The Universal Declaration of Human Rights has been a landmark document since 1948, influencing worldwide legal, political, and social developments. Among the rights guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the right to freedom of religion. Article 18 states that everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion. A person’s religious freedom includes the right to change his religion or belief and the right to teach, practice, worship, and observe his religion freely, whether alone or with others. Freedom of religion is viewed as a fundamental freedom and is universally accepted and ratified by the international community, being considered the element that underpins all other freedoms. Everyone has the right and privilege to express their beliefs and hopes without coercion, deception, or manipulation. Freedom of religion refers to freedom from persecution, indoctrination, and oppression, freedom from being constrained into adhering to a particular religion or ideology.
Religious freedom contributes substantially to harmonious social cohesion and can be a major pillar for effective international relations and irreplaceable for national and international peace. To mark the 75 years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we invite participants to contribute to the topic Universal Human Rights Declaration and Religious Freedom – 75 Years of History of Promoting Freedoms. This international conference is scheduled around Human Rights Day. The event is organized by the UNEQUAL World Research Center, IPSEC, and UN Liaison Office for IRLA and SDA. The conference aims to bring together researchers, speakers from international organizations, religious leaders, and diplomats to share views and experiences as well as to discuss trends, concerns, and challenges related to the Universal Human Rights Declaration and Religious Freedom.
- Submission for the conference starts on May 29, 2023
- Abstract deadline: September 30, 2023
- Notification of acceptance/rejection: 1 week after submission
- Conference Days: December 11-12, 2023
The online conference titled Freedom of Expression, Hate Speech, and Religious Freedom: A Human Rights Perspective was held on December 8–9, 2022, and was organized by the UNEQUAL World Research Center, IPSEC, and UN Liaison Office for IRLA and SDA. The conference’s first edition was scheduled to take place around World Genocide Commemoration Day and brought together representatives from various fields with a significant influence on their societies.
Hate speech is an ongoing problem in all societies, both online and offline. As history has shown, atrocity crimes are sparked by hate speech. A growing trend of hatred and intolerance toward people who are perceived as different increases the potential to incite violence and severe human rights violations. Ethnic and religious minorities, migrants, refugees, and others who are perceived as unwelcome are often targets of hate speech and discrimination.
The main purpose of this conference was to discuss the impact of hate speech on vulnerable groups and the significance of freedom of expression and religious freedom as fundamental components in building peaceful and respectful communities. The conference brought together top researchers, religious leaders, speakers from international organizations, and academics from diverse cultural, religious, and political backgrounds from all around the world to share their experiences and exchange their research results on these current topics that impact our daily lives.