Aims and Objectives

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The Oslo Coalition on Freedom of Religion or Belief 1

is an international network of representatives from religious and other life-stance communities, NGOs, international organizations and research institutes.

The Oslo Coalition works to advance freedom of religion or belief (FORB) as a common benefit that is accepted and embraced by all religions and persuasions. Drawing on and promoting the internationally accepted human rights standards on FORB, the Coalition works to promote mutual understanding and cooperation between communities of different persuasions and to hinder injustice, intolerance and distrust springing from religious differences.

The Oslo Coalition seeks to bring about a spectrum of changes, from attitudes and understanding at the “soft” end of the scale, to changes in and the proper implementation of the law at the “hard” end of the scale. The Coalition aims to empower our partners in target areas through the increase of knowledge and skills. The Oslo Coalition and its partners publish reports and develop educational methods, curricula and handbooks. The resulting products are translated into many languages

The Oslo Coalition seeks to promote plurality through the building of networks and facilitation of cooperative processes, projects and dialogues on freedom of religion and belief. The Coalition thus focuses on collaboration through interreligious conferences and the sharing of resources, knowledge and experience. The Coalition also supports practical interfaith cooperation at local, regional and national levels. Using its powerful networking possibilities the Oslo Coalition also facilitates solid and representative processes aimed at creating human rights based codes of conduct or ethical guidelines in sensitive thematic areas.

The Oslo Coalition was established by the participants of the Oslo Conference on Freedom of Religion or Belief, which was held in August 1998 in the context of the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The activities of the Oslo Coalition are based on the Oslo Declaration on Freedom of Religion or Belief, aims-and-objectives which was adopted by the Conference, and was signed by leaders of all major Norwegian faith communities in 2001.

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