NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief

Protecting freedom of thought and conscience within the international community of nations


Freedom of Religion or Belief: An Indicator of Human Rights Protections

Sponsor: Non-Governmental Organizations Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief (New York)
When: 22 October 2018, 1:15pm – 2:45pm
Where: Baha’i International Center  

Overview: Recent research demonstrates that national levels of protection for the freedom of religion or belief function as a barometer for legal recognition of human rights more broadly. Understanding why and how religious freedom plays this keystone role is therefore integral to advancing strong national and international human rights regimes. This event will advance the global conversation around this critical topic by bringing together three United Nations Special Rapporteurs focusing on freedom of religion or belief, cultural rights, and minority issues, respectively. Their insights will serve as the springboard for conversation about next steps to advance the freedom of religion or belief, and, in turn, other fundamental human rights.


  • Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur for freedom of religion or belief;
  • Karima Bennoune, UN Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights;
  • Fernand de Varennes, UN Special Rapporteur on minority issues

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