Human Rights

Over a quarter (26%) feels that religion restricts the rights of women in their country and ranked LGBT as the group least protected in their country

How can young people make religion a force for good?

  • Religion as an influence on human rights abuses
  • Persecution because of religion
  • Promoting and increasing interfaith dialogue

Religion plays a positive role in many societies. Too often, extreme or misguided interpretations of religion can lead to human rights abuses. Nation states may be responsible through public policy or through state-driven religious discrimination. Uganda’s anti-gay laws and the divisive intolerance sowed by many blasphemy law cases in Pakistan are a case in point. Societies also bear responsibility, with the scourge of female genital mutilation now well-known and finally being addressed across many African and Asian communities.

At its best, society may benefit from a strong set of values inspired by many faiths and the influence they have on promoting moderate and moral attitudes and behaviour.  But only 37% of the One Young World community thought religion is a force for good in the world. Over a quarter (26%) feels that religion restricts the rights of women in their country and ranked LGBT as the group least protected in their country.  Without religion local and international relations would be undeniably different. Ways of promoting interfaith dialogue to foster understanding and tolerance is at the heart of how to enrich global relationships and challenge human rights abuses in the name of religion.