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World News

New report claims United Nations is too weak on religious freedom

by Tola Mbakwe

ADF International said the UN will not be able to strengthen, promote and protect human rights if it doesn't take a stronger stance against religious freedom violations.

The 73-page report, entitled Anti-Conversion Laws and the International Response said "some UN entities have highlighted the problems with anti-conversion laws, but other UN entities have failed to condemn them". That report said that such failure is "emblematic of the UN's overall failure to protect religious freedom".

Anti-conversation laws have been passed in India, Nepal, Myanmar, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Pakistan as an example. Nepal and Pakistan are members of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

"The mere existence of an anti-conversion law in a state or country usually gives licence to nationalist religious extremists to persecute members of minority religions," the report stated.

It added that it is unrealistic to expect Council resolutions to tackle "anti-conversion, blasphemy, apostasy" if Member States refuse to ban such laws from their own legislative systems and try to persuade other States on the Council to not vote for strong religious freedom protections.

ADF International has advised the UN to urge countries to abolish their anti-conversion laws and to prioritise making countries enforce fundamental human rights.

The report was presented on 8th May at a briefing in Washington DC with the US government's ambassador for international religious freedom, Sam Brownback.3

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