Mandated shunning violates fundamental human rights and freedoms
What are human rights?
For our purposes, Human Rights are best described by going to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)—a landmark document adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1948. The UDHR consists of 30 articles articulating all fundamental human rights that should be universally protected.
However, our SIAC initiative is focused on the violation of Articles 3, 5, 7, 12, 18 and 19. The human rights considered in these six Articles are:
Article 3 – Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person;
Article 5 – No one shall be subject to torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment;
Article 7 – All are entitled to protection against discrimination and incitement to discrimination;
Article 12 – No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation;
Article 18 – Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right also includes the freedom to change his religion or belief;
and Article 19 – Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression, this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference.
These six rights (Articles) are embodied in many human rights agreements and have significantly shaped international human rights law. While these articles are not legally binding in and of itself, these specific Articles have inspired the development of legally binding laws in many democratic countries.
Most Western countries have laws that prioritize human rights over organizational rights. In doing so, these laws restrict organizations from taking actions that violate the fundamental rights of their members.
While it doesn’t always happen, religious organizations are expected to operate within the bounds of the law and respect the rights and dignity of individuals, especially children and minors, affected by their actions, and there is a general principle in place where human rights take precedence over religious freedom when there is a conflict between the two.
Our mission is to create legal precedents, one country at a time, that make mandated shunning a violation of these six human rights. Our initial focus will be on exposing violations by six well-known religious groups, in particular, the human rights violations to children and minors.
Included on this page are external links and information related to fundamental human rights:
- Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)
- Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
- International Criminal Law, including the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court
Under International Law, all children and young people are entitled to human rights, dignity, fundamental freedoms, and equality. These rights are enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Lawyers have already shared with SIAC the need to focus on the rights of children as that may lay the foundation for successful challenges to mandated shunning.