Council: Human Rights Council Date: March 25th, 2011 HRC/Res/B/1 Topic: Examining the Situation of Religious Freedom Sponsors: Federal Republic of Brazil, Republic of France, Kingdom of Spain, Japan, The United Mexican States, United States of America, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Republic of Angola, Republic of Korea Co-Sponsors: Kingdom of Belgium, Republic of Poland, Swiss Confederation, and Republic of Uganda 1 Recognizing the principles outlined in the Charter of the United Nations that underlines 2 the fundamental rights of every individual, 3 Emphasizing Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which reads as 4 follows: “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this 5 right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in 6 community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in 7 teaching, practice, worship and observance”, 8 Noting Article 18 (1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which 9 states, “Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.10 This right shall include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice, and11 freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to12 manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching”,13 Stressing Article 9 (2) in the European Convention of Human Rights, which states that14 “Freedom to manifest ones religion or beliefs shall be subject only to such limitations as15 are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public16 safety, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or the protection of the rights17 and freedoms of other”,1819 Reaffirming Resolution 14/11 adopted by the Human Rights Council on the Freedom of20 Religion or Belief: Mandate of the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief,21 Citing the outcome of the World Summit adopted by the General Assembly in Resolution22 60 -1 of 24 October 2005 wherein the assembly acknowledged the responsibility of all23 states to respect the fundamental freedoms without any discrimination,24 Acknowledging Article 30 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states25 that “Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or
26 person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction27 of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein”,28 Respecting states built on a religious basis as long as they do not discriminate against29 other religions,30 The Human Rights Council hereby:31 1. Reminds all member states that religious freedom is a fundamental right and that no32 country shall discriminate against its citizens based on their religion;3334 2. Recognizes that all people have the right to freedom of belief or religion and35 conscience as well as the right not to profess any of the aforementioned;3637 3. Affirms that religion is an individual’s personal choice and no individual shall be38 subjected or coerced into a religion;3940 4. Declares that individuals are free to change their religion as long as other individuals,41 groups or the state, have not enforced that change;4243 5. Condemns any legal action taken by states against its citizens or against foreign44 nationals if those legal accusations depend solely on a certain religious belief;4546 6. Appeals to the international community to reinforce freedom of expression and47 freedom of belief;4849 7. Urges the international community to take legal action against any person, group,50 whether organized or not, that infringe on another individuals beliefs;5152 8. Endorses each individual’s right to practice his or her religion or belief system53 accordingly;5455 9. Stresses that the state has the right to intervene on the matters of religious practice56 only when national security, public order, public health, or other fundamental rights are57 in breach;5859 10. Declares that it is at every state’s discretion to specify what is considered a breach of60 the aforementioned points respectively;6162 11. Emphasizes that no individuals/groups will be persecuted or discriminated against for63 following a certain religion;6465 12. Recommends the application of the ideals of secularism while recognizing the66 freedom of states to have an official state religion, as long as no discrimination or67 intolerance are exercised towards other religions;68
69 14. Condemns any act of violence established under the name of religion, or any kind of70 religious affiliation;7172 15. Supports the International Law Concept of State Sovereignty stating that no73 interference shall occur in the domestic affairs of a sovereign state;7475 16. Recognizes the integrated nature of all freedoms, with a special focus on the76 overlapping freedom of expression and freedom of religion noting that the right to77 exercise one should not constitute a violation of the other and vice versa.