Does the UN already have the tools to prevent violent extremism? The newly discovered role of social exclusion and discrimination in violent extremism

by Samuel Gordon, URG Blog, Blog

When the United Nations was established in 1945 one of its fundamental ambitions was to create a world that wasn’t plagued by religious and racial persecution and discrimination. In the aftermath of WW2, the mantra of never again, was continuously used to represent the new commitment to the protection of religious and minority rights. This immediately began to manifest itself …

‘No fear, no hate, no wall, no ban:’ the world – and freedom of expression – at a critical juncture

by Dr Agnes Callamard, Director, Columbia Global Freedom of Expression, Columbia University and Geneva Blog, By invitation, Contemporary and emerging human rights issues, In Focus: Human rights and religion

In the aftermath of the so-called ‘Danish cartoons crisis’ in 2005, the political, policy and academic world was replete with debates over the benefits or risks of ‘blasphemy laws.’ The debates highlighted a profound gap between those who believed that mocking religion (the faith, the tenets, the sacraments, the symbols, etc.) should not be tolerated and those who argued that …

How to move forward with the implementation of resolution 16/18 and with global efforts to combat religious intolerance and discrimination

by Marghoob Saleem Butt, Executive Director of the Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission of the OIC and the URG team Blog, Blog, By invitation, In Focus: Human rights and religion

Incitement to religious hatred, discrimination and violence needs to be addressed by everyone, and at all levels. That is especially so when one considers the increasingly globalised and interconnected world in which we live — events on one side of the planet can have immediate and far-reaching consequences for people on the other side. News relating to religious discrimination or …

Implementing Resolution 16/18: the role of Rabat and the importance of civil society space

by Andrew Smith, Legal Officer at ARTICLE 19 and the URG team Blog, By invitation, In Focus: Human rights and religion

The 31st session of the Human Rights Council (HRC) is a significant marker: not only will the HRC celebrate its 10th birthday, but the session will mark five years since the adoption of resolution 16/18 on “combating intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatisation of, and discrimination, incitement to violence, and violence against persons based on religion or belief .” In the current geopolitical context, the consensus that underpins resolution 16/18 is increasingly precarious, despite being more important than ever. In March, the HRC will consider …

The road to Istanbul passes through Rabat

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group and the URG team Blog, In Focus: Human rights and religion

On 3rd-4th June, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) hosted, in Jeddah, a fifth round of the Istanbul Process, a series of intergovernmental meetings launched in 2011 by the former OIC Secretary-General, Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, and former US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton. The Istanbul Process was put in place to promote and guide the implementation of Human Rights Council resolution 16/18 on combatting religious intolerance and discrimination. The resolution, adopted …

Combatting religious intolerance (resolution 16/18)

The main UN global policy framework for combatting religious intolerance, stigmatisation, discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against persons based on religion or belief is set down in Council resolution 16/18. Resolution 16/18 was adopted by consensus in March 2011, and hailed by stakeholders from all regions and faiths as a turning point in international efforts to confront religious intolerance. …

A way forward for the 16/18 process

by Caka A. Awal* Blog, By invitation, In Focus: Human rights and religion

A policy report of Universal Rights Group (URG) on ‘ Combatting Global Religious Intolerance: the Implementation of Human Rights Council resolution 16/18 ’ has rightly pointed out the complexities of the issues surrounding freedom of religion or belief and the fight against global religious intolerance. The report provides useful historical insights about the UN’s journey to confront and combat racial and religious intolerance. It is interesting to note that on 25th November 1981 …

La estrategia de la ONU para combatir la intolerancia religiosa: ¿es apta para su propósito?

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group, Nazila Ghanea and the URG team In Focus: Human rights and religion

De acuerdo con un informe reciente del  Pew Research Center , la violencia y la discriminación de los gobiernos contra los grupos religiosos, así como la hostilidad social por parte de una variedad de actores, han alcanzado niveles sin precedente en todas las regiones, excepto en América. El  informe sobre la libertad religiosa  más reciente del Departamento de Estado de EE. UU. refuerza este sombrío panorama: concluye que …

UN strategy to combat religious intolerance – is it fit for purpose?

by Marc Limon, Executive Director of the Universal Rights Group, Nazila Ghanea and the URG team Blog, In Focus: Human rights and religion

According to a recent report by the  Pew Research Center , violence and discrimination against religious groups by governments, as well as social hostilities by a variety of actors, have reached new heights in all regions except the Americas. This bleak picture is supported by the findings of the latest  report on religious freedom  by the US State Department, which concluded that 2013 saw “the largest displacement …

Charlie Hebdo attack and global reaction highlights critical importance of renewed commitment to the implementation of resolution 16/18 and the Rabat Plan of Action

by Andrew Smith, Legal Officer at ARTICLE 19 Blog, In Focus: Human rights and religion

Last week’s appalling attack against journalists and police officers at the satirical newspaper, Charlie Hebdo, and the cascade of comment and counter-comment that has followed, remind us once again of both the importance of, and the sensitivities that surround, the relationship between freedom of expression, freedom of religion or belief, and non-discrimination. Identifying and understanding the contours of that relationship …