International Day Remembers Victims of Religious-Based Violence: A Plea for Solidarity and Action

New Delhi, India (10th August 2023)  – As the world observes the International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief on 22nd August, global leaders and human rights advocates unite in a clarion call for societies worldwide to confront the escalating patterns of hate, discrimination, and violence targeting religious and belief minorities.

The increasing digital age has brought about a surge of hate both in the virtual realm and physical world, endangering not only religious groups but also the LGBTQ+ community, with women and girls facing heightened, often sexualized threats. These alarming tendencies have been further magnified by global crises, including the ongoing pandemic, challenges to the rule of law, and various calamities that strain global unity and human rights adherence.

It’s distressing that individuals’ rights to freely choose and peacefully practice their religion are frequently misconstrued as threats to national security. Suppressive anti-blasphemy laws, coupled with racist, misogynistic, and homophobic narratives, pave the way for grave human rights infringements. This includes unlawful killings, abductions, torture, gender-related violence, arbitrary detentions, and widespread discrimination.

In today’s interconnected world, religious ideologies must never serve as pretexts for assault against life, human dignity, and rights. The international community, anchored in the 2030 Development Agenda, is called upon to foster peace, justice, and inclusivity. This entails countering impunity and establishing mechanisms for redress, support, and rehabilitation in the wake of atrocities, grounded in international law.

The collective responsibility of religious leaders, politicians, and society at large in combating hate speech and promoting interfaith and intercultural dialogue is paramount. Drawing inspiration from the UN’s various resolutions and action plans, the global community is reminded of the importance of human rights, respect, reconciliation, and lasting peace.

On this day, particularly in the 40th year since the 1981 UN Declaration against Intolerance and Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief, we pay tribute to all who have suffered or been marginalized for their beliefs. The call is clear: societies and governments must rally together, championing human rights without prejudice.

About the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council:

The Special Rapporteurs, Independent Experts, and Working Groups are integral components of the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. These independent experts, working voluntarily, are not salaried UN staff and operate autonomously from governments or institutions, providing invaluable insights and monitoring on thematic or country-specific human rights concerns.


Kushagra Agarwal

Kushagra is an industrious writer with 3+ years of experience in various sectors including finance, tech, online sports, More »

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