RELEASE – Declaration of Principles for the International Religious Freedom Alliance

U.S. Department of State | February 5, 2020

The Alliance is a network of likeminded countries fully committed to advancing freedom of religion or belief around the world. 

The Alliance is predicated on the idea more must be done to protect members of religious minority groups and combat discrimination and persecution based on religion or belief.  The Alliance intends to advocate for freedom of religion or belief for all, which includes the right of individuals to hold any belief or none, to change religion or belief and to manifest religion or belief, either alone or in community with others, in worship, observance, practice and teaching.  The Alliance is intended to bring together senior government representatives to discuss actions their nations can take together to promote respect for freedom of religion or belief and protect members of religious minority groups worldwide. Alliance members should be committed to the following principles and commitments and be willing to publicly and privately object to abuses, wherever they might occur.

Principles of Action by the Alliance

The Alliance is founded upon the international principle of freedom of religion or belief (FoRB), drawn from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the 1981 United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief (1981 UN Declaration), and other documents like the EU Guidelines on FoRB and the OSCE Guidelines on FoRB and Security. Therefore, action to promote freedom of religion or belief is based on the principle that human rights are universal, interdependent and interrelated. The actions of the Alliance are intended to complement existing work to promote freedom of religion or belief within the United Nations and other competent multilateral and regional organizations.

Alliance Commitments

  1. Members are committed to upholding their state obligations under international law in general and the ICCPR specifically relating to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion or belief, including the right to hold any faith or belief, or none at all, and the freedom to change faith.
  2. Members are committed to pursuing an inclusive approach, including cross-regional engagement.
  3. Members are committed to being consultative, co-ordinated, and voluntary.
  4. Members are committed to pursuing internal-external coherence on matters relating to freedom of religion or belief.
  5. Members are committed to taking a human rights-based approach to advancing FoRB, and to promoting other human rights indispensable for the full enjoyment of the freedom of religion or belief.

READ MORE AT THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE

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