Pursuant to §10 of the General Assembly Resolution 66/167 invitation to provide input for the Secretary General’s forthcoming report on steps taken by States to combat intolerance, negative stereotyping, stigmatization and discrimination based on religion or belief, CAP provides the following report regarding the French policy on minorities of religion or belief in France that needs to be changed to effectively implement the Resolution.

Stigmatization of Minorities of Religion or Belief within the School System

The Inter-ministerial Mission of Vigilance and Fight against Sectarian Drifts (MIVILUDES), placed directly under the Prime Minister in France, has set in place a policy that directly contradicts Article 18.4 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (the “Covenant”) which provides:

4. The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to have respect for the liberty of parents and, when applicable, legal guardians to ensure the religious and moral education of their children in conformity with their own convictions.

For years, France has had a policy of stigmatization and negative stereotyping of minorities of religion or belief it first labeled as “sects” or, since a Prime Minister Decree of 2005 prohibiting such practice, now labels as “sectarian movements”. This derogatory classification corresponds to the improper assessment of religion or beliefs and the consideration that some of them are “deviant”.

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