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or Belief and State
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Now is the Time

 

 
 

EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION

The Tandem Project requests an Exchange of Information after a Universal Periodic Review. The request names selected organizations and individuals to exchange ideas on a Follow-up to the Universal Periodic Review & Freedom of Religion or Belief. Invitations to exchange ideas are e-mailed separately to each organization and individual with a request to fill out a Questionnaire on indicators for inclusive and genuine approach to human rights and freedom of religion or belief, similar to The Tandem Project 1986 International Conference on the 1981 UN Declaration on the Elimination of all Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief.

Link to 1986 Community Strategies: http://www.tandemproject.com/tolerance.pdf

The Tandem Project privacy policy protects names and e-mail addresses on return questionnaires from distribution without permission. Each exchange recognizes the unique constitution and cultures of a country’s Universal Periodic Review, but does not compromise rights-based ethics as embedded in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Covenants, Conventions and Declarations which declares they are; Universal and Inalienable, Independent and Indivisible, Equal and Non-discriminatory, with responsibilities and obligations as identified in the Universal Periodic Review process.

THE TANDEM PROJECT

http://www.tandemproject.com.

UNITED NATIONS, HUMAN RIGHTS,
FREEDOM OF RELIGION OR BELIEF

The Tandem Project is a UN NGO in Special Consultative Status with the
Economic and Social Council of the United Nations

Separation of Religion or Belief and State

EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION

PAKISTAN

The Tandem Project welcomes ideas from governments, non-governmental organizations, religions and other beliefs, media, civil society and individuals on freedom of religion or belief as a follow-up to the Pakistan Universal Periodic Review. Organizations and individuals listed below will be sent separate invitations for an Exchange of Information along with a request to fill out a Questionnaire on awareness, understanding and use of International Human Rights Law on Freedom of Religion or Belief.

PROPOSAL: for an exchange of information with: UPR Pakistan Stakeholders,  National Commission for Justice and Peace, Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, Institute on Religion and Peace, Amnesty International (other   organizations and names will be added later).

OBJECTIVE: Apply International Human Rights Standards on Freedom of Religion or Belief in Pakistan through Integration, Dialogue and Education; teaching children from the very beginning, that their own religion or belief is one out of many and it is a personal choice for everyone to adhere to the religion or belief by which he or she feels most inspired, or to adhere to no religion or belief at all.

  • HISTORY: The United Nations failed to achieve consensus on a legally binding international treaty on religious intolerance, settling instead for the non-binding 1981 UN Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination based on Religion or Belief.

http://www.tandemproject.com/program/history.htm

  • STATISTICS: The United Nations protects all theistic, non-theistic and atheistic beliefs, as well as the right not to profess any religion or belief. Statistics: builds the case for an inclusive and   genuine approach to implementing human rights and freedom of religion or belief.

http://www.tandemproject.com/program/major_religions.htm

QUESTION: International Human Rights Law on Freedom of Religion or Belief is worthless at a local level if there is no awareness, understanding or use.  In 1968 the United Nations deferred work on a legally-binding Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Religious Intolerance as too complicated and sensitive. Human nature is unchanged as weapons of mass destruction are developed often with national-ethnic-religious justification. The question is whether the United Nations should revisit the idea of a legally-binding convention and whether the present human rights law on freedom of religion or belief is effective anti-discrimination protection to help the United Nations offset future risk.

International Human Rights Law

Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include freedom to have a religion or whatever belief of his choice and freedom either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance,  practice and teaching.

No one shall be subject to coercion which would impair his freedom to have a religion or belief of his choice.

Freedom of manifest one’s religion or belief may be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health, morals or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.

The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to have respect for the liberty of parents and, when applicable, legal guardians to ensure the religious and moral education in conformity with their own convictions.

REQUEST: to fill out a questionnaire on awareness, understanding and use of International Human Rights Law on Freedom of Religion or Belief in Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the 1981 U.N. Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief.

OBJECTIVE:Evaluate the effectiveness of international human rights law on freedom of religion or belief at international, national and local levels to promote diversity, tolerance, cooperation, respectful competition and prevent all forms of discrimination and conflicts based on religion or belief.

OPEN QUESTIONNAIRE

The Tandem Project privacy policy protects names and e-mail addresses on return questionnaires from distribution without permission.
Thank you for taking a few minutes to reply. 
Michael M. Roan
Executive Director,
The Tandem Project
mroan@tandemproject.com.


Tandem Project History

The founder of The Tandem Project represented the World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA) in 1984 at the two week Geneva Seminar called by the UN Secretariat on how to implement the 1981 UN Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief. In 1986 The Tandem Project hosted the first International Conference on the 1981 U.N. Declaration on Freedom of Religion or Belief.

The Tandem Project Follow-up built twenty-seven Community Strategies by organizations for the conference in 1986 on how to implement Article 18 of the CCPR and the 1981 UN Declaration on Freedom of Religion or Belief: http://www.tandemproject.com/tolerance.pdf

These Community Strategies are consolidated in 2010 for The Tandem Project Follow-up into generic proposals: Integration, Dialogue and Education for Universal Periodic Reviews and exchange of information worldwide with organizations on international, national and local levels. 

  • Develop model integrated approaches to International Human Rights Standards on Freedom of Religion or Belief at national and local levels to test the reality of implementation as appropriate to the constitutions, legal systems and cultures of each country.
  • Use International Human Rights Standards on Freedom of Religion or Belief as appropriate to each culture and venue for inclusive and genuine dialogue on freedom of religion or belief.
  • Apply International Human Rights Standards on Freedom of Religion or Belief in education curricula as appropriate in all grade levels, teaching children, from the very beginning, that their own religion is one out of many and it is a personal choice for everyone to adhere to the religion or belief by which he or she feels most inspired, or to adhere to no religion or belief at all.

Reflections

The First Preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.

Surely one of the best hopes for humankind is to embrace a culture in which religions and other beliefs accept one another, in which wars and violence are not tolerated in the name of an exclusive right to truth, in which children are raised to solve conflicts with mediation, compassion and understanding.

There is an increase in dialogue today between religions and other beliefs to embrace diversity, but few persons, less than one percent of any population, ever participate. This is a challenge. The value of such dialogues is proportionate to the level of participation. For civil society increased participation would create opportunities for education on inclusive and genuine approaches to human rights and freedom of religion or belief. 

 In 1968 the United Nations deferred passage of a legally-binding convention on religious intolerance saying it was too complicated and sensitive. Instead, they adopted a non-binding declaration on the elimination of all forms of intolerance and of discrimination based on religion or belief. While very worthwhile, the declaration does not carry the force and commitment of a legally-binding international human rights convention on freedom of religion or belief.

Religions and other beliefs historically have been used to justify wars and settle disputes. This is more dangerous today as the possible misuse of nuclear and biological weapons of mass destruction increases. Governments need to revisit whether religions and other beliefs trump human rights or human rights trump religions and other beliefs or neither trumps the other; whether culture trumps the universal or universal human rights sensitively and with respect trumps culture in the face of this historical truth.

The Tandem Project is a non-governmental organization (NGO) founded in 1986 to build understanding, tolerance and respect for diversity, and to prevent discrimination in matters relating to freedom of religion or belief. The Tandem Project has sponsored multiple conferences, curricula, reference materials and programs on Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights – Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion - and 1981 United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief.

Attachments: Pakistan - Universal Periodic Review & Freedom of Religion or Belief, Grief Links Members of a Persecuted Sect, At a Top University - a Fight for Pakistan's Future