States bear responsibility for ensuring that human rights are realised. Here you can find resources to help you in your role as a human rights duty bearer.
Resources to help you understand the right and apply it in your context.
Guidance and guidelines for specific legislative and policy areas
Information about FORB networks for decision makers
Learn about FORB and how to promote it
Make sure you understand the right
Explore our ‘FORB essentials’ collection of videos, short courses and brochures that can help you to grasp what the right involves more fully.
A toolkit for parliamentarians, IPPFORB
Designed to enable parliamentarians to advocate for FoRB more effectively, through increasing their understanding of FoRB and how they can promote it.
A Primer on International Human Rights Law and Standards on the Right to Freedom of Thought, Conscience, Religion or Belief
A great aid to understanding the international legal interpretation of FORB, covering many practical applications of FORB, including case law examples
Human Rights Handbook for Parliamentarians
Explains the human rights system and the role parliamentarians can play in protecting and promoting rights.
International networks for decision makers
GOVERNMENTS: International Religious Freedom or Belief Alliance
IRFBA is a network of around 37 like-minded countries committed to advancing FORB around the world. It brings together senior government representatives to discuss actions their nations can take together to promote respect for FORB and minority rights.
DIPLOMATS: International Contact Group
ICG brings together diplomats from nearly 30 countries and international organizations committed to protecting and promoting FORB. Participants promote FORB by initiating early warnings, coordinating joint advocacy and programming activities and fostering exchanges of best practices.
PARLIAMENTARIANS: The International Panel of Parliamentarians for Freedom of Religion or Belief
IPPFORB is a global network of parliamentarians and legislators committed to combatting religious persecution and advancing FORB. The network enables joint action and provides learning opportunities and learning materials.
PARLIAMENTARIANS: ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights
A regional network of current and former parliamentarians who use their unique positions to advance human rights and democracy in Southeast Asia.
PARLIAMENTARIANS AND FAITH LEADERS: FORB Leadership Network
A network of parliamentarians and belief leaders from 4 countries in Africa (The Gambia and Sierra Leone) and South Asia (Bangladesh and Pakistan) who are dedicated to promoting freedom of religion or belief in their national and local communities.
Guidelines for diplomats
EU Guidelines for the promotion and protection of freedom of religion or belief
The Guidelines explain international human rights standards on FORB and give clear political lines to officials of EU institutions and EU Member States, to be used in contacts with third countries and with international and civil society organisations. They provide officials with practical guidance on how to seek to prevent violations of FORB.
The Rabat Plan of Action on the Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred
Freedom of expression is a fundamental right, indispensable in democratic societies. However, this right is not an absolute right, and may be lawfully restricted according to certain principles and conditions. Under international human rights law, and specifically article 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), certain kinds of speech may be prohibited by law. Incitement to hatred is such an example of unprotected speech. The United Nations Rabat Plan of Action on the Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred provides a comprehensive set of factors for States to address this issue, drawing a clear line between freedom of expression and incitement to hatred and violence. Film published by UNESCO.
Guidelines on the Legal Personality of Religious or Belief Communities, OSCE
Supports those involved in drafting and applying legislation by providing a benchmark of minimum international standards regarding legal recognition.
Guidelines for Review of Legislation Pertaining to Religion or Belief
Guidance for those involved in analysing laws and draft legislation pertaining to the freedom of religion or belief.
Freedom of Religion or Belief and Security: Policy Guidance
Provides guiding principles, practical guidance and recommendations to address a number of issues of note at the intersection of FORB and security.
Plan of action for the prevention of incitement to violence
Designed primarily for religious actors this document is useful for officials to use in dialogue with religious communities.
Implementing UN Human Rights Council Res 16/18: A framework for inclusivity, pluralism and diversity
A short briefing paper exploring the importance of freedom of expression and FORB for the implementation of Resolution 16/18.
Rabat plan of action
On the prohibition of advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence.
Guides to understanding, measuring, legislating and prosecuting hate crimes
A range of guides for legislators, prosecutors and for state or civil society organisations that collect data and monitor hate crimes from the OSCE.
Conscientious objection to military service
A guide for legislators and officials involved in drafting and implementing laws on conscientious objection and for individuals unsure of their rights
Find information about FORB in particular countries