Today in Brussels we launched the fifth edition of the Freedom of Thought Report. And in a huge change this year the report is no longer primarily a downloadable PDF.
We have been busy building an online system so that each country in the world now has its own individual page on this website. See the Country Index for the full list. The ratings system is database-driven so that each individual country’s rating table is interactive and links back to the full Ratings System page – where you can learn more about our innovative assessment methodology. World maps of the report’s summary findings and an open data platform are also available.
In the foreword to the 2016 edition, the newly appointed UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Dr Ahmed Shaheed, said that “narrowly defined views on religious freedom” were letting the non-religious down. He describes several of the cases covered in the report and says: “The IHEU report is an important reminder that the right to freedom from religion or belief is as fundamental as the right to freedom of religion, and that the same human right protects freedom of non-religious thought and non-religious belief as well; and that for some humanists, atheists, free-thinkers and the unconcerned the protection of this right can mean the difference between life and death.”
At the launch event today, the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) was hosted by the European Parliamentary Intergroup on Freedom of Religion or Belief at the European Parliament in Brussels. Dennis de Jong MEP, chair of the Intergroup, welcomed the report saying “It is because of reports like this that we are able to do our jobs [as MEPs]” and “to be more vigilant”. Agreeing with the foreword by Dr Shaheed, he said that the Intergroup itslef “learned a lot from the Report” and would be raising the Report with the European Union’s External Action Service. Miltiadis Kyrkos MEP praised the IHEU’s work and the innovative methodology and development of the Report into its new online format.
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