EU Foreign Policy failing to protect human rights, particularly freedoms of religion or belief

The European Parliament Intergroup on freedom of religion or belief launches critical Annual Report. Report finds that global restrictions (in 53 countries) to freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) have continued to be severely restricted in the world, and proposes recommendations for EU foreign policy.

Co-Chairman Peter van Dalen MEP:

“Our beliefs are at the core of our human dignity – tragically, however, today not everyone enjoys the freedom to hold and manifest their beliefs. We have witnessed the near extinction of Christians in Iraq and Syria; a 150% rise in violent faith-related incidents in Inida since 2014; and in Pakistan the injustice of Asia Bibi’s death sentence for blasphemy continues. In this report we outline practical recommendations for how the EU can act to help find solutions to cases like these. Freedoms of religion or belief must be higher on the EU’s agenda.

Co-chair Dennis de Jong MEP:

“Regrettably, we observe that the EU, in its external actions, continuously compromises its human rights agenda in favour of a more economic and geopolitical agenda. We have witnessed a concerning lack of expertise and knowledge on the EU Guidelines – especially in EU delegations. I am particularly disappointed that no reporting was undertaken for the focal countries that appeared in our report last year, and urge the EEAS to rectify this for focal countries this year.”

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