RESOLUTION HRC 321

FORUM: HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE

QUESTION OF: Empowering religious minorities

SUBMITTED BY: Estonia

CO-SUBMITTERS:Belarus, Denmark, Gabon, Guatemala, Hungary, Indonesia, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Holy See, Zimbabwe.

STATUSPassed

THE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE,

 

Alarmed by the violence and many (terroristic) attacks against the minority religions, making it unable to practice and express their own religion,

 

Recognizing that minorities are defined by the United Nations (UN) as “a group numerically inferior to the state population”,

 

Declaring that everyone has the right to freedom of religion which is guaranteed by Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination, 

 

Bearing in mind that the oppression of minority religions is a direct violation of international human rights law, as set out in Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and almost every article, in one shape of form, is being violated, 

 

Taking into account the individual country policies of all member and observer states, 

 

Recalling the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants on Human Rights and, equality before the law and freedom of religion, 

 

Reaffirming that the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief 36/55 from November 25th, 1981, proclaims that no person should be subject to discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief,

 

Emphasizing the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities 47/135 from December 18th, 19922, states that everyone has the right to practise their own religion in private, in public, freely and without any form of discrimination,

 

Further reaffirming that the resolution created by the UN General Assembly on December 6th, 2016, on the Promotion and protection of Human Rights calls for strengthened international efforts to foster a culture of peace and tolerance, where human rights and the diversity of religions are respected,

 

Concerned by violence towards religious minority groups,

 

Further concerned by the social and economic effects of social stigma on minority religions,

 

  1. Encourages member and observer states to reserve a number of seats of representation, the specific number of which will be determined by countries themselves based on their policies and a minimum resulting of negotiations with other countries, in their national legislature for officially recognized religious minority groups, to enhance the representation of minority religious groups;
  2. Suggests countries ensure legal access and fair treatment of religious minorities in the workplace through ways such as but not limited to:
    1. setting up and promoting diversified reporting pathways for workplace discrimination in means such as but not limited to:
      1. phone calls
      2. website complaints
      3. emails
      4. local service offices
    2. offering employment consulting services regarding aspects of:
      1. job applications
      2. adaption of a new working environment after a job transition
    3. ensuring that all minority religion employees are paid equally to their co-workers
    4. Support business and organizations with tax incentives that offer anti-discriminative training to staff and promote collaboration with minority religions, and encourage them to pursue the route of using micro-loans where applicable (Ecuador Amendment Passes)
  3. Strongly encourages governments to adopt more tolerant policies towards religious minorities through ways such as decriminalizing religious assemblies that are not involved in any harmful behavior, which would be examined by the International Criminal Court (ICC) or Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), in order to reduce cases such as but not limited to:
    1. acts of violence such as but not limited to:
      1. hate crimes
      2. terrorism
      3. physical harassment
    2. spread of misinformation such as but not limited to:
      1. promotion of terrorism
      2. forced religious ideas and beliefs
      3. propagation of further biases; (REPLACED WITH TOGO’s AMENDMENT)
  4. Strongly encourages governments to refrain from decriminalizing religious groups that are not involved in any harmful behavior in joint collaboration with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) through following ways such as but not limited to:
    1. a) Reducing and eventually eradicating incentives/factors of violence such as hate crimes or propagandic action
      1. reforming and modifying the enforcement of religious impressions through eliminating rooted stereotypes affiliated with certain religions to secular occasions
      2. eliminate sources and distribution of misinformation upon discovery but not by prior restraint
    2. b) Clarifying the inaccuracy of adjudging whole religions by few instances of events and occasions through means such as but not limited to:
      1. attributing responsibility and fault of previous terrorist attacks upon armed militias and not the entire religion
      2. decreasing the orientation of beliefs with unsafe groups unless the groups are evidently driven by religiously radical or zealous goals (TOGO)
  5. Recommends modifying the education system and procedures within schools to be more inclusive and sensitive of religious minorities, by the creation and implementation of frameworks in schools which:  
    1. protect students from discrimination due to their ethnic or religious minority backgrounds, such as by:
      1. providing counselling
      2. counteracting social, economic and political discrimination and segregation within education
    2. educate citizens on respecting and understanding religious differences through ways such as but not limited to:
      1. incorporating such values into education lessons and teaching materials fitted to the contemporary period
      2. addressing those values in public speeches and campaigns
      3. ensuring that the teaching material does not include overly biased or controversial content and false information by submitting teaching content to relevant organizations such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for revisions
      4. respecting cultural traditions and allowing a safe space for important religious practises within school
    3. treating students who are apart of minority religions equally in schools and establishing curriculums that are inclusive of such religions in ways such as but not limited to:
      1. making sure the subjects being taught are internationally comprehensive and students from different religious backgrounds are able to understand the concepts and ideas behind what is being taught
      2. allowing students to wear clothing articles that are required in their religions such as burqas, hijabs, and so on
      3. permitting students to host clubs and forums that teach students about minority religions and the perspective of people who are a part of said religions
      4. providing adequate meals which meet religious dietary requirements;
  6. Invites the creation of a branch organization of the UN which assists nations in efforts to empower minority religions, which is tasked with the following duties but not limited to: 
    1. establishing a fund that finances international projects and programs which plan to empower minority religions with the following policies, in which the fund:
      1. prioritizes Less Economically Developed Countries (LEDCs) who may not be financially capable of initiating projects
      2. aims to primarily gather its budgeting from More Economically, developed Countries (MEDCs) who are willing to help and have the income to do so
      3. would collaborate with relevant non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in order to enhance their efforts
      4. would work with companies and brands willing to help and assist the organizations
    2. reviewing the efforts of all nations in an unbiased and transparent manner, for which the process:
      1. evaluates whether or not nations have made any effort in empowering minority religions
      2. reviews whether efforts were successful or effective and what nations can do in the future to improve while also advising nations in creating policies to best accommodate minority religions within the state
      3. assesses whether nations violate the human rights of minority religions
      4. determines whether precautionary actions should be imposed on nations that are reluctant to condemn transgressions and violations;
  7. Urges member and observer states to allow relevant international NGOs and Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs) such as Amnesty International and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to gather suitable data, such as the standard of living of religious minorities, available to all nations for purposes including but not limited to:
    1. creating regular reports on global and countries’ circumstances of religious minorities’ status
    2. forming constructive suggestions on how to improve the policies of member states and creating more friendly environments for religious minority groups;
  8. Further urges all states with blasphemy laws, used to persecute people for beliefs and activities that are not the same as the majority religion, to repeal these blasphemy laws to increase freedom of religion and beliefs by:
    1. endorsing the rights of all religions into their legal frameworks through ways such as but not limited to: 
      1. their constitutions 
      2. international country policies
      3. parliamentary law 
      4. financial law 
      5. employment law
      6. judiciary system
    2. promoting freedom of thought, speech and expression through all forms of religious practices through ways such as but not limited to:
      1. allowing for prayers, religious gatherings and religious celebrations to take place in harmony 
      2. allowing followers of said religions to choose and profess their religions
    3. supporting minority faiths, as well as traditional ones, and thus empower religious minorities, through actions such as: 
      1. providing safe spaces for expression and interaction, public buildings and public spaces used by religious groups
      2. providing public services which comply with religious practices
      3. pastoral care support in hospitals;
  9. Strongly recommends member states to legalize and incorporate all religious practices to ensure comfort and freedom of religion in all places, institutions and services, for all people which includes but is not limited to:
    1. freedom to wear religious clothing such as niqabs, burqas, hijabs and more if they prefer
    2. allow places of worship to be built and attended on the days of worship, including minority religious holidays, that are specific to the minority religion such as but not limited to:
      1. mosques
      2. churches
      3. synagogues
      4. Hindu temples.