The United Nations is an important stage for our initiatives. The Fighting Discrimination Program was formed in the aftermath of the 2001 Durban UN World Conference Against Racism, and we welcomed the outcome document of the Durban Review Conference in 2009 (see our statement). We regularly engage with the Special Rapporteur on Racism, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), and increasingly the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
In March 2010, Human Rights First helped achieve a landmark victory at the U.N. Human Rights Council when its members adopted a groundbreaking resolution that seeks to address violence, discrimination and incitement to religious hatred without reference to the controversial notion of “defamation of religions.” The move marks an important shift away from efforts at the U.N. to create an international blasphemy code. To find out what that would mean in reality, read our report—Blasphemy Laws Exposed—about the consequences of criminalizing “defamation of religions.”