2017-0906a

On Wednesday 6 September 2017, the European Platform against Religious Intolerance and Discrimination (EPRID) and Quê Me: Vietnam Committee on Human Rights (VCHR), in collaboration with the office of Ramon Tremosa i Balcells MEP, organised a Conference on “Religion, Business and Human Rights” at the European Parliament.

Speakers included Dr Brian Grim, President of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation (USA); Dr Ján Figel’, Special Envoy on the Promotion and Protection of Freedom of Religion or Belief outside the EU; Amarjit Singh, Partner at Ernst & Young LLP (UK); Michael Wakelin, Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge, and Merete Bilde of the European External Action Service.

The Conference was chaired by MEP Ramon Tremosa i Balcells, moderated by Penelope Faulkner, member of EPRID’s Board of Coordinators and Vice-President of VCHR, and attended by wide diversity of MEPs and staff, diplomats, officials from EU institutions, religious leaders and human rights defenders from the EU and Asia.

Below is a snapshot photo-report of the Conference. We will follow up soon with a more detailed account including conclusions and recommendations.

© European Union 2017

© European Union 2017

© European Union 2017

© European Union 2017

Ramon Tremosa i Balcells MEP, ALDE Coordinator for the EP Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) - © European Union 2017

Ramon Tremosa i Balcells MEP, ALDE Coordinator for the EP Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) – © European Union 2017

“Freedom of Religion or Belief is close to the core of every human being, so that some have argued that religion should be a private matter. So what has the business world to do with this human right? More than you might think!

 

Every day, businesses around the world bring together people from different backgrounds and religions to accomplish a shared purpose – producing a product or service for others. At the same time, societies are becoming more religiously diverse. The Sustainable Development Goals 2030 include several references to diversity and inclusion, and it is widely accepted that diversity will increasingly impact employees and markets. Facilitating this diversity is one component of a company’s overall strategy to value their employees and increase their loyalty for the benefit of customers and shareholders.”

 

Dr Brian Grim, founder and president of the US-based Religious Freedom & Business Foundation - © European Union 2017

Dr Brian Grim, founder and president of the US-based Religious Freedom & Business Foundation – © European Union 2017

Dr. Ján Figel’, Special Envoy for promotion of freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) outside the EU - © European Union 2017

Dr. Ján Figel’, Special Envoy for promotion of freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) outside the EU – © European Union 2017

Merete Bilde, policy advisor at the European External Action Service (EEAS) - © European Union 2017

Merete Bilde, policy advisor at the European External Action Service (EEAS) – © European Union 2017

Michael Wakelin, Executive Associate in Public Education for the Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge, former head of Religion at the BBC - © European Union 2017

Michael Wakelin, Executive Associate in Public Education for the Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge, former head of Religion at the BBC – © European Union 2017

Amarjit Singh, Partner at the company Ernst and Young, wealth and asset management, chair of the Ernst and Young Sikh Network - © VCHR 2017

Amarjit Singh, Partner at the company Ernst and Young, wealth and asset management, chair of the Ernst and Young Sikh Network – © VCHR 2017

Penelope Faulkner, member of EPRID’s Board of Coordinators and Vice-President of VCHR - © European Union 2017

Penelope Faulkner, member of EPRID’s Board of Coordinators and Vice-President of VCHR – © European Union 2017

Penelope Faulkner and Ramon Tremosa MEP - © European Union 2017

Penelope Faulkner and Ramon Tremosa MEP – © European Union 2017

VCHR President Vo Van Ai and Peter Van Dalen MEP, Co-Chair of the European Parliament Intergroup on Freedom of Religion or Belief and Religious Tolerance - © VCHR 2017

VCHR President Vo Van Ai and Peter Van Dalen MEP, Co-Chair of the European Parliament Intergroup on Freedom of Religion or Belief and Religious Tolerance – © VCHR 2017

 

Dr Susan Kerr (far right), member of EPRID’s Board of Coordinators, prepares the conclusions for the Conference - © VCHR 2017

Dr Susan Kerr (far right), member of EPRID’s Board of Coordinators, prepares the conclusions for the Conference – © VCHR 2017

Saumura Tioulong, Member of the Cambodian Parliament, and Sam Rainsy, leader in exile of the Cambodian opposition - © VCHR 2017

Saumura Tioulong, Member of the Cambodian Parliament, and Sam Rainsy, leader in exile of the Cambodian opposition – © VCHR 2017