Promotion of Freedom of Religion or Belief

22nd February 2021
Author: Idris Iffat

Freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) is a fundamental human right. However, the general global trend in recent years is towards increased FoRB violations by both government and non-government actors. Notable exceptions are Sudan and Uzbekistan, which have shown significant improvement in promoting FoRB, while smaller-scale positive developments have been seen in a number of other countries. The international community is increasingly focusing on FoRB. External actors can help promote FoRB through monitoring and reporting, applying external pressure on governments (and to a lesser extent non-government entities), and through constructive engagement with both government and non-government actors. The literature gives recommendations for how each of these approaches can be effectively applied. This review is largely based on grey (and some academic) literature as well as recent media reports. The evidence base was limited by the fact that so few countries have shown FoRB improvements, but there was wider literature on the role that external actors can play. The available literature was often gender blind (typically only referring to women and girls in relation to FoRB violations) and made negligible reference to persons with disabilities.

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Suggested Citation

Idris, I. (2021). Promotion of freedom of religion or belief. K4D Helpdesk Report 958. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies.DOI:10.19088/K4D.2021.036


22nd February 2021


Continent: Africa, Asia

Country: Sudan, Uzbekistan