The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has passed a resolution to accommodate religious beliefs and safeguard Christians and members of other faiths in their employment.
In a resolution passed in April, it called on the 47 member states to accommodate religious beliefs in the public sphere, by guaranteeing freedom of thought in relation to health care, education and the civil service, provided that the rights of others to be free from discrimination are respected and that access to lawful services is guaranteed.
In a move that Andrea Minichiello Williams, head of the Christian Legal Centre, called ‘good news’, the resolution also called on nation states to ‘ensure the right to well-defined conscientious objection, in relation to morally sensitive matters’.
A CLC statement said, ‘This is good news, which should help countries such as the UK which are seeking the adoption of “reasonable accommodation” as a sensible means of resolving growing instances of “clash of rights” cases involving Christian identity’.
This resolution follows some high-profile cases that CLC has brought to the European Court of Human Rights. These cases were mentioned in the report prepared for the parliamentary debate.
Ms Williams, CLC standing counsel Paul Diamond and client Gary McFarlane all spoke at the event.