« ÎnapoiContinuă »
REPORT OF THE WORKING GROUP SET UP BY THE COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS AT ITS TWENTIETH SESSION TO PREPARE A DRAFT DECLARATION ON THE ELIMINATION OF ALL FORMS OF RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE1
The Working Group was instructed by the Commission to prepare a draft declaration on the elimination of all forms of religious intolerance, using as a basis for its discussion the text submitted by the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities (E/CN.4/873, para. 142).
There was no disagreement in the Working Group that the declaration should protect equally the right to adhere to any religion and the right to maintain any non-religious belief. Certain members felt however, that the text of the draft declaration submitted by the Sub-Commission (E/CN.4/873, para. 142), which used the words "religion or belief", did not adequately cover the notion of nonreligious beliefs, particularly "atheism". They would like to have the draft declaration spell out clearly and categorically the right to non-religious beliefs, including "atheism" and to this end proposed that a definition along those lines should be inserted before article I. On the other hand, several members felt that it was unnecessary to define the terms "religion" and "belief" since they were terms whose meanings were well understood in United Nations usage. However, a number of members were prepared to co-operate in drafting a definition if one was deemed essential. The Working Group [agreed to leave the question of a definition to the Commission and decided to transmit to the Commission the following suggested definitions:
(a) Austria: ["For the purpose of this Declaration the term 'belief' is understood as expression for the various theistic creeds or such other beliefs as agnosticism, free thought, atheism and rationalism."]
(b) Ukrainian SSR: ["In this Declaration the term 'religion or belief' means both religious beliefs and atheistic convictions."]
(c) United Kingdom: [In this Declaration the term 'belief' includes both religious and non-religious beliefs."]]
The Working Group was not able to take into consideration more than the first six articles of the text submitted by the Sub-Commission (E/CN.4/873, para. 142) in relation to which it prepared the draft provisions set forth below. The words in square brackets are those on which no agreement was reached in the Working Group. The words "religion or belief" which appear throughout the Working Group's text are provisional only, and their final form will depend on the Commission's decision on the question of a definition mentioned above.
TEXT OF THE ARTICLES AS PREPARED BY THE WORKING GROUP
[For texts of articles I to V see paragraphs 21, 24, 27, 30 and 33 of this working paper.]
Every person and every group or community has the right to manifest their religion or belief in public or in private, without being subjected to any discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief; this right includes in particular:
(a) Freedom to worship, to assemble and to establish and maintain places of worship or assembly;
(b) Freedom to teach, to disseminate [at home and abroad], and to learn their religion or belief, and also its sacred languages or traditions;
(c) Freedom to practice their religion or belief by establishing and maintaining charitable and educational institutions and by expressing the implications of religion or belief in public life;
(d) Freedom to observe the rites or customs of their religion or belief.
1 Official Records of the Economic and Social Council, Thirty-seventh Session, Supplement No. 8 (E/3873), para. 296.
The inclusion of this article was agreed upon by all members of the Working Group. The representative of the United States of America felt, however, that the text failed to reflect all of the points covered in the original text of article VI, as transmitted by SubCommission, and that it needed completing with the further provisions proposed by his delegation and appearing in the annex.
The following proposals submitted to the working group could not be discussed because of lack of time:
1. Ukrainian SSR-proposal for a new article:
"1. In order to ensure full freedom of conscience, the Church is [shall be] separated from the State and the School from the Church.
“2. All churches, religious creeds and movements are equal before the law. No church, creed or religious organization is or may be the object of any privileges or restrictions, in their activities. The domination, whether in name or in fact, of a particular church or creed shall be eliminated."
2. Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (a) Proposal for a new preambular paragraph as follows:
"Considering that freedom of atheistic beliefs is of the utmost importance to those who profess them, and that freedom of those beliefs, including the right to express them, should therefore be respected and guaranteed."
(b) Proposal for a new article:
"Freedom of religious and non-religious belief, and the rights and duties of persons of different beliefs, shall not be used for purposes of political or electoral campaigns or the kindling of hatred between peoples and different religious and national groups."
(c) Proposal for a new article:
"No religious creed or belief of any kind shall in any circumstances be used in order to prejudice the interests of strengthening universal peace and security or friendship and co-operation between peoples and States.
3. United States of America-proposal for new articles to follow after article VI:
"Everyone, alone or in association with others, shall be free to comply with the tenets of his religion or belief, to observe its rituals, dietary and other practices, and to produce the objects, foods and other articles and facilities customarily used in its observances and practices, with freedom to import such articles from abroad if necessary. Where the State controls the means of production and distribution, it shall make these articles and foods available or provide the means for their purchase or production.
"Everyone shall be free to observe the Holy Days associated with his religion or belief. Everyone shall have the right to make pilgrimages and other journeys in connexion with his religion or belief, whether inside or outside his country, and free access shall be granted to all Holy Places.
"Every individual and religious group has the right to legal protection for its places of worship, for its rites, ceremonies, and activities, and for the burial places associated with its religion or belief.
Every person and every group, in accordance with his religion or belief, shall have the right to organize and maintain local, regional, national and international associations in connexion with their activities. Everyone shall have the right to communicate with and visit his co-religionists and believers, whether individuals or organizations at home and abroad."
TITLE AND PREAMBULAR PARAGRAPHS OF THE DRAFT DECLARATION, AS FINALLY APPROVED BY THE COMMISSION DURING ITS 30TH AND 35TH SESSIONS
DRAFT DECLARATION ON THE ELIMINATION OF ALL FORMS OF INTOLERANCE AND OF DISCRIMINATION BASED ON RELIGION OR BELIEF
(1) Considering that one of the basic principles of the Charter of the United Nations is that of the dignity and equality inherent in all human beings, and that all States Members have pledged themselves to take joint and separate action in co-operation with the Organization to promote and encourage universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion,
(2) Considering that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenants on Human Rights proclaim the principles of non-discrimination and equality before the law and the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief, including the right to choose, manifest and change one's religion or belief,
(3) Considering that the disregard and infringement of human rights and fundamental freedoms, in particular of the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief, have brought, directly or indirectly, wars and great suffering to mankind, especially where they serve as a means of foreign interference in the internal affairs of other States and amount to kindling hatred between peoples and nations,
(4) Considering that religion or belief, for anyone who professes either, is one of the fundamental elements in his conception of life and that freedom of religion or belief should be fully respected and guaranteed,
(5) Considering that it is essential to promote understanding, tolerance and respect in matters relating to freedom of religion and belief and to ensure that the use of religion or belief for ends inconsistent with the Charter of the United Nations, other relevant instruments of the United Nations and the purposes and principles of the present Declaration is inadmissible,
(6) Convinced that freedom of religion and belief should also contribute to the attainment of the goals of world peace, social justice and friendship among peoples and to the elimination of ideologies or practices of colonialism and racial discrimination,
(7) Noting with satisfaction the adoption of several and the coming into force of some conventions, under the aegis of the United Nations and of the specialized agencies, for the elimination of various forms of discrimination,
(8) Concerned by manifestations of intolerance and by the existence of discrimination in matters of religion or belief still in evidence in some areas of the world,
(9) Resolved to adopt all necessary measures for the speedy elimination of such intolerance in all its forms and manifestations and to prevent and combat discrimination on the ground of religion or belief.
TEXT OF COMMISSION RESOLUTION 20 (XXXV), ALONG WITH THE FIRST THREE ARTICLES OF THE DRAFT DECLARATION, AS APPROVED BY THE COMMISSION AT ITS 35TH SESSION
20 (XXXV). DRAFT DECLARATION ON THE ELIMINATION OF ALL FORMS OF INTOLERANCE AND OF DISCRIMINATION BASED ON RELIGION OR BELIEF1
The Commission on Human Rights,
Bearing in mind General Assembly resolution 33/106,
Taking note of the report of the working group on the draft declaration on the elimination of all forms of intolerance and of discrimination based on religion or belief (E/CN.4/WG.4/WP.1),
1. Notes that the Working Group achieved far-reaching agreement on several substantive aspects of the first articles of the draft declaration but was unable to reach consensus on the question of submission of draft articles to the Commission for adoption;
2. Decides to adopt, on the basis of those proposals on which there was farreaching agreement, the draft articles contained in the annex to the present resolution;
3. Requests the Secretary-General to invite UNESCO to organize a collective consultation, embracing various established schools of religious thought, on the cultural and religious basis of human rights in relation to the phenomenon of religious intolerance, and to submit the conclusions reached by this consultation to the Commission at its thirty-sixth session;
4. Decides to continue at its thirty-sixth session the elaboration of the remaining articles of the draft declaration on the elimination of all forms of intolerance and of discrimination based on religion or belief;
5. Decides also to again establish the open-ended working group at its thirtysixth session and to allot more time to the working group in order that it may complete its task at that session.
1. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice, and freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching.
2. No one shall be subject to coercion which would impair his freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice.
3. Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs may be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health, or morals or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.
1. No one shall be subject to discrimination by any State, institution, group of persons or person on grounds of religion or other beliefs.
2. For the purpose of this Declaration, the term "discrimination and intolerance based on religion or belief" means any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on religion or belief and having as its purpose or as its effect the nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise of human rights and fundamental freedoms on an equal basis.
1 Adopted at the 1,522d meeting, on Mar. 14, 1979, by a rollcall vote of 19 in favor, none against and 13 abstentions.
Discrimination between human beings on grounds of religion or belief constitutes an affront to human dignity and a disavowal of the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and shall be condemned as a violation of the human rights and fundamental freedoms proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and enunciated in detail in the international covenants relating to human rights, and as an obstacle to friendly and peaceful relations between nations.