Protecting the Rights of Parents and Children belonging to Religious Minorities

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Protecting the Rights of Parents & Children
belonging to Religious Minorities

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GHILETCHI-picRecently various interest-groups have increasingly pushed to curtail the parents’ rights to raise their children according to their own conscience and religious traditions.  This constitutes a clear violation of the parents’ autonomy and free choice in matters of education. In response to this threat a motion for a resolution was released at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on the 10th of October. It was drafted by Valeriu Ghiletchi, member of the Assembly and the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights. The motion has been signed by 21 other members.

Excerpts from the “Motion for a Resolution (Doc. 13333)” on the protection of the rights of parents and children belonging to religious minorities (emphasis added):

COE-Logo-Quadri“The Council of Europe is committed to a policy for the protection of rights mentioned in Article 2 of the additional protocol of the European Court of Human Rights to respect the rights of parents to ensure that their children are raised and educated in conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions.

[…]

The Assembly has expressed concern regarding discrimination that may arise from unnecessary restrictionson the rights of parents to raise and educate their children in conformity with their own religious andphilosophical convictions.

The European Court of Human Rights has also ruled on this matter in many decisions, reinforcing the rights of parents to raise their children in conformity with their own convictions.The Assembly finds that new religious movements and religious minorities are especially at risk regarding the infringement of these rights by some member States.

Derogatory labeling of religious minorities as ‘sects’, ‘sectarian’, ‘cults’ or any other term generates bias and stigmatization and lead to undue restrictions to a parent’s right to raise and educate their children in conformity with their own beliefs. The Assembly therefore resolves to study and identify cases where member States do not respect the rights of parents to educate children according to their own religious and philosophical convictions, especially with regard to minorities.”

FOREF Europe welcomes this motion for a resolution and endorses the determination of the signatories to ensure the protection of the rights of parents to educate their children in accord to their own beliefs and conscience.

SOURCES and links for further information:

Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe – Motion for a Resolution (Doc. 13333): The protection of the rights of parents and children belonging to religious minorities. (Full Text here)
Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe – Motion for a Resolution  (Doc. 13333): The protection of the rights of parents and children belonging to religious minorities. (Signatories)

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2 Responses to Protecting the Rights of Parents and Children belonging to Religious Minorities

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