Report of the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief on the elimination of all forms of religious intolerance: Citizenship issues and religious discrimination in administrative procedures

Published: 22/Juil/2008
Source: UN General Assembly



The Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief submits the present report to the General Assembly pursuant to its resolution 62/157. In the report, she gives an overview of the activities carried out under the mandate since the submission of her previous report to the Assembly (A/62/280 and Corr.1), including her recent visits to Angola, India, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

The Special Rapporteur addresses citizenship issues and religious discrimination in administrative procedures, a cross-cutting substantive topic of her mandate. After providing an overview of the pertinent State practice and domestic legislation, she examines the applicable international legal standards and case law. She notes that while most States do not openly discriminate on the basis of religion with respect to citizenship issues and in administrative procedures, there are instances where State practice or domestic legislation is inconsistent with human rights standards. In particular, she is concerned about the denial or deprivation of citizenship based on a person’s religious affiliation; compulsory mentioning of selected religions on official identity cards or passports; requirements to denounce a particular faith when applying for official documents; and restricted eligibility for State functions for persons of certain faiths.

The Special Rapporteur presents conclusions and recommendations with regard to citizenship issues and administrative procedures in the context of her mandate. She emphasizes that the legitimate interests of the State have to be balanced on a case-by-case basis with the individual’s freedom of religion or belief, also taking into account his or her right to privacy, liberty of movement, right to nationality and the principle of non-discrimination. She highlights some aspects that may help to determine whether certain restrictions on the right to freedom of religion or belief in the context of citizenship issues and administrative procedures are in contravention of human rights law.

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Themes: Acquisition de la nationalité, Discrimination, Ethnique/Raciale/Religieuse
Regions: International
Year: 2008