[Human Rights] HRC 25th Session, Human Rights Bodies and Mechanisms
Thank you, Mr. President,
Austria welcomes this occasion to exchange views on the work of the human rights bodies and expert mechanisms of the Human Rights Council and would like to focus its intervention on the Report of the Forum on Minority Issues. We would like to thank the Independent Expert for the presentation of the informative report related to the last session of the Forum which was devoted to the rights of persons belonging to religious minorities.
Given the rising hostility, discrimination and attacks against members of religious minorities, the session was very timely. We welcome the recommendations contained in the report and appreciate that the term religious minorities used in the report encompasses a broad range of religious or belief communities, traditional and non-traditional as well as recently established faith or belief groups that seek protection of their rights under minority rights standards. In this context, we would like to ask the Independent Expert about her views on how to best to follow-up on the recommendations.
Another key element of the discussion of the last session of the Forum was the recognition of diversity within minority religious groups. We all have to recognise that there are different realities, needs and views within religious minority groups. This especially applies to the situation of women and girls belonging to religious minorities. They often face multiple, aggravated and intersecting forms of discrimination in the course of their interactions within and outside their group. Therefore it is essential that the rights of every single member of such minority groups are fully respected. In this context, we would be grateful to have an update by the Independent Expert on her follow-up to the recommendations of the session of the Forum which was devoted to the rights of women and girls belonging to minorities.
Again last year, the Forum provided once again an important platform for promoting dialogue and cooperation on issues pertaining to persons belonging to minorities and profited from the widespread participation of stakeholders. We all have to ensure that the recommendations made during the Forum which are action-oriented and aimed at increasing the role of religious minorities, will also be duly taken into account by all relevant actors. In this context, we would highly appreciate more information on future topics to be discussed by the Forum and how the Independent Expert envisages integrating the recommendations into her work, including during country visits.
I thank you.