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.
On 7th April the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe will vote on a report regarding “the protection of minors against excesses of sects”. The rapporteur Rudy Salles (France) recommends for Europe to adopt the french anti-sect line, in order to protect children from abuses. In the report he juxtaposes the French and the Swedish ways to relate to minority religions and surprisingly finds that the much criticised french anti-sect line with MIVILUDES and FECRIS would be better suited for the future of Europe.
On 10th December 2013, Soteria International co-hosted a conference on the subject of “Freedom of conscience and belief at a crossroads in Europe – self-determination and spiritual teachings”. It is already an established tradition of Soteria International to observe the International Human Rights day by organizing public conferences and roundtables.
Governments are implementing new laws across Europe, claiming to protect citizens from “mind manipulation”. The criminalization targets particularly minority religions and spiritual movements.