Saturday, December 29, 2012

Not that this'll come as any great shock to you ...

... but it's worth noting for the record, and, I suppose, encouraging that "[t]he report was welcomed by Heiner Bielefeldt, United Nations special rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, who said in a brief introduction there was little awareness that atheists were covered by global human rights agreements."

You can download a copy of the full report, Freedom of Thought 2012: A Global Report on Discrimination Against Humanists, Atheists and the Non-religious from the International Humanist and Ethical Union's website, or just click this direct link to the PDF.

(h/t: TC, via email | pic. source)


Ocean said...

Matt Cherry, the US International representative for IHEU gave a talk to our Secular Humanist group in September. It's an interesting organization.

Brendan Keefe said...

Do tell!

Ocean said...

The talk was about the shift in the UN from discussing anti-defamation measures, to tolerance and condemning violence or discrimination based on religion or belief. It includes language that reinforces the idea of freedom of expression and includes the right to change religions or beliefs and to not believe.

This was a long process, since the more fundamentalist Muslim countries had been trying to introduce blasphemy laws. Over the years, this idea lost popularity in the UN, and finally last year (I think) the new declaration substituted any mention of defamation or blasphemy for the concept of tolerance, freedom of expression of religious and non-religious ideas. The resolution was passed easily and with great relief since it seemed to settle this issue which had been dragging for so long, reintroduced every year.

Brendan Keefe said...

Oh that is good news. I had been worried a bit about certain of those countries never shutting up about blasphemy laws.

Thanks. Wish I could have heard the talk.