Original HRC document

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Document Type: Final Resolution

Date: 2019 Apr

Session: 40th Regular Session (2019 Feb)

Agenda Item: Item9: Racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related forms of intolerance, follow-up and implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action

Topic: Discrimination, Religion, Minorities

GE.19-06474(E)

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Human Rights Council Fortieth session

25 February–22 March 2019

Agenda item 9

Resolution adopted by the Human Rights Council on 22 March 2019

40/25. Combating intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of,

and discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against, persons

based on religion or belief

The Human Rights Council,

Reaffirming the commitment made by all States under the Charter of the United

Nations to promote and encourage universal respect for and observance of all human rights

and fundamental freedoms without distinction as to, inter alia, religion or belief,

Reaffirming also Human Rights Council resolutions 16/18 of 24 March 2011, 19/25

of 23 March 2012, 22/31 of 22 March 2013, 25/34 of 28 March 2014, 28/29 of 27 March

2015, 31/26 of 24 March 2016, 34/32 of 24 March 2017 and 37/38 of 23 March 2018, and

General Assembly resolutions 66/167 of 19 December 2011, 67/178 of 20 December 2012,

68/169 of 18 December 2013, 69/174 of 18 December 2014, 70/157 of 17 December 2015,

71/195 of 19 December 2016, 72/196 of 19 December 2017 and 73/164 of 17 December

2018,

Reaffirming further the obligation of States to prohibit discrimination on the basis of

religion or belief and to implement measures to guarantee the equal and effective protection

of the law,

Reaffirming that the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights provides,

inter alia, that everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion

or belief, which shall include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his or her

choice and freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or

private, to manifest his or her religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and

teaching,

Reaffirming also the positive role that the exercise of the right to freedom of opinion

and expression and full respect for the freedom to seek, receive and impart information can

play in strengthening democracy and combating religious intolerance, and also that the

exercise of the right to freedom of expression carries with it special duties and

responsibilities, in accordance with article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and

Political Rights,

Expressing deep concern at those acts that advocate religious hatred and thereby

undermine the spirit of tolerance,

United Nations A/HRC/RES/40/25

Reaffirming that terrorism, in all its forms and manifestations, cannot and should not

be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group,

Reaffirming also that violence can never be an acceptable response to acts of

intolerance on the basis of religion or belief,

Reaffirming further the positive role that the exercise of the right to freedom of

opinion and expression and the full respect for the freedom to seek, receive and impart

information can play in strengthening democracy and combating religious intolerance,

Reaffirming the positive role of human rights education and training in promoting

tolerance, non-discrimination and equality,

Deeply concerned about incidents of intolerance, discrimination and violence

against persons on the basis of their religion or belief in all regions of the world,

Deploring any advocacy of discrimination or violence based on religion or belief,

Strongly deploring all acts of violence against persons on the basis of their religion

or belief, and any such acts directed against their homes, businesses, properties, schools,

cultural centres or places of worship,

Concerned about actions that wilfully exploit tensions or target individuals on the

basis of their religion or belief,

Noting with deep concern the instances of intolerance, discrimination and acts of

violence in many parts of the world, including cases motivated by discrimination against

persons belonging to religious minorities, in addition to the negative projection of the

followers of religions and the enforcement of measures that specifically discriminate

against persons on the basis of religion or belief,

Expressing concern at the growing manifestation of intolerance based on religion or

belief that can generate hatred and violence among individuals from and within different

nations that may have serious implications at the national, regional and international levels,

and in this regard emphasizing the importance of respect for religious and cultural diversity

and interfaith and intercultural dialogue aimed at promoting a culture of tolerance and

respect among individuals, societies and nations,

Recognizing the valuable contribution of people of all religions or beliefs to

humanity and the contribution that dialogue among religious groups can make towards an

improved awareness and understanding of the common values shared by all humankind,

Recognizing also that working together to enhance the implementation of existing

legal regimes that protect individuals against discrimination and hate crimes, increase

interfaith and intercultural efforts and expand human rights education are an important first

step in combating incidents of intolerance, discrimination and violence against individuals

on the basis of religion or belief,

Recalling General Assembly resolution 68/127 on a world against violence and

violent extremism, adopted by the Assembly by consensus on 18 December 2013, and

welcoming the leading role of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural

Organization in promoting intercultural dialogue, the work of the United Nations Alliance

of Civilizations and the Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for Dialogue between

Cultures, the work of the King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for

Interreligious and Intercultural dialogue in Vienna, and Assembly resolution 65/5 of 20

October 2010 on World Interfaith Harmony Week, proposed by King Abdullah II of

Jordan,

Welcoming in this regard all international, regional and national initiatives aimed at

promoting interreligious, intercultural and interfaith harmony and combating discrimination

against individuals on the basis of religion or belief, including the launching of the Istanbul

Process for Combating Intolerance, Discrimination and Incitement to Hatred and/or

Violence on the Basis of Religion or Belief, and recalling the initiative of the chairmanship

of Albania of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe under the theme

“United in diversity” and the initiative of the Office of the United Nations High

Commissioner for Human Rights on the prohibition of advocacy of national, racial or

religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence,

1. Expresses deep concern at the continued serious instances of derogatory

stereotyping, negative profiling and stigmatization of persons on the basis of their religion

or belief, and programmes and agendas pursued by extremist organizations and groups

aimed at creating and perpetuating negative stereotypes about religious groups, in particular

when condoned by Governments;

2. Expresses its concern that incidents of religious intolerance, discrimination

and related violence and of negative stereotyping of individuals on the basis of religion or

belief continue to rise around the world, condemns in this context any advocacy of religious

hatred against individuals that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence,

and urges States to take effective measures, as set forth in the present resolution, consistent

with their obligations under international human rights law, to address and combat such

incidents;

3. Condemns deeply any advocacy of religious hatred that constitutes incitement

to discrimination, hostility or violence, whether it involves the use of print, audiovisual or

electronic media or any other means;

4. Welcomes international, regional and national initiatives aimed at promoting

interreligious, intercultural and interfaith harmony and combating discrimination against

individuals on the basis of religion or belief, in particular the series of expert meetings held

in Washington, D.C., London, Geneva, Doha, Jeddah and Singapore in the framework of

the Istanbul Process to discuss the implementation of Human Rights Council resolution

16/18;

5. Notes the efforts of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for

Human Rights and the holding of four regional workshops, in Austria, Chile, Kenya and

Thailand, on separate but related issues, and the final workshop in Morocco and its

outcome document, the Rabat Plan of Action on the prohibition of advocacy of national,

racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence,

and the recommendations and conclusions contained therein;

6. Recognizes that open, public debate of ideas and interfaith and intercultural

dialogue at the local, national and international levels can be among the best protections

against religious intolerance and can play a positive role in strengthening democracy and

combating religious hatred, and convinced that continuing dialogue on these issues can help

to overcome existing misperceptions;

7. Notes the speech given by Secretary-General of the Organization of the

Islamic Conference at the fifteenth session of the Human Rights Council, and draws upon

his call on States to take the following actions to foster a domestic environment of religious

tolerance, peace and respect by:

(a) Encouraging the creation of collaborative networks to build mutual

understanding, promoting dialogue and inspiring constructive action towards shared policy

goals and the pursuit of tangible outcomes, such as servicing projects in the fields of

education, health, conflict prevention, employment, integration and media education;

(b) Creating an appropriate mechanism within Governments to, inter alia,

identify and address potential areas of tension between members of different religious

communities, and assisting with conflict prevention and mediation;

(c) Encouraging the training of government officials in effective outreach

strategies;

(d) Encouraging the efforts of leaders to discuss within their communities the

causes of discrimination, and evolving strategies to counter those causes;

(e) Speaking out against intolerance, including advocacy of religious hatred that

constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence;

(f) Adopting measures to criminalize incitement to imminent violence on the

basis of religion or belief;

(g) Understanding the need to combat denigration and negative religious

stereotyping of persons and incitement to religious hatred by strategizing and harmonizing

actions at the local, national, regional and international levels through, inter alia, education

and awareness-building;

(h) Recognizing that the open, constructive and respectful debate of ideas and

interfaith and intercultural dialogue at the local, national and international levels can play a

positive role in combating religious hatred, incitement and violence;

8. Calls upon all States:

(a) To take effective measures to ensure that public functionaries, in the conduct

of their public duties, do not discriminate against individuals on the basis of religion or

belief;

(b) To foster religious freedom and pluralism by promoting the ability of

members of all religious communities to manifest their religion and to contribute openly

and on an equal footing to society;

(c) To encourage the representation and meaningful participation of individuals,

irrespective of their religion, in all sectors of society;

(d) To make a strong effort to counter religious profiling, which is understood to

be the invidious use of religion as a criterion in conducting questionings, searches and other

law enforcement investigative procedures;

9. Encourages States to consider providing updates on efforts made in this

regard as part of their ongoing reporting to the Office of the High Commissioner;

10. Calls upon States to adopt measures and policies to promote full respect for

and protection of places of worship and religious sites, cemeteries and shrines, and to take

measures in cases where they are vulnerable to vandalism or destruction;

11. Takes note of the report submitted by the High Commissioner pursuant to

Human Rights Council resolution 37/38 summarizing contributions received from States,1

and also takes note of the conclusions of the report based on those contributions;

12. Stresses the urgent need to implement all parts of the action plan outlined in

paragraphs 7 and 8 above with equal focus and attention in order to address religious

intolerance;

13. Requests the High Commissioner to prepare and submit to the Human Rights

Council at its forty-third session a comprehensive follow-up report with elaborated

conclusions based upon information provided by States on the efforts and measures taken

for the implementation of the action plan outlined in paragraphs 7 and 8 above, and views

on potential follow-up measures for further improvement of the implementation of that

plan;

14. Calls for strengthened international efforts to foster a global dialogue for the

promotion of a culture of tolerance and peace at all levels, based on respect for human

rights and diversity of religion and belief.

55th meeting

22 March 2019

[Adopted without a vote.]

1 A/HRC/40/44.