United Nations

A/RES/36/55


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

25 November 1981

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH



                                                A/RES/36/55
                                                25 November 1981
 
          Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of
          Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief
 
               The General Assembly,
 
               Considering that one of the basic principles of the Charter of
          the United Nations is that of the dignity and equality inherent in
          all human beings, and that all Member States have pledged themselves
          to take joint and separate action in co-operation with the
          Organization to promote and encourage universal respect for and
          observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without
          distinction as to race, sex, language or religion,
 
               Considering that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and
          the International Covenants on Human Rights proclaim the principles
          of non-discrimination and equality before the law and the right to
          freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief,
 
               Considering that the disregard and infringement of human rights
          and fundamental freedoms, in particular of the right to freedom of
          thought, conscience, religion or whatever belief, have brought,
          directly or indirectly, wars and great suffering to mankind,
          especially where they serve as a means of foreign interference in
          the internal affairs of other States and amount to kindling hatred
          between peoples and nations,
 
               Considering that religion or belief, for anyone who professes
          either, is one of the fundamental elements in his conception of life
          and that freedom of religion or belief should be fully respected and
          guaranteed,
 
               Considering that it is essential to promote understanding,
          tolerance and respect in matters relating to freedom of religion and
          belief and to ensure that the use of religion or belief for ends
          inconsistent with the Charter of the United Nations, other relevant
          instruments of the United Nations and the purposes and principles of
          the present Declaration is inadmissible,
 
               Convinced that freedom of religion and belief should also
          contribute to the attainment of the goals of world peace, social
          justice and friendship among peoples and to the elimination of
          ideologies or practices of colonialism and racial discrimination,
 
               Noting with satisfaction the adoption of several, and the
          coming into force of some, conventions, under the aegis of the
          United Nations and of the specialized agencies, for the elimination
          of various forms of discrimination,
 
               Concerned by manifestations of intolerance and by the existence
          of discrimination in matters of religion or belief still in evidence
          in some areas of the world,
 
               Resolved to adopt all necessary measures for the speedy
          elimination of such intolerance in all its forms and manifestations
          and to prevent and combat discrimination on the ground of religion
          or belief,
 
               Proclaims this Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of
          Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief:
 
                                  Article 1
 
               1.     Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought,
          conscience and religion.  This right shall include freedom to have a
          religion or whatever 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 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.
 
                                  Article 2
 
               1.     No one shall be subject to discrimination by any State,
          institution, group of persons, or person on grounds of religion or
          other beliefs.
 
               2.     For the purposes of the present Declaration, the
          expression "intolerance and discrimination based on religion or
          belief" means any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference
          based on religion or belief and having as its purpose or as its
          effect nullification or impairment of the recognition, enjoyment or
          exercise of human rights and fundamental freedoms on an equal basis.
 
                                  Article 3
 
               Discrimination between human beings on grounds of religion or
          belief constitutes an affront to human dignity and a disavowal of
          the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and shall be
          condemned as a violation of the human rights and fundamental
          freedoms proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and
          enunciated in detail in the International Covenants on Human Rights,
          and as an obstacle to friendly and peaceful relations between
          nations.
 
                                  Article 4
 
               1.     All States shall take effective measures to prevent and
          eliminate discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief in the
          recognition, exercise and enjoyment of human rights and fundamental
          freedoms in all fields of civil, economic, political, social and
          cultural life.
 
               2.     All States shall make all efforts to enact or rescind
          legislation where necessary to prohibit any such discrimination, and
          to take all appropriate measures to combat intolerance on the
          grounds of religion or other beliefs in this matter.
 
                                  Article 5
 
               1.     The parents or, as the case may be, the legal guardians
          of the child have the right to organize the life within the family
          in accordance with their religion or belief and bearing in mind the
          moral education in which they believe the child should be brought up.
 
               2.     Every child shall enjoy the right to have access to
          education in the matter of religion or belief in accordance with the
          wishes of his parents or, as the case may be, legal guardians, and
          shall not be compelled to receive teaching on religion or belief
          against the wishes of his parents or legal guardians, the best
          interests of the child being the guiding principle.
 
               3.     The child shall be protected from any form of
          discrimination on the ground of religion or belief.  He shall be
          brought up in a spirit of understanding, tolerance, friendship among
          peoples, peace and universal brotherhood, respect for freedom of
          religion or belief of others, and in full consciousness that his
          energy and talents should be devoted to the service of his fellow
          men.
 
               4.     In the case of a child who is not under the care either
          of his parents or of legal guardians, due account shall be taken of
          their expressed wishes or of any other proof of their wishes in the
          matter of religion or belief, the best interests of the child being
          the guiding principle.
 
               5.     Practices of a religion or beliefs in which a child is
          brought up must not be injurious to his physical or mental health or
          to his full development, taking into account article 1, paragraph 3,
          of the present Declaration.
 
                                  Article 6
 
               In accordance with article 1 of the present Declaration, and
          subject to the provisions of article 1, paragraph 3, the right to
          freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief shall include,
          inter alia, the following freedoms:
 
               (a)    To worship or assemble in connexion with a religion or
          belief, and to establish and maintain places for these purposes;
 
               (b)    To establish and maintain appropriate charitable or
          humanitarian institutions;
 
               (c)    To make, acquire and use to an adequate extent the
          necessary articles and materials related to the rites or customs of
          a religion or belief;
 
               (d)    To write, issue and disseminate relevant publications in
          these areas;
 
               (e)    To teach a religion or belief in places suitable for
          these purposes;
 
               (f)    To solicit and receive voluntary financial and other
          contributions from individuals and institutions;
 
               (g)    To train, appoint, elect or designate by succession
          appropriate leaders called for by the requirements and standards of
          any religion or belief;
 
               (h)    To observe days of rest and to celebrate holidays and
          ceremonies in accordance with the precepts of one's religion or
          belief;
 
               (i)    To establish and maintain communications with
          individuals and communities in matters of religion and belief at the
          national and international levels.
 
                                  Article 7
 
               The rights and freedoms set forth in the present Declaration
          shall be accorded in national legislation in such a manner that
          everyone shall be able to avail himself of such rights and freedoms
          in practice.
 
                                  Article 8
 
               Nothing in the present Declaration shall be construed as
          restricting or derogating from any right defined in the Universal
          Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenants on Human
          Rights.