Iceland (40th Session)

Iceland

(40th Session)

ADF International is a faith-based legal advocacy organization that protects fundamental freedoms and promotes the inherent dignity of all people before national and international institutions.

This report draws attention to the government of Iceland’s shortcomings in guaranteeing freedom of expression, protecting the right to life and affirming the dignity of persons with disabilities, in addition to safeguarding parent’s rights to educate their children according to their beliefs.

Greece (39th Session)

Greece

(39th Session)

ADF International is a faith-based legal advocacy organization that protects fundamental freedoms and promotes the inherent dignity of all people before national and international institutions. As well as having ECOSOC consultative status with the United Nations (registered name “Alliance Defending Freedom”), ADF International has accreditation with the European Commission and Parliament, and the Organization of American States. ADF International is also a participant in the FRA Fundamental Rights Platform.

This report highlights a number of legal restrictions on the exercise of the rights to freedom of religion and freedom of expression in Greece, and the State’s failure to guarantee respect for and protection of religious minorities. The report also focuses on Greece’s prohibition of homeschooling, explaining why it represents a violation of the rights of parents to ensure the education of their children in conformity with their own convictions.

Hungary (39th Session)

Hungary

(39th Session)

ADF International is a faith-based legal advocacy organization that protects fundamental freedoms and promotes the inherent dignity of all people before national and international institutions. As well as having ECOSOC consultative status with the United Nations (registered name “Alliance Defending Freedom”), ADF International has accreditation with the European Commission and Parliament, and the Organization of American States. ADF International is also a participant in the FRA Fundamental Rights Platform.

This report focuses on the right freedom of religion or belief in Hungary, where laws concerning church registration result in unjustified and discriminatory restrictions on the practices of faith communities. It also highlights the government’s crackdowns on freedom of expression and assembly, as well as concerns over parental rights in the context of children education.

Ireland (39th Session)

Ireland

(39th Session)

ADF International is a faith-based legal advocacy organization that protects fundamental freedoms and promotes the inherent dignity of all people before national and international institutions. As well as having ECOSOC consultative status with the United Nations (registered name “Alliance Defending Freedom”), ADF International has accreditation with the European Commission and Parliament, and the Organization of American States. ADF International is also a participant in the FRA Fundamental Rights Platform.

This submission highlights the severe implications of the legalization of abortion in Ireland on the enjoyment of the human right to freedom of conscience, notably in relation to the right of medical professionals to conscientious objection, as well as on the exercise of parental rights and responsibilities. In light of recent parliamentary initiatives to bring about the legalisation of assisted suicide, this report also explains why a so-called right to ‘die with dignity’ is incompatible with Ireland’s obligation to protect the right to life until natural death.

Denmark (38th Session)

Denmark 

(38th Session)

ADF International is a faith-based legal advocacy organization that protects fundamental freedoms and promotes the inherent dignity of all people before national and international institutions. As well as having ECOSOC consultative status with the United Nations (registered name “Alliance Defending Freedom”), ADF International has accreditation with the European Commission and Parliament, and the Organization of American States. ADF International is also a participant in the FRA Fundamental Rights Platform. 

This report focuses on the government of Denmark’s shortcomings in guaranteeing freedom of expression and freedom of religion or belief. It calls out legislation criminalizing offensive language and the lack of accommodation for religious practice in immigration and education.

Belgium (38th Session)

Belgium 

(38th Session)

ADF International is a faith-based legal advocacy organization that protects fundamental freedoms and promotes the inherent dignity of all people before national and international institutions. As well as having ECOSOC consultative status with the United Nations (registered name “Alliance Defending Freedom”), ADF International has accreditation with the European Commission and Parliament, and the Organization of American States. ADF International is also a participant in the FRA Fundamental Rights Platform. This report details the incompatibility of Belgium’s Euthanasia Law with its human rights obligations, particularly under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

Turkey (35th Session)

Turkey

(35th Session)

This UPR report is submitted by a coalition of human rights and faith-based organizations that participate in the International Religious Freedom Roundtable in Washington, D.C. The International Religious Freedom Roundtable is an informal gathering of civil society members, non-governmental organizations, scholars, religious and secular leaders, and government officials that meets regularly in Washington, D.C., to discuss the most pressing issues regarding international religious freedom—especially persecution, violence, and discrimination against individuals and groups based on their religion or belief—and to develop solutions and provide opportunities for collaboration and engagement. A number of signatories have ECOSOC consultative status with the United Nations, and have accreditation with the European Commission and Parliament, and the Organization of American States.

This report explains the current state of freedom of religion or belief in Turkey and makes recommendations accordingly.

Belarus (36th Session)

Belarus

(36th Session)

ADF International is a faith-based legal advocacy organization that protects fundamental freedoms and promotes the inherent dignity of all people before national and international institutions. As well as having ECOSOC consultative status with the United Nations (registered name “Alliance Defending Freedom”), ADF International has accreditation with the European Commission and Parliament, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the Organization of American States, and is a participant in the FRA Fundamental Rights Platform.

This report investigates the status of freedom of religion or belief and freedom of association in Belarus by examining laws, regulations and practices impairing the full enjoyment or exercise thereof without discrimination. It also calls upon the Belarusian government to cease any such restrictions and amend its laws to ensure that the right to manifest one’s religion, either alone or in community with others and in public or private is fully guaranteed in accordance with existing international human rights standards and instruments.

Bulgaria (36th Session)

Bulgaria

(36th Session)

ADF International is a faith-based legal advocacy organization that protects fundamental freedoms and promotes the inherent dignity of all people before national and international institutions. As well as having ECOSOC consultative status with the United Nations (registered name “Alliance Defending Freedom”), ADF International has accreditation with the European Commission and Parliament, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the Organization of American States, and is a participant in the FRA Fundamental Rights Platform.

This report focuses on Bulgaria’s failure to respect the rights of the child as well as parental rights, notably by introducing legislation that provides for undue interference with family life.

A ‘Precious Asset’?

A ‘Precious Asset’?

Analyzing Religious Freedom Protections in Europe

In its first judgement on Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights, the Strasbourg Court held that freedom of thought, conscience, and religion is ‘a precious asset for atheists, agnostics, sceptics and the unconcerned’. 

This book questions and elaborates on this statement, in the context of the current European legal setting. 

Part I offers a theoretical overview of why freedom of religion matters, and the European regulatory framework of this human right. 

Part II focuses on the challenges of interpreting and protecting religious freedom in the context of employment, education, media reporting, free speech, and freedom of association. Is ‘corporate neutrality’ a legitimate basis for suppressing individual manifestations of religion? Do public expressions of religious values constitute ‘hate speech’? To what extent and under what criteria can States limit the freedom of association of religious groups? Overall, is freedom of religion still indeed ‘a precious asset’ in Europe?

Adina Portaru is legal counsel for ADF International in Brussels, where she advocates for religious freedom.