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Freedom of thought, conscience and religion

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Yew Cc

on 28 August 2013

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Transcript of Freedom of thought, conscience and religion

Freedom of thought, conscience and religion
Definition
All persons have the right:-
to think freely
to entertain ideas and hold positions based on conscientious or religious or other beliefs.
to demonstrate or manifest religious or other beliefs by way of worship, observance, practice and teaching.

Legislation, policies and programs must respect the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion or belief, unless they clearly fall within one of the permissible limitations discussed below.
The right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion or belief come from
article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)
article 5 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD)
article 14 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
Limitation
Under article 18(3), the freedom to manifest religion or beliefs may be limited to protect public safety, order, or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.

The Human Rights Committee has stated that limitations must be necessary to achieve the desired purpose, and must be proportionate to the need on which the limitation is predicated.

Some Australian anti-discrimination legislation provides for exemptions for religious bodies.

The definition of discrimination in the Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 excludes any distinction, exclusion or preference in connection with employment of a person in a religious institution, if they are made in order to avoid injury to the religious susceptibilities of adherents of that religion.
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Adopted by the General Assembly of the United
Nations on 19 December 1966
Article 18
1.Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice, and freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or private to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching.


2.No one shall be subject to coercion which would impair his freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice.

3.Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs may be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health, or morals or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.

4.The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to have respect for the liberty of parents and, when applicable, legal guardians to ensure the religious and moral education of their children in conformity with their own convictions.
International Convention on the Elimination
of all Forms of Racial Discrimination
Article 5

In compliance with the fundamental obligations laid down in Article 2 of this Convention, States Parties undertake to prohibit and to eliminate racial discrimination in all its forms and to guarantee the right of everyone, without distinction as to race, colour, or national or ethnic origin, to equality before the law, notably in the enjoyment of several rights.

One of them is (vii)The right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
Convention on the Rights of the Child
2.States Parties shall respect the rights and duties of the parents and, when applicable, legal guardians, to provide direction to the child in the exercise of his or her right in a manner consistent with the evolving capacities of the child.

3.Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs may be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health or morals, or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.
Article 14
1.States Parties shall respect the right of the child to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
When to consider the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion
If you are working on legislation, a policy or a program that:

interfere with the observance or teaching of a particular religion or set of beliefs
requires a person to disclose their religion or belief
sets dress standards that do not accommodate religious dress or symbols
relates to planning that may make it difficult to establish places of religious worship
imposes eligibility requirements for government benefits that cannot be met by the adherents of particular religions
regulates the teaching of children in a way that undermine particular religions or beliefs, or conscientious objection to military service
This list should not be regarded as exhaustive.
The scope of the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion or belief?
Article 18 of the ICCPR entails protection against brainwashing or indoctrination.

The UN Human Rights Committee has interpreted religion to include theistic, non-theistic and atheistic beliefs.

The right to adopt a religion or belief of a person's choice, and to leave a religion and convert to another.

The right to demonstrate or manifest religious or other beliefs requires the Government to recognize the right to engage in religious worship, which include the use of places of worship, display of ritual objects and symbols, observance of holidays, performance of ceremonial acts, adherence to dietary regulations and wearing of distinctive clothing.
Other rights and freedoms related
the prohibition on discrimination, the grounds for which include religion

the prohibition on advocacy of religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence

the right of religious minorities to enjoy their own culture and to profess and practice their own religion

the right to freedom of opinion and expression

the right to peaceful assembly

the right to freedom of association
Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom.
-Albert Einstein.
The Sex Discrimination Act 1984 contains an exemption from the prohibition of discrimination on the grounds of sex, marital status, pregnancy or potential pregnancy for acts or practices by religious bodies and educational institutions established for religious purposes, where those acts or practices conform to the doctrines, tenets or beliefs of that religion or are necessary to avoid injury to the religious sensitivities of adherents of that religion.
The Age Discrimination Act 2004 contains a similar exemption from the prohibition of discrimination on the ground of age for bodies established for religious purposes. The definition of discrimination in the Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 excludes any distinction, exclusion or preference in connection with employment of a person in a religious institution, if the distinction, exclusion or preference is made in order to avoid injury to the religious susceptibilities of adherents of that religion.
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