If you are an individual experiencing a violation of your right to freedom of religion or belief, or related rights violations for example freedom of expression, then you can make a submission on this site which we may consider for inclusion in the Freedom of Thought report as a case study. However this alone will not solve your problem or lead to a decision which attempts to restore your rights. To do that you may need to file a complaint with the United Nations.

Filing a complaint to the United Nations

The UN Human Rights Council was founded in 2006 by the UN General Assembly.   Its mission is to “strengthen the promotion and protection of Human Rights around the Globe”.

The HRC has a variety of mechanisms for reviewing and combating individual Human Rights abuses, one of its main responsibilities.  This includes the assignment of representatives called Special Rapporteurs, to  each of the main Freedoms that the Council seeks to protect.

These Special Rapporteurs investigate human rights abuses and make reports to the HRC.  If you have any any reports of violations or abuses you can contact the SR directly.  The SR for Freedom of Religion and Belief, as of 2010, isHeiner Bielefeldt.

Humanists, Atheists, Agnostics and the Non-Religious in general are no less affected by discrimination based on ones beliefs or worldview than the religious.

However, because they are not part of the formal religions these rights often become more neglected and endangered.  This also means the non-religious often face special problems and human rights abuses.

If you have any problems please feel free to read over the What Are Your Rights? section of this site.  It covers your rights under the Freedom of Religion and Belief.  Below are some special problems many of the non-religious face.

Who Does What

Special Rapporteurs are responsible for each of the many of the freedoms outlined by the UN.  For the SR for Religion and Belief check out the The UN Human Rights Council page of this website.

The SR will investigate human rights abuses and report them to the UN Human Rights Council.  Though they communicate with governments where abuses are taking place they act independently of any country.

If you have a human rights abuse to report, you must to send it to the Special Rapporteur for Freedom for Freedom of Religion and Belief.

Instructions for reporting abuses are below.

What Can You Report?

The UN Human Rights Council guarantees a variety of rights concerning Freedom of Religion and Belief in resolution 6/37 of 2007.  Refer to the What are Your Rights? section for a further discussion of your rights as a non-believer and the Further Resources section for this and other documents.

Governments must include legislative guarantees of these freedoms and effective remedies of violations.  They also are encouraged to provide education that promote tolerance and respect.  These policies must be in line with international human rights law.

This includes the right:

1) To change or renounce your religion.
2) Of expression and to blaspheme against a religion.
3) To provide moral education for your children.
4) To print and disseminate relevant publications.
5) From coercion of religion or belief.
6) To life, liberty and security from discrimination.

Fill Out This Form

Questionnaire in English.
Questionnaire en Français.
Cuestionario en Español.

Directions:

Fill out the form and any questions you have and send it to the Special Rapporteur, contact information below.

– Please fill out everything you can.  The Special Rapporteur will use this to investigate and then report on your claim.
– The forms above are only guidelines.  Reports of abuses do not need to be filled out exactly according to them.
– Please mark “CONFIDENTIAL” on the form if you would like any part to remain so.
– Attach additional pages if you have any information you would like to add that won’t fit in the space provided.
– Contact the Special Rapporteur with any other questions you have via the information below.

Send It To:

Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief

c/o Office Of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
United Nations at Geneva
8-14 Avenue de la Paix
1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

Fax: (+41 22) 917 90 06

E-mail: freedomofreligion@ohchr.org  or  urgent-action@ohchr.org
(then please include in the subject box: Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief)