Internal Affairs? Assessing NGO Engagement for Religious Freedom at the United Nations and Beyond
Anne Stensvold (ed.): Religion, State and the United Nations – Value Politics. London: Routledge, pp. 79-94, 2016; ISBN: 9781138938656
19 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2017
Date Written: January 2, 2016
Over the course of the last two decades, the internationally protected human right to the freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) has become more contested, more visible, allegedly more violated and more explicitly promoted in domestic, regional and international settings than at any previous period of time. This chapter sets out to explore the origins and recent history of this growth through an examination of (1) the multiple, overlapping accounts of the origins of FoRB in the 1940s, (2) the rise of a cross-national activist movement promoting the implementation and protection of FoRB during the late 1990s and early 2000s, and (3) the participation of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) promoting FoRB at various levels of the United Nations, with a particular emphasis on (4) the briefs submitted to the Universal Periodic Review mechanism overseen by the UN Human Rights Council. In conclusion, (5) the chapter reviews the evolution of FoRB activism, and asks what the increased promotion of FoRB means for the international mechanisms monitoring its implementation.
Keywords: Freedom of religion or belief, law and religion, NGOs, United Nations, Universal Periodic Review
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