropriate monitoring mechanisms to assess its implementation, in case this has not been done yet;
    9.2. take legislative and any other appropriate measures, in order to ensure that employees can lodge claims that their right to non-discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief has been breached;
    9.3. establish appropriate adjudication and other adequate mechanisms to deal with claims of discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief, or any other prohibited grounds;
    9.4. provide training and advice to public and private employers in order to heighten their awareness of the notions of religion and religious diversity, as well as the right to non-discrimination;
    9.5. encourage dialogue between employers, religious communities, trade unions and non-governmental organisations working for the protection of human rights in order to foster co-operation and tolerance;
    9.6. promote the work of national human rights institutions on combating discrimination, including indirect discrimination based on religion or belief, and encourage them to develop training activities for both public and private employers.
You can read the full resolution on PACE website here

Rédigé par EIFRF le Monday, February 17th 2020 | Comments (0)

OSCE/ODIHR releases new important guidelines on FoRB and security
On September 19, the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) released a new document called "Freedom of Religion or Belief and Security: Policy Guidance".

As said on the ODIHR website :

This publication is designed to clarify the interrelationship between freedom of religion and security in light of the OSCE’s comprehensive framework for peace and security. It further explains the nature, status and scope of freedom of religion or belief as enshrined in OSCE commitments and international and regional standards. Finally, it provides guiding principles, practical guidance and recommendations to address a number of issues of note at the intersection of freedom of religion or belief and security in the OSCE region.

The publication is primarily addressed to policymakers tasked with developing and implementing laws, policies and strategies in the area of security in ensuring that their security provisions are in line with their commitments and international obligations pertaining to this universal human right.

You can download the document here:

Read more about the release here.

Rédigé par EIFRF le Sunday, September 22nd 2019 | Comments (0)

Register to the Faith and Freedom Summit II
The Faith and Freedom Summit, a campaign for freedom of religion of belief in the EU run by a coalition of NGOs (including EIFRF), will have its second event on April 2, in the European Parliament. 

The announcement includes the following: 
"We strongly believe that EU citizens must enjoy a real freedom of religion or belief, at every level, and that this fundamental right is not given the importance it deserves in the EU institutions, and in the EU instruments to protect the various freedoms of EU citizens. That is what we will discuss on April 2, with you."

If you want to attend (limited seats), you need to register here:

Here you can see the description of the event which will gather some very interesting speakers:

You should be there!

And by the way, think to sign the pledge of the Faith and Freedom Summit if not yet done, with your name and title:
“I pledge that I will uphold and defend the freedom of conscience and religion of all individuals by rejecting and speaking out against bigotry, discrimination, harassment and violence; and so build a more equitable society for all.”

Rédigé par EIFRF le Thursday, March 14th 2019 | Comments (0)

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