Harmful Practices Against Women And Girls Can Never be Justified by Religion

Harmful Practices Against Women And Girls Can Never be Justified by Religion

UN News Centre, 29 October 2013

– Harmful practices inflicted on women and girls can never be justified in the name of freedom of religion or belief, an independent United Nations human rights expert told a General Assembly committee dealing with social, humanitarian and cultural issues today.

“Countless women are exposed to complex forms of human rights violations based on both religion or belief and their sex,” said Heiner Bielefeldt, the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief.

The expert’s latest report, which he presented to the Third Committee, focused on two human rights, namely freedom of religion or belief and gender equality. “My main message is that there is much more room for synergies between those two rights than people generally assume,” he told reporters after his presentation.

“Often you find the assumption that, you go either for religion or for gender emancipation and you can’t really combine the two, which I would find not only wrong but dangerous.”

The expert urged Governments and civil society to look for these synergies, noting that in virtually all traditions, there are persons or groups who use their freedom of religion or belief to promote equality between men and women, often in conjunction with innovative interpretations of religious sources and traditions.

In his presentation, Mr. Bielefeldt also called on States to identify and close human rights protection gaps in personal status laws, including denominational family laws, which disproportionately affect women from religious or belief minorities.

“The purpose must be to create family law systems that fully respect equality between men and women while at the same time doing justice to the broad reality of religious or belief diversity, including persuasions that go beyond the realm of traditionally recognized religions,” he stated.

One particularly grave abuse when freedom of religion or belief clashes with gender equality is forced conversion in combination with forced marriage, said Mr. Bielefeldt.

“In a number of countries, women or girls from religious minorities run the risk of being abducted with the purpose of forcing them to convert to mainstream religion – often in connection with an unwanted marriage.”

The expert’s report offers recommendations to, among other things, integrate a gender perspective into programmes designed to protect and promote freedom of religion or belief.
Independent experts or special rapporteurs are appointed by the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council to examine and report back, in an unpaid capacity, on specific human rights themes. They also make annual presentations to the General Assembly’s Third Committee.


Christians in the Middle East

Baroness Berridge to ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their response to the Joint Resolution of the European Parliament (2013/2872(RSP)) of 10 October 2013 concerning religious persecution, particularly of Christians, in Syria, Pakistan and Iran; and what representations they will make to those respective governments on the situations outlined in the resolution.[HL2578]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi) (Con): Freedom of religion or belief is a human rights priority for this Government and a personal priority for me. We are deeply concerned by the Iranian regime’s ongoing persecution of its religious minorities – including Christians. The draft resolution raised the sentencing and continuing imprisonment of Pastor Abedini. We have urged the Iranian government to release him and to cease the persecution of individuals based on their faith. We will continue to do so.

We are shocked and saddened by the continuing harassment and persecution of minorities in Pakistan, and in particular by the terrorist attacks against the Christian community in Peshawar on 22 September. As I said at the time, these attacks were cowardly and sickening – all the more so as they targeted people leaving their place of worship. I will continue to discuss minority rights’ issues with the Pakistan government.
During my meeting with Syrian Patriarch Gregorios III on 16 October we discussed the growing number of reports of Christians, and other minority groups, being targeted in Syria. I explained my readiness to speak up on behalf of all who are targeted for their religion or belief. We believe that President Assad’s actions include a deliberate attempt to stir up tensions in his effort to hold on to power. We are continuing to encourage the moderate opposition to build on their appeal and effectiveness over the extremists and are helping through project work focused on reconciliation work between Syria’s different sects.
House of Lords / 28 Oct 2013 : Column WA210


Garden Court Chambers – Immigration Law Bulletin – Issue 346

Published Monday 28th October 2013

Immigration Law Cases
SQ (Pakistan) & Anor, R (application of) v Upper Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber & Anor [2013] EWCA Civ 1251
The Court of Appeal (Maurice-Kay, Lewison and Underhill LJJ) held that children who require life-saving medical treatment are more likely to be entitled to remain in the UK to receive it under Article 3 ECHR because they are more likely to satisfy the “exceptional circumstances” test in N v UK, than adults. The Court of Appeal went on also to hold that because of the duty to treat children’s best interests as a primary consideration, children’s health cases required separate and careful consideration under Article 8 ECHR.
For the full judgment, click here . . . .

HF (Iraq) & Ors v SSHD [2013] EWCA Civ 1276
In dismissing a challenge to the country guidance set out both in HM (Iraq) and MK (Iraq), Elias LJ held that there was no requirement on the Upper Tribunal to give particular weight to the views of the UNHCR when considering risk in Iraq. Maurice Kay LJ, however, was critical of the Upper Tribunal for raising in issue the fact that the UNHCR had a dual role, both as an advisor on country conditions in Iraq and as a facilitator for returnees there. The Tribunal’s findings that a sponsor was not necessary for a person to relocate to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) was upheld, or at least the evidence suggested that there was little disadvantage, for somebody seeking to relocate there, in not having a sponsor.
For the full judgment, click here . . . .

Vagh, R (on the application of) v SSHD [2013] EWCA Civ 1253
The Secretary of State was correct to deny a British overseas citizen a British passport under S.4B of the British Nationality Act 1981, as she was not able to provide a satisfactory explanation as to why she was not actually entitled to the Indian passport she used when she first arrived in the UK.
For the full judgment, click here . . . .

Giwa, R (on the application of) v SSHD [2013] EWHC 3189 (Admin)
In dismissing an application for unlawful detention of a Sierra Leonean national who had been detained for 53 months, His Honour Judge Keyser Q.C. held that his detention had now been pushed to the limit of what is capable of being considered reasonable. However, his detention continued to be lawful, pending a further interview with the High Commission that may produce a travel document that would facilitate the claimant’s return.
For the full judgment, click here . . . .

Muhammad & Ors, R (application of) v SSHD [2013] EWHC 3157 (Admin)
Mr Justice Stewart refused an application for interim relief, in the form of release from detention, of three detainees who were currently refusing to either take food or water, as he held that it was in their power to make the decision to receive the appropriate medical treatment.
For the full judgment, click here . . . .

About truelabour

Investigative Journalist/Researcher for major media. Exposing the truth and police corruption with in UK police service.Certain forces say their motto is Honesty & Integrity One must ask is it lip service or genuinely meant. CO-OP Labour Party member questioning is the party standing for working class of Britain. Trade Union Activist & promoting diversity,community cohesion within multicultural Britain. Anti fascist speaks out against all foams of discrimination.
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