EEA/Norway Grants Conference and Contact Seminar

In this report, the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief focuses on the need to respect and protect freedom of religion or belief of persons belonging to religious minorities.

In his conceptual observations on this issue, he emphasizes that the rights of persons belonging to religious minorities should be consistently interpreted and implemented from a human rights perspective.

Unlike some concepts of minority protection which were often developed historically in the framework of bilateral or multilateral peace negotiations, the human rights-based approach takes respect for the self-understanding of human beings as its systematic starting point.

The Special Rapporteur further describes patterns of typical violations of freedom of religion or belief of persons belonging to religious minorities perpetrated by States and/or non-State actors which show various problems that require concerted action.

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