Note by the Secretary-General
The Secretary-General has the honour to transmit to the members of the General Assembly the interim report of the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Heiner Bielefeldt, submitted in accordance with General Assembly resolution 66/168.
71. With regard to the area of school education, the Special Rapporteur recommends that:
(a) States should ensure that when attending school, children are not exposed to religious instruction against their will or against the will of their parents or legal guardians, respectively. Moreover, no child should be at risk of being pressured to attend religious ceremonies or rituals in school against their will or against the will of their parents or guardians. In this regard, particular attention should be given to the situation of children of converts and members of religious or belief minorities;
(b) States should ensure that school curriculums, when providing information on religious or belief-related issues, contribute to the elimination of negative stereotypes and prejudices against converts and persons or groups engaged in non-coercive missionary activities. This should also be a guiding consideration for assessing the quality of textbooks used in schools;
(c) States should prescribe, organize and provide training for teachers to sensitize them about the particular needs and challenges of children of converts and children from religious minorities in the school situation.
READ THE REPORT