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Prominent UN panel discussion on religious minorities in armed conflicts and how to better protect them; ADF International co-hosts side event with Poland and the Holy See

GENEVA – Religious minorities are among the most vulnerable groups in war torn regions. The plight of Christians and Yazidis in the Middle East at the hands of ISIS is only one sad and recent example. On 7 March 2018, the Permanent Mission of Poland, the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See and ADF International will co-host a side event addressing this worrying phenomenon and debate possible ways forward to guarantee better protection. The speakers will particularly focus on Africa and the Middle East.

“Nobody should be persecuted because of their faith,” said Robert Clarke, Director of European Advocacy for ADF International, who will speak on behalf of the global human rights organisation. “Christian refugees fleeing ISIS told us first hand that they had felt completely abandoned. While the world was watching ISIS and its carnage on Youtube, the international community did very little to protect religious minorities. We should revisit our political and legal mechanisms to ensure that human rights are protected, especially in times of crisis. In the future, we should respond quicker and with more resolve to situations like the genocide of Christians and Yazidis perpetrated by ISIS.”

Religious minorities in armed conflicts: situation in the Middle East and Africa

ADF International, the Permanent Mission of Poland, and the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See in cooperation with the Permanent Mission of Hungary, the Permanent Mission of Greece, the Permanent Mission of Jordan and Aid to the Church in Need are inviting members of the media to attend this side event either in person or online (streaming link from UN).

WHAT:    Side event during 37th session of the UN Human Rights Council
WHEN:   7 March 2018, 15:00-16:30
WHERE: Palais des Nations, Room XXV, United Nations, Geneva
WHO:      Ms. Farida Abbas, ISIS survivor
                Msgr. Aguirre Munoz, eye witness to atrocities in the Central African Republic
                Mr. Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur, Freedom of Religion or Belief
                H.E. Ambassador Zbigniew Czech, Permanent Representative of Poland
                H.E. Archbishop Ivan Jurkovic, Permanent Representative of the Holy See
                Mr. Robert Clarke, Director of European Advocacy, ADF International

If you intend to attend in person, please RSVP by 5 March 2018 to globalmedia(a)

See our Facebook Livestream Interview on the side event with our UN expert on 7 March 2018 at 14:00 (CET) at

More info on our work on persecution of minorities:

Freely use our images for print and online 
img-Robert-Clarke img-United-Nations-Office
(c) ADF International

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