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Protecting Religious Groups and Communities

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses how international law presently approaches the question of curbing incitement and persecution against collectivities and convention on Genocide. Religious communities are particularly exposed to such attacks and to severe expressions of intolerance that may become illegal, endangering their victims as well as social peace, even when they do not involve violence. Defamation of groups, group libel, or defamation of persons belonging to a certain group, may affect the rights of the individual and the social standing of the entire group to which the individual belongs. The need to protect religious groups from discrimination and persecution is strongly felt today. Discrimination is adequately addressed by international law, although the issue of implementation has not been satisfactorily resolved. The prohibition of racial discrimination has become a peremptory norm of international law, and the trend is to accord the same status to discrimination on religious grounds.

Keywords: Genocide convention; group libel; human rights; International Criminal Law; racial discrimination; religious communities; religious groups



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