EU ‘must do more’ to Stop Religious Freedom Abuses
Violations increasing and intensifying, says Parliamentary report
By Jeremy Reynalds, Senior Correspondent, ASSIST News Service (firstname.lastname@example.org)
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (ANS — June 6, 2015) — The new European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini, said in Oct. 2014 that upholding the right to freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) is one of her top three human rights priorities.
However, a story by World Watch Monitor (https://www.worldwatchmonitor.org/) said that according to a new report by the European Parliament Intergroup on Freedom of Religion or Belief and Religious Tolerance, launched June 3, still not enough is being done by European institutions around Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
“Unfortunately, we can only conclude that violations of freedom of religion or belief have become more frequent and intense,” said Member of the EU Parliament (MEP) Dennis de Jong, co-author of the report and Co-President of the Intergroup, speaking at the launch in Brussels.
“We hope to shed some more light on the violation of this fundamental right and stand up for the many millions of people who are bullied, discriminated, persecuted and even killed because of their religion or belief,” added co-author and Co-President Peter van Dalen, also an MEP.
WWM said the Intergroup describes itself as a group of like-minded MEPs dedicated to ensuring that the EU, in its external actions, promotes and protects the right to freedom of religion or belief.
For example, its report says that “FoRB guidelines are far from being fully implemented in the work of the European External Action Service (EEAS) staff, and Member States diplomats at the headquarters and in EU Delegations. During discussions and meetings with EEAS officials and Member States representatives, it was mentioned that the EU guidelines are not always consulted and used on the ground”.
According to WWM, the report also recommends that FoRB training for EU policymakers and diplomats is further developed. (The Intergroup suggests making FoRB training mandatory for at least one staff member per EU delegation in at risk countries).
About the writer: Jeremy Reynalds is Senior Correspondent for the ASSIST News Service, a freelance writer and also the founder and CEO of Joy Junction, New Mexico’s largest emergency homeless shelter, www.joyjunction.org. He has a master’s degree in communication from the University of New Mexico, and a Ph.D. in intercultural education from Biola University in Los Angeles. His newest book is “From Destitute to Ph.D.” Additional details on “From Destitute to Ph.D.” are available at www.myhomelessjourney.com. Reynalds lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico with his wife, Elma. For more information contact: Jeremy Reynalds at email@example.com.
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