Andrzej Owca participated in the 40th Session of Human Rights Council and contributed to the process through Joint Oral Statements. This Joint Oral Statement highlighted the need for giving sufficient attention to the situation of freedom of religion or belief, during UPR cycles.
40th Session of the UN Human Rights Council
Agenda Item 6, General Debate
Joint Statement: Christian Solidarity Worldwide and World Evangelical Alliance, Alliance Defending Freedom, Centre for Inquiry, Jubilee Campaign, The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, Coordination des Associations et des Particuliers pour la Liberté de Conscience (CAP Freedom of Conscience), VIVAT International, National Council of Jewish Women.
Speaker: Claire Denman
Thank you Mr President,
CSW together with the World Evangelical Alliance and seven other organisations with consultative status[i] wishes to take this opportunity to highlight the fact that the situation of freedom of religion or belief continues to receive insufficient attention during Universal Periodic Review cycles.
While we welcome UPR-info’s statistics which show that 78 states have so far raised the right to FoRB during the third cycle, we call on member states to ensure that recommendations given are SMART – specific, measurable, and time-bound enough to enable an assessment of implementation over the four and a half year reporting period.
While it would not be expected that recommendations relating to FoRB would be made for every country, the World Evangelical Alliance estimates that SMART recommendations relating to FoRB only account for 1.6% of all recommendations made to 47 states of particular concern where violations of, and restrictions on FoRB persist.
For example, despite evidence of continuing violations, during the last UPR cycle Cuba only received four recommendations pertaining to FoRB, none of which were meaningful or specific. Somalia, Yemen, Turkmenistan, Libya and Belarus received either one or no meaningful FoRB recommendations.
We call on member states to pay greater attention to the situation of FoRB around the world and to ensure recommendations are formulated to adequately address violations.
We also remain concerned that states continue to fail to implement accepted recommendations relating to FoRB. We urge member states to ensure the UPR process is not undermined by states that accept recommendations only to defer implementation indefinitely. Accountability is key to ensuring the process retains its integrity.
 UPR-info, Database of Statistics, Freedom of Religion or Belie in the Third Cycle, https://www.upr-info.org/database/statistics/index_issues.php?fk_issue=18&cycle=3
 World Evangelical Alliance, “UPR Responsiveness to Violations of the Right to Freedom of Religion”, 8 February 2019
[i] Final list of signatories (NGOs with ECOSOC Consultative Status):
Alliance Defending Freedom
Centre for Inquiry
Christian Solidarity Worldwide
Coordination des Associations et des Particuliers pour la Liberté de Conscience (CAP Freedom of Conscience)
National Council of Jewish Women
The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention
World Evangelical Alliance