UK Parliament Considers Call for UN International Day Commemorating Victims & Survivors of Religious Persecution

LONDON – British MP (Member of Parliament), Fiona Bruce tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM 1478) on 03 July 2018 proposing that the UK develop better mechanisms for tracking incidents of religious persecution and that it develop “strategic action plans” to prevent the escalation of those incidents into “mass atrocities.”

Further, the motion calls upon the UK government to support a proposal that the United Nations establish an International Day Commemorating the Victims and Survivors of Religious Persecution.

The motion reads:

That this House is concerned about growing religious persecution of minority groups worldwide, which may amount to crimes against humanity, war crimes or even genocide;

calls on the Government to better track such violations of the right to freedom of religion or belief and to consider developing strategic action plans to address such incidents before they reach the threshold of mass atrocities; and further

calls on the Government to support a proposal for the establishment of an annual International Day Commemorating the Victims and Survivors of Religious Persecution, and to support the tabling of a UN General Assembly resolution for this, the proposed date being the 3 August each year.

The August 3rd date is suggested to coincide with the date that ISIS began its genocidal campaigns again the Yazidis in Sinjar, Christians, and others in Iraq. The initial incident occurred in 2014 and has come to be known as the Sinjar Massacre in which the United Nations has estimated that 5,000 Yazidi citizens were killed. Another 500,000 Yazidis fled to avoid the conflict. Thousands of women were kidnapped. The attack on the Yazidis in the Nineveh province brought about the American-led intervention in Iraq and the coalition

An Early Day Motion is “a formal motion submitted for debate in the House of Commons . . . EDMs allow MPs to draw attention to an event or a cause. The motions can range from wisdom to whimsy. Like many bills introduced in the U.S. Congress, many never reach the floor for consideration.

As of the writing of this report, 14 MPs have become signatories of the motion, indicating their support.

MP Bruce said her hope was to “engage the UN and its member states to strengthen their efforts to address religious persecution around the world.”

The UK also announced the official appointment of a Special Envoy on Freedom of Religion or Belief.


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