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or Belief and State
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Now is the Time

 

 

 

THE TANDEM PROJECT
http://www.tandemproject.com.
info@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

The Draft Constitution for the Federal Republic of Somalia by the Independent Federal Constitution Commission has 179 Articles on July 30, 2010. The Consultation by the Commission is a draft for approval by the Somali people of a citizen-based democracy under Shari’ah Law.  There is no article, or provision in an article, on Somalia constitutional and legislative guarantees of the right to change one’s religion. Preparation for student review of the Somalia Universal Periodic Review & Freedom of Religion or Belief focuses on: The Preamble; Article 1 Founding Principles; Article 2, State and Religion; Article 16 Human Dignity; Article 22, Freedom of Religion or Belief; Article 43 Limitation of Rights; Article 45 Interpretation of Rights; Article 47 Duty of Citizens. One of the five unchangeable universals of Shari’ah is protection of religion.

FINAL CDC 30 July ENG  Location: http://www.tandemproject.com/pdf/cdc_30.pdf

FINAL ISSUES  QUESTIONS 30 JULY ENG  Location: http://www.tandemproject.com/pdf/final_issues.pdf

Final Main Consultation 30 July - ENG  Location: http://www.tandemproject.com/pdf/final_main.pdf


On March 24, 2011 the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted two resolutions without a vote. These draft resolutions will be sent to the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly for review and approval in October 2011.

A-HRC-16-L.14 - Resolution on Freedom of Religion or Belief
A-HRC-16-L.38 - Resolution Combating Intolerance, Stereotyping, Discrimination & Incitement to Violence Against Persons Based on Religion or Belief

The Draft Resolution on Freedom of Religion or Belief (A/HRC/16/L.14) is  the same as 2007 and 2010 urging states to guarantee in constitutions and legal systems the right to change one’s religion. * Oral revisions made from the floor before the vote strengthen the language by including provisions found in (A/HRC/16/L.38). Operative paragraph twelve was eliminated in oral revisions distributed in the room. 

7. Urges States to step up their efforts to protect and promote freedom of thought, conscience and religion or belief, and to this end:

(a) To ensure that their constitutional and legislative systems provide adequate and effective guarantees of freedom of thought, conscience and religion or belief to all without distinction by, inter alia, the provision of access to justice and effective remedies in cases where the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion or belief, or the right to freely practice one’s religion, including the right to change one’s religion or belief, is violated;

Draft Resolution (A/HRC/16/L.38) Combating Intolerance, Negative Stereotyping, and Stigmatization of, and Discrimination, Incitement to Violence, and Violence Against Persons Based on Religion or Belief was introduced by Pakistan on behalf of the OIC with members of the UN Human Rights Council adopting without a vote.

This is a groundbreaking resolution with the potential to replace the Defamation of Religion resolutions passed by the UN Human Rights Council and General Assembly. Pakistan, speaking on behalf of the OIC, said they have gone the “extra-mile” in this approach. The draft Resolution  announced a plenary panel on the Resolution will be held in session 17 of the UN Human Rights Council.

(g) Understanding the need to combat denigration and negative religious stereotyping of persons, as well as incitement to religious hatred, by strategizing and harmonizing actions at the local, national, regional and international levels through, inter alia, education and awareness-building;

(h) Recognizing that the open, constructive and respectful debate of ideas, as well as interfaith and intercultural dialogue at the local, national and international levels, can play a positive role in combating religious hatred, incitement and violence;

9. Calls for strengthened international efforts to foster a global dialogue for the promotion of a culture of tolerance and peace at all levels, based on respect for human rights and diversity of religions and beliefs, and decides to convene a panel discussion on this issue at its seventeenth session within existing resources.


Moving Forward

The Draft Resolutions  (A/HRC/16/L.14) and  (A/HRC/16/L.38) adopted together by the UN Human Rights Council on March 24, 2011 by consensus without a vote may be a significant step step forward  to resolve the question of universality vs. cultural relativity relating to the norms to change one’s religion or belief in the long history of the United Nations on Freedom of Religion or Belief on Article 18 of the ICCPR and the 1981 UN Declaration.

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

In 1968, the United Nations deferred work on a legally-binding treaty on religious intolerance as too complex and sensitive and passed a non-binding declaration in its place. The Tandem Project believes until a core legally-binding human rights Convention on Freedom of Religion or Belief  is adopted international human rights law will be incomplete. It may be time to begin to consider reinstating the 1968 Working Group to better organize and bring all matters relating to freedom of religion or belief under one banner, a core international human rights legally-binding treaty.


The Tandem Project a non-governmental organization (NGO) founded in 1986 to build understanding, tolerance, and respect for diversity of religion or belief, and to prevent discrimination in all matters relating to freedom of religion or belief. The Tandem Project has sponsored multiple conferences, curricula, reference material 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 the 1981 United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief.

Global Advocacy for Universal Values and Principles in Human Rights
and Freedom of Religion or Belief through Education and Research

Documents attached: Can a Person who is Muslim Choose a Religion Other than Islam; Somalia - Universal Periodic Review & Freedom of Religion or Belief; Comparison for Dialogue - Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam & 1981 UN Declaration on Freedom of Religion or Belief.