Non-Governmental Organisations

Resolution adopted on 27 January 2011

“Sectarian Excesses and Violations of Human Rights”

The Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe,

Referring to its Recommendation “Sectarian Excesses and Violations of Human Rights” of 27 January 2011,

Observing that the occurrence of sectarian excesses is a cause of infringements of human rights, in particular in the fields of health, education and the respect of private and family life;

Observing that the organisations generating sectarian excesses often act under the cover of freedom of religion and endanger the fundamental freedoms of citizens and consequently constitute a threat to democracy;

Observing that, benefitting from the permeability of borders, the phenomenon is spreading in central and eastern European countries whilst it is not decreasing in the countries of Western Europe;

Observing that to date only two States (Belgium, France) have taken legislative measures to follow up the relevant Recommendations of the Parliamentary Assembly and that some other States (Austria, Germany, Switzerland…) have taken or supported measures of observation and information with regard to sectarian excesses;

Concerned by the fact that the Member States of the Council of Europe have not, to date, taken measures to face the challenge of sectarian excesses, which constitute of attacks on human rights and the basic principles of any democratic society;

Instructs its Bureau

    to ensure follow-up to its recommendation “Sectarian Excesses and Violations of Human Rights” and to report back regularly on progress;

Instructs its Human Rights Committee

    to submit a report on the state of the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights with regard to affairs involving organisations generating sectarian excesses;

Invites the INGOs enjoying participatory status with the Council of Europe

      to be more vigilant with regard to the phenomenon of sectarian excesses in general, and amongst other things, to their sources of funding, and to be attentive to the concerns of their national and local branches in this respect;

      to raise awareness among people working in the fields of formal and non-formal education, health, child and family protection with regard to the phenomena of sectarian excesses;

      to make the media aware of the danger of being used by organisations generating sectarian excesses.