Il 9 e il 10 luglio si terrà a Vienna una riunione speciale dell’Organizzazione per la Sicurezza e la Cooperazione in Europa (OSCE), organizzata dall’ODIHR (l’ufficio per le istituzioni democratiche e i diritti umani) sulla libertà di religione e di convinzione, riunione richiesta con insistenza dalla EHF-FHE (Federazione Umanista Europea), di cui anche l’UAAR fa parte. Ambasciatrice della EHF-FHE presso l’OSCE è Vera Pegna, socia UAAR e già vicesegretaria dell’associazione. Poiché tutte le associazioni della società civile possono inviare raccomandazioni da sottoporre a capi di stato e di governo, anche l’UAAR ha inviato la sua:
UAAR – The Italian Union of Rationalist Atheists and Agnostics is concerned by the invasive presence of the Catholic religion, its hierarchy and its dogmas in Italian public life. This runs counter our democratic society based on the rule of law and is a source of discrimination against non-believers and citizens belonging to religions different from the prevailing one.
Mindful of the commitments of OSCE member states to “ensure the effective equality between believers and non-believers” (Vienna Concluding document).
UAAR recommends that:
– public media devote the same amount of time to secularist life-stances as they do to the Catholic religion;
– no religion or religious teaching in state schools be financed by public funds.
Le osservazioni UAAR si aggiungono a quelle già formulate dalla EHF-FHE:
Human rights instruments invariably refer to freedom of religion or belief, where belief includes not only religious but also non-religious beliefs such as Humanism, and freedom includes the freedom to reject any or all religions and beliefs.
Regrettably, in legislation, policy documents and speeches Governments commonly adopt exclusive and discriminatory language, referring only to freedom of religion, religious education, religious discrimination or religious hatred, ignoring the existence of non-religious people, implicitly suggesting their unimportance and potentially limiting their rights.
EHF therefore recommends that Governments take care always to use language inclusive of the whole spectrum of beliefs, and that OSCE monitors official use of exclusive language and draws it to the attention of offending Governments.
The EHF expresses its deep appreciation to OSCE/ODIHR for pursuing the advancement of FoRB and reaffirms its inseparable link with the rule of law and with the other fundamental freedoms and human rights.
Mindful of the widespread de jure and de facto discrimination against non-believers in western European member states, EHF recalls that: “It is very common for legislation not to protect adequately (or not to refer at all to) rights of non-believers. Although not all beliefs are entitled to equal protection, legislation should be reviewed for discrimination against non-believers”, (2004 Guidelines for Review of Legislation Pertaining to Freedom of Religion or Belief, p.8).
In the light of the above opinion, EHF recommends that:
OSCE/ODIHR address the situation of humanists and of non-believers generally in member states;
governments refrain from discriminatory practices against humanists and non-believers in general;
the Advisory Panel of experts on FoRB issue guidelines on best legislation for ensuring equal treatment of believers and of humanists and non-believers in general as well as of their representative organisations.
Mindful of the right of the child to freedom of thought, conscience and religion (Convention on the Rights of the Child) and of the OSCE’s ‘Toledo Guiding Principles on Teaching about Religions and Beliefs in Public Schools”, the EHF notes that nonetheless non-religious lifestances continue to be marginalised in the curricula of most public schools in contrast with religious lifestances.
In light of the above, EHF recommends that public schools which include religion in their curricula should also teach about non-religious lifestances, that no religious or non-religious lifestance should be taught as the correct one but that all such education should be done factually and objectively so as to help the child to make its own choice of beliefs. Where there is an option of education in a particular lifestance, the humanist lifestance must be one option alongside the religions.