This report, the first of its kind yet to be published, provides a detailed and impartial account of how the individual's right to hold beliefs is understood, protected or denied throughout the world. Consisting of accessible, short edited entries based on drafts commissioned from experts living in the countries surveyed, it exposes persecution and discrimination in virtually all world regions. The book:
* provides an analysis of United Nations standards of freedom of religion and belief
* covers over fifty countries, divided into regions and introduced by a regional overview
* covers themes including: the relationships between belief groups and the state; freedom to manifest belief in law and practice; religion and schools; religious minorities; new religious movements; the impact of beliefs on the status of women; and the extent to which conscientious objection to military service is recognised by governments
* draws on examples of accommodation and co-operation between different religions and beliefs and identifies the main challenges to be overcome if the diversity of human conviction is to be established.
Kevin Boyle is a Professor of Law and the Direcotr of hte Human Rights Centre, Univeristy of Essex. He is a Barrister at Law in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and England with considerable experience of international human rights litigation under the European Convention of Human Rights. Juliet Sheen is a Fellow of the Human Rights Centre, Univeristy of Essex. In 1994 she established an independent consultancy in human rights, specialising in the area of freedom of region and belief.
'Formidable. The report is to be commended. While it is underpinned by an agenda the overall coverage is neutral, fair and thorough. The book should be read by anyone interested in issues of freedom of thought and belief, by politicians, and perhaps most of all by religious leaders.' - Martin Hogg, Studies in World Christianity