Religious discrimination - an introduction

Below are select introductory materials on religious discrimination.  Further reports from a wide range of sources are in the "Religious discrimination" section of our site.

Key international standards

Universal Declaration of Human Rights: articles 2, 7 and 18

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: articles 2, 18 and 26

UN Human Rights Committee, General Comments 18 and 22

International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: article 2.2

International Labour Organization (ILO) Tripartite Declaration of Principles Concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy [PDF]: articles 21-23

ILO Convention 111: Convention Concerning Discrimination in Respect of Employment and Occupation

ILO Declaration on Fundamental Rights and Principles at Work: article 2(d)

Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities: articles 2, 3 and 4

Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief

Key reports & guidance

Global Report on Equality at Work [PDF], ILO, May 2007

Best Practices for Eradicating Religious Discrimination in the Workplace, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, July 2008

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Related stories and components

22 April 2019

South Africa: Court rules in favour of employee dismissed from TDF Network Africa over religious beliefs

Author: The Saturday Star & IOL

"Adventist wins case against former employer over working on Sabbath", 13 April 2019....

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12 March 2009

Kazakh worker defends his right to have a beard

Author: Anvar Raimov, Central Asia Online

The Aktobe City Court has ruled that Talgat Kyrkymbai who was fired for having a beard must be allowed to return to work…This was the first time a lawsuit had been filed in Kazakhstan for workplace discrimination related to religious beliefs. Kyrkymbai...

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23 February 2009

Headscarf Award for fighting discrimination [Netherlands]

Author: Karima Idrissi, Radio Netherlands Worldwide

Dutch supermarket chain Dirk van den Broek has been presented with the first Headscarf Award. According to the jury report the company has made the most effort to get the headscarf accepted in the workplace. Major Dutch companies like ABN Amro and...

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15 June 2008

Disney sued by Sikh over worker dress code [USA]

Author: Economic Times [India]

A turban-wearing Sikh who was allegedly sacked by Walt Disney World for lacking the "Disney look" has sued the company for$1 million claiming he was discriminated against because of his religion. Sukhbir Channa, 24, a practicing Sikh who wears a turban...

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8 January 2008

BA worker 'speechless' after losing cross case [UK]

Author: Times [UK]

A British Airways worker suspended for wearing a Christian cross said she was “very disappointed” at losing her claim for religious discrimination. Nadia Eweida…took her case to an employment tribunal after complaining that a manager banned her from...

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11 September 2007

6 Years After Sept. 11, Muslims See More Inclusive Workplaces [USA]

Author: Yoji Cole, DiversityInc [USA]

After the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, many American Muslims encountered increased hostility in the workplace, both overt and subtle. But that has changed in the last few years, as more corporations have become increasingly aware of the need...

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1 November 2005

[PDF] full report: "The Business Case for Diversity - Good Practices in the Workplace"

Author: European Commission

[with good practice case studies on Adecco, Air Products, Bertelsmann, BT, COCO-MAT, Danfoss, Deutsche Bank, Deutsche Telekom, Dublin Bus, Ford, Goldman Sachs, Grupo Vips, IBM, Manchalan, Randstad Belgium, Shell, Tesco, TNT (part of TPG), Volvo Group]

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13 January 2004

Workplace Intolerance Rises for Muslims After Sept. 11

Author: Pepi Sappal, in Career Journal

Since Sept 11, 2001, life for a consultant in the customer-sales and services department at a well-known U.S. telecommunications firm in Maryland has been unbearable. Not only has he received e-mails defamatory to Islam, but his prayer rug has been...

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24 November 2003

Mary Kay Inc. Discontinues Use of Pledge in China that Cites Falun Gong as ‘Illegal’

Author: Falun Dafa Information Center

Mary Kay Inc. has discontinued the use of a pledge that workers in China were required to sign, which categorized Falun Gong as “illegal”...Mary Kay’s letter came three days after [three] Congresspersons...admonish[ed] the company for its use of the...

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