Soteria International & Coordination of Associations and Individuals for Freedom of Conscience (CAP) invite you to our upcoming conference, hosted at the OSCE HDIM 2018:

How Universal is “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights”?

Globalization underline that the UDHR is often applied relative to regional culture, rather than securing universal principles. Especially when it comes to Freedom of Thought, Religion or Belief we find how cultural bias influence policy and law-making. What one considers a religious practice – such as devotional work in monastery – others consider criminality – in this case human trafficking.

Often it passes as a non-regrettable consequence of natural differences between one culture and another. Still, what may pass as normal when it comes to cultural norms, must still be questioned when presented within the framework of human rights, claiming to be universal.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is based on converging and finding common ground between different cultures. However well accomplished, Mrs Roosevelt’s project never sought a base for Universality other than an estimation from a fixed position in time and space.

CAP, Church of Scietology, EMISCO, FOB, FOREF will be together with Soteria International in debating the Universality of UDHR.

In this 70th anniversary of the UDHR, we propose to explore another approach to Universality from a principle basis, rather than a mere estimated one. Could we dare to pursue universal principles when it comes to thought, conscience and belief? Would we dare to explore and define the principles at the base of any religion? Would such principles help to differ the religious human expression from a non-religious?

The daring perspective may seem new, but are there not general principles on what science is? Our NGOs suggest a joint exploration of actually defining what we intuitively hold as true – that behind all religions is the same set of universal principles, dressed in different cultural robes. Assuming that universal principles are at the core of human nature, what direction would that have on discussing the Universality of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?

During the side event we will present some examples of the provinciality of the how the UDHR is applied today, and open a discussion on if and how Human Rights could be directed on a basis of universal principles.


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