Proclamation on Religion, Human Rights and Society

Church of Scientology
Proclamation on Religion, Human Rights and Society

Children's Rights

11. The rights of every child must be ensured and protected without discrimination of any kind, irrespective of the child's or his or her parents' or legal guardians' race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, property, disability, birth or other status.

12. Educational institutions must actively and with sincerity promote a culture of minority and ideological tolerance in schools. They should ensure that religious, racial and ethnic minorities are portrayed in a favourable light in educational literature through the creation of materials and courses that celebrate pluralism and diversity.

Church and State Relations

13. Church and state should be separate. Yet, without imposing any belief system, religious institutions and the state should work together to resolve the core problems afflicting society. Religious organisations have a right and a responsibility to engage in good works that benefit and improve society.

14. In this age of intercontinental travel and instantaneous international communications, multicultural societies are our destiny. Different religious, racial and ethnic groups must learn to respect one another and live in peace and friendship. Where division occurs between different segments of the community, religious organisations should unite to help bridge the barriers and resolve the conflict.

Freedom of Speech and Open Government

15. Freedom of opinion and expression are at the heart of democracy. Everyone has the right to hold opinions without interference and the right to freedom of expression, which includes the freedom to discover, receive and disseminate information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally or through any media of his or her choice. No one may be subjected to any sort of restraint, disadvantage or sanction because of his or her expression, opinions or beliefs.

16. States should adhere to the Johannesburg Principles on National Security, Freedom of Expression and Access to Information. Public institutions should be easily accessible to the citizen. Open government is a curative for excessive secrecy and a bulwark against corruption. Considerations of national security must not be abused as an excuse to deny citizens the opportunity to access and scrutinize the actions of their government.

17. The rule of law, fairness and justice are undermined by false information and hate propaganda concerning minority groups and their members. States should endeavour to retain only accurate, neutral and necessary information on individuals and organisations. Every person should have reasonable access to information concerning them retained by governments. When that information is found to be false, every person should have a right to ensure that it is corrected.

Freedom from Inhumane Treatment

18. No person should be executed. States should abolish capital punishment. One innocent person wrongly executed is one too many.

19. No person should ever be forced to undergo electric shock treatment, psychosurgery, or the enforced administration of mind altering drugs. States should outlaw such abuses.

Democracy and Peace

20. Totalitarian regimes are unacceptable as they systematically deny human rights and seek to suppress fundamental freedoms. Intergovernmental organisations, democratic states, religious and human rights organisations should work with individuals and organisations in these countries to campaign to peacefully restore democratic principles and values in totalitarian states.

21. War is not the answer. In the nuclear age, we simply cannot afford armed conflict to resolve national or international disputes. Conflict resolution through duly constituted and recognised institutions, diplomacy and dialogue represent vastly superior means to resolve disputes short of war, and should be the primary tools used by the United Nations and the international community to avoid armed conflict. Religions must work together in harmony to promote dialogue, peace, and tolerance, thereby creating an environment of trust and understanding capable of resolving differences that historically have fostered war and hatred.

22. Democracy is the best form of government devised. It outlaws tyranny and relegates government to the service of the group rather than the group to the service of government. Citizens should be encouraged to participate in civic affairs and engage in the process of governance through voting and petitioning their government for reforms and redress of grievances. The true quality of a democracy is manifested by how a government affords full and equal rights to minorities.

Proclaimed and issued this day, 17 September 2003, in celebration of the Grand Opening of the Church of Scientology International's European Office for Public Affairs and Human Rights, rue de la Loi, 91, Brussels.

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