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

Annual General Meeting – 25 June 2018

The Committee’s Annual General Meeting will take place on Monday, 25 June 2018, from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm at the American Jewish Committee (hosted by AJC’s Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights), 165 East 56th Street (between Lexington and Third Avenues). A light lunch will be provided.

Mark Selby, Senior Policy Advisor on FoRB, Global Affairs Canada, will brief the Committee on the International Contact Group on Freedom of Religion or Belief’s (ICG-FoRB) recent work and upcoming initiatives. Yerkin Akhiinzhanov, DPR of Kazakhstan to the UN, will also join us to brief the Committee on the Congress of the Leaders of World and Traditional Religions.

Please come prepared with any questions or ideas you might have for our speakers as there will be an open discussion following the presentations.

Please RSVP directly to by Thursday, 21 June.

The Role of Media in Promoting Women’s Rights to Freedom of Religion and Expression

Monday, March 12 | 8:30—10:00 a.m.
Salvation Army, Auditorium, 221 E. 52nd Ave.


  • Michael DeDora, Committee to Protect Journalists
  • Mary Darling, Producer, Little Mosque on the Prairie
  • Karri Whipple, World Association for Christian Communication

Panelists will explore how members of the media proactively contribute to a world in which women are
free to choose their faith and express their views and aspirations. They will also address the ways in which
women’s rights to freedom of religion and expression are presented by the media, and how the media
can proactively contribute to helping women safeguard those rights.

View the flyer

Peace, Reconciliation, and Justice: The Future of Religious and Ethnic Minorities Victimized by Daesh

November 2, 2017, 3-5 pm
UN Headquarters Conference Room 6

Overview: The Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations, the NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief and the ECOSOC-accredited NGO and humanitarian organization Roads of Success are organizing an event focusing on the future of religious and ethnic minorities victimized by Daesh, particularly in Iraq and Syria. Since 2014, Daesh has committed numerous international crimes in the Middle East against both individuals and groups, many of whom belong to ethnic and religious minorities. The international community is now seeking peace, justice and reconciliation for these victims. The Iraqi government, in particular, has made a commitment to ensure that accountability is achieved, and has made many strides forward, in partnership with the United Kingdom and others, towards bringing about justice. The event will feature victims, experts, those involved in rebuilding efforts and diplomats who will discuss the nature of the current situation and identify the ways in which recent developments, including the passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2379, will play a role in bringing restoration and justice to previously Daesh-controlled areas, particularly for religious and ethnic minorities.

Objectives: The goals of the event are to promote a better understanding within the international community of the plight suffered by victims of Daesh, particularly those belonging to religious and ethnic minorities; to discuss what efforts are underway, particularly by the Iraqi government and the newly formed Syrian Mechanism; and to examine what else can be done to bring about resettlement, justice and reconciliation for the affected peoples and groups.

Speakers: Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN; Eklas (a Yazidi victim); Gaby (a Syrian Christian victim); Dr. Nezar Ismet Taib Abdullah (a Regional Director of Health in Iraq); Michael Farris (CEO of ADF International); Edward Clancy (Aid to the Church in Need); a representative from the Knights of Columbus; the Permanent Representatives from several Permanent Missions to the United Nations will also be making statements.

To register: All those interested in attending are asked to register at

Those without UN passes can indicate their need for a special events pass to be picked up 45 minutes before the event. Those with UN badges are asked to register so that the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See can make sure that it can ensure that those intending to come all have seats in the room.

An Evening with Special Rapporteurs – 25 October 2017

The NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief-NY invites you to an evening with Special Rapporteurs


With Special Guests:

Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Ahmed Shaheed

Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion or Expression, David Kaye

Special Rapporteur on Cultural Rights, Karima Bennoune

Moderated by Cole Durham, Founding Director, International Center

for Law and Religion Studies


October 25, 2017 – 6:00-7:30 pm


Church Center for the United Nations

777 UN Plaza (Corner of 1st and 44th), Boss Room, 8th Floor