United Kingdom to Host In-Person Conference for Promotion of Religious Freedom
London 2022 International Ministerial Conference on Freedom of Religion or Belief
To strengthen international efforts to ensure freedom of religion or belief, the UK government will host an International Ministerial Conference in central London on 5 and 6 July.
Promoting Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) is one of the UK’s long-standing human rights priorities. The UK government remains deeply concerned about the severity and scale of violations and abuses of FoRB in many parts of the world. Persecuting people, or discriminating against them, because of their religion or belief is often closely linked to other foreign and development policy challenges.
To strengthen international efforts to ensure freedom of religion or belief the UK government will host an International Ministerial Conference in central London on 5 and 6 July. As announced in November 2021, it will bring together international governments, parliamentarians, faith and belief representatives and civil society. It will urge increased global action on freedom of religion or belief for all, under the themes of:
preventing violations and abuses
protecting and promoting freedom of religion or belief
The Alliance brings together like-minded countries to agree co-ordinated actions to promote FoRB and protect people worldwide who are persecuted or discriminated against on account of their religion or belief. Members commit to advance Article 18 of the Universal Declaration for Human Rights, which states that ‘everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion’.
Founded in 2020, the Alliance has grown from 27 to 36 member countries.
Whilst you can only attend the ministerial conference if you have been invited, a series of civil society events will enable more people to get involved in discussions about freedom of religion or belief.
The conference fringe events are being coordinated by the UK Freedom of Religion or Belief Forum. This group of over 70 civil society groups, faith or belief organisations and human rights Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) is committed to advancing the common cause of freedom of religion or belief worldwide.
An inclusive conference that promotes freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) globally, driving forward international efforts to defend FoRB for all.
The conference has 5 objectives:
raise awareness of:
the current challenges to FoRB across the world
the relevance of FoRB to other human rights
best practice in preventing violations and abuses and protecting and promoting FoRB
use UK leadership and experience in addressing human rights issues and our convening power to improve FoRB for all
galvanise partner countries and stakeholders to work more closely together to promote and protect FoRB, including by working together to address FoRB violations and abuses
encourage collective action by governments, human rights experts, civil society, academia and faith and belief actors to address FoRB challenges, exchange best practice, and build shared commitments
to strengthen the voices of and build the capacity of defenders of FoRB, including religion and belief groups, inspiring future leaders and young people, and building and reinforcing global coalitions for collective action4