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The protection of minors against excesses of sects

Doc. 13441: collection of written amendments | Doc. 13441 | Final version

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ADraft Resolution

1The Parliamentary Assembly underlines the commitment of the Council of Europe to a policy for the protection of minors, which has led to the adoption of a number of conventions in this area, including the Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (CETS No. 201), the Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (CETS No. 197) and the European Convention on the Exercise of Children’s Rights (ETS No. 160).

01 April 2014

Tabled by the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development

Votes: 19 in favor 25 against 4 abstentions

In the draft resolution, paragraph 1, replace the word "minors" with the word "children".

01 April 2014

Tabled by the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development

Votes: 34 in favor 7 against 9 abstentions

In the draft resolution, at the end of the paragraph 1, add the following words: ", and which may be relevant where the excesses of sects lead to exploitation and abuse of or trafficking in children or to disregard for their rights in the framework of judicial proceedings."

09 April 2014

Tabled by Mr Jim DOBBIN, Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Sir Alan MEALE, Sir Jeffrey DONALDSON, Mr Joe BENTON

Votes: 42 in favor 4 against 5 abstentions

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 1, insert the following paragraph:

"The Assembly is particularly concerned about the protection of minors, in particular minors who belong to religious minorities. It is committed to a policy for respect for freedom of religion or belief as stated in Article 9 of the European Convention for Human Rights and condemns intolerance and discrimination against children on grounds of religion or belief, in particular in the education system."

10 April 2014

Tabled by the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights

In amendment 41, at the end of the first sentence, after the words "belong to religious minorities", insert the following words: "including sects".

09 April 2014

Tabled by Mr Jim DOBBIN, Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Sir Alan MEALE, Sir Jeffrey DONALDSON, Mr Joe BENTON

Votes: 18 in favor 32 against 3 abstentions

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 1, insert the following paragraph:

"The Council of Europe is also committed to a policy for the protection of rights mentioned in Article 2 of the additional protocol of the European Convention on Human Rights to respect the rights of parents to ensure that their children are raised and educated in conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions. The Assembly has expressed concern regarding discrimination that may arise from unnecessary restrictions on the rights of parents to raise and educate their children in conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions. The Parliamentary Assembly therefore recalls Recommendation 1720 (2005) on education and religion, Recommendation 1396 (1999) on religion and democracy, Resolution 1928 (2013) on safeguarding human rights in relation to religion and belief and protecting religious communities from violence (particularly paragraph 9.11) and Resolution 1904 (2012) on the right to freedom of choice in education in Europe."

2The Assembly itself has adopted texts on child protection and welfare, including Recommendation 1551 (2002) “Building a 21st century society with and for children: follow-up to the European Strategy for children (Recommendation 1286 (1996))”, Resolution 1530 (2007) and Recommendation 1778 (2007) “Child victims: stamping out all forms of violence, exploitation and abuse” and Resolution 1952 (2013) and Recommendation 2023 (2013) on children’s right to physical integrity.
3The Assembly is particularly concerned about the influence which sect-like movements can have on minors, given the latter’s vulnerability. It strongly condemns the “excesses of sects”, namely acts which have the purpose or effect of creating, maintaining or exploiting a state of psychological or physical submission in an individual, causing harm to that individual or for society. Such excesses may cause human rights violations, particularly in terms of the health, physical and psychological integrity, schooling and social and emotional development of minors, who are often removed from their family environment and/or cut off from any outside contact.

09 April 2014

Tabled by Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Mr Viorel-Riceard BADEA, Mr Cezar Florin PREDA, Ms Ana GUŢU, Mr Johann WADEPHUL

Votes: 46 in favor 0 against 7 abstentions

In the draft resolution, paragraphs 3, 5, 6.2, 6.6, 6.7 et 6.8, replace the words "excesses of" by the following words: "violations of the law by".

Explanatory note

The word "excesses" is not defined and it it would, it could only amount to "violations of the law", in order to be on conformity with all the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights and other relevant instruments protecting the equal and inalienable rights of all human beings.

09 April 2014

Tabled by Lord Donald ANDERSON, Mr Brian BINLEY, Mr Joe BENTON, Sir Jeffrey DONALDSON, Mr Jim DOBBIN

Votes: 16 in favor 27 against 9 abstentions

In the draft resolution, paragraphs 3, 5, 6.1, 6.3, 6.6, 6.8 and 7, replace the word "sect[s]" with the folowing words: "religious, esoterical and spiritual groups".

09 April 2014

Tabled by Mr Jim DOBBIN, Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Sir Alan MEALE, Sir Jeffrey DONALDSON, Mr Joe BENTON

If adopted, amendments 3, 4, 10 falls.

Votes: 18 in favor 27 against 6 abstentions

In the draft resolution, delete paragraph 3.

09 April 2014

Tabled by Mr Brian BINLEY, Lord Donald ANDERSON, Sir Jeffrey DONALDSON, Mr Joe BENTON, Mr Jim DOBBIN

If adopted, amendments 3, 4, 10 falls.

Votes: 28 in favor 13 against 10 abstentions

In the draft resolution, replace paragraph 3 with the following paragraph:

"The Assembly is concerned when any minors are abused in any way. It is vital that existing legislation be firmly applied and that this is done within the context of respecting the rights of children and their parents in line with articles 9 and 14 of the European Convention of Human Rights and the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights."

09 April 2014

Tabled by Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Mr Viorel-Riceard BADEA, Mr Cezar Florin PREDA, Ms Ana GUŢU, Mr Johann WADEPHUL

If adopted, amendments 3, 4 falls. Falls if amendments 43, 33 are adopted.

In the draft resolution, replace paragraph 3 with the following paragraph:

"The Assembly has been alerted about the influence which religious, esoteric or spiritual movements could be able to have on minors, given the latter's vulnerability. It strongly condemns any "excesses" by these movements as well as excesses in general. If confirmed, it is understood that such excesses could cause human rights violations, particularly in terms of the health, physical and psychological integrity, schooling and social development of minors, when they are removed from their family environment and/or cut off from any outside contact."

01 April 2014

Tabled by the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development

Falls if amendments 43, 33, 10 are adopted.

In the draft resolution, paragraph 3, after the words "given the latter’s vulnerability", add the following words: "or the lack of vigilance of parents and families who in certain cases either draw their children into sect-like movements or have not been capable of shielding them from such movements."

01 April 2014

Tabled by the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development

Falls if amendments 43, 33, 10 are adopted.

In the draft resolution, change the order of the first three paragraphs by putting the present paragraph 3, describing the acts covered by the text, in first place.

4The Council of Europe has always promoted a culture of “living together” and the Assembly has spoken out on several occasions in favour of freedom of thought, conscience and religion, as well as in favour of minority religious groups, including those which have recently appeared in Europe, in particular in Recommendation 1396 (1999) on religion and democracy and Recommendation 1804 (2007) on State, religion, secularity and human rights and in Resolution 1846 (2011) and Recommendation 1987 (2011) on combating all forms of discrimination based on religion. The Assembly also, however, addressed the illegal activities of sects and certain new religious movements in Recommendation 1178 (1992) on sects and new religious movements and in Recommendation 1412 (1999) on illegal activities of sects.

09 April 2014

Tabled by Lord Donald ANDERSON, Sir Jeffrey DONALDSON, Mr Brian BINLEY, Mr Joe BENTON, Mr Jim DOBBIN

If adopted, amendment 11 falls.

Votes: 33 in favor 15 against 5 abstentions

In the draft resolution, paragraph 4, replace the last sentence with the following sentence: "The Assembly believes that any religious or quasi-religious organisation should be accountable in the public sphere for any contraventions of the criminal law and welcomes annoucements by established religious organisations that reports of child abuse within those organisations should be reported for investigation to the police. The Assembly does not believe that there are any grounds for discriminating between established and other religions, including minority religions and faiths, in the application of these principles."

09 April 2014

Tabled by Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Mr Viorel-Riceard BADEA, Mr Cezar Florin PREDA, Ms Ana GUŢU, Mr Johann WADEPHUL

Falls if amendment 34 is adopted.

In the draft resolution, paragraph 4, last sentence, delete the word "illegal".

Explanatory note

Recommendation 1178 (1992) on sects and new religious movements does not address at all "illegal" activities.

09 April 2014

Tabled by Mr Jim DOBBIN, Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Sir Alan MEALE, Sir Jeffrey DONALDSON, Mr Joe BENTON

Votes: 17 in favor 33 against 1 abstention

In the draft resolution, at the end of paragraph 4, add the following sentence: "These Recommendations apply to minors and their protection as individuals or as part of a religious group is to be addressed."

01 April 2014

Tabled by the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development

Votes: 15 in favor 35 against 4 abstentions

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 4, insert the following paragraph:

"The Assembly recalls that from the moment minors come into contact with sects in any way, a balance must be struck between different categories of human rights. Indeed, having regard to freedom of thought, conscience and religion as a human right for all, children themselves can also claim this right (without being forced by influences limiting their freedom of thought), while having the right to be protected against any form of violence. Where adjudication is necessary, the child’s best interests must be the primary consideration in all decisions concerning children, as stipulated by Article 3 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child."

5The Assembly notes that the phenomenon of excesses of sects affecting minors is ever more present in Europe. It is concerned by the lack of comprehensive data on the subject, especially in central and east European countries, and the lack of practical and effective action against the phenomenon in most Council of Europe member States. To date, only a few States have passed specific laws to combat excesses of this kind (Belgium, France and Luxembourg) or have taken action in terms of monitoring and information (in particular, Austria, Germany and Switzerland). Even though historical factors mean that some countries have preferred not to legislate in this area and, in most cases, instead support the activities of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and/or churches (Catholic, Orthodox or Protestant) in terms of providing information and assistance for the victims of excesses of sects, the problem seems sufficiently serious to warrant greater efforts by the authorities.

09 April 2014

Tabled by Lord Donald ANDERSON, Sir Jeffrey DONALDSON, Mr Brian BINLEY, Mr Joe BENTON, Mr Jim DOBBIN

If adopted, amendments 12, 45 falls.

Votes: 13 in favor 34 against 7 abstentions

In the draft resolution, replace paragraph 5 with the following paragraphs: "The Assembly recalls that in 1992, when examining the issue of freedom of religion and religious minorities, it chose to discontinue the use of the word "sect" and replace it with "groups of a religious, esoteric or spiritual nature" (Recommendation 1412 (1999)). This decision recognised that the word "sect" and other pejorative or stigmatising labels should not be used in Council of Europe reports. In reaching such a conclusion the Assembly reflected international standards such as the UN standards regarding freedom of relgion and religious minorities. The Assembly notes the results of the questionnaire distributed to all Parliamentary delegations that the unlawful activities of members of religious organisations fall within the scope of the general criminal law and the laws on freedom of worship. It further notes that France is the only country where there is currently an initiative in Parliament to increase protection for minors against the influence of religious minorities. Furthermore, it takes solace from the fact that, even in France, senior politicians, the police, education officials or child protection organisations regard cases of physical or psychological ill-treatment of minors as exceptional (reference Prime Minister Dominic de Villepin, Sept 2005, et al). The Assembly draws attention to the work done by the French Prime Minister's office MIVILUDES and, in particular, the conclusions of the report of George Fenech in 2009 that there was no real problem in sixteen other Council of Europe countries which had been studied. The Parliamentary Assembly reaffirms its belief that freedom of thought, conscience and religion is a fundamental right and, therefore, supports the approach of the European Court of Human Rights in, for example, its decision to deem unlawful the refusal of the Hungarian Court to allow a father to see his child because the father belonged to a Pentecostal movement (Vojnity). It also welcomes the Court's determination to expose the danger of prejudice unrelated to fact when deployed against particular religious minorities such as Jehovah's Witnesses (see Jehova's Witnesses of Moscow vs Russia (app 203/02)."

09 April 2014

Tabled by Mr Jim DOBBIN, Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Sir Alan MEALE, Sir Jeffrey DONALDSON, Mr Joe BENTON

If adopted, amendment 12 falls. Falls if amendment 35 is adopted.

In the draft resolution, replace paragraph 5 with the following paragraph:

"The Assembly notes that, in conformity with Resolution 1530 (2007), paragraph 1, the protection of minors, parental rights and freedom of religion or belief are to be promoted in any context, whether public (including public schools, hospitals, etc.) or private (including private education systems, the family, sport and other recreational activities, religious activities, etc.)."

09 April 2014

Tabled by Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Mr Viorel-Riceard BADEA, Mr Cezar Florin PREDA, Ms Ana GUŢU, Mr Johann WADEPHUL

Falls if amendments 35, 45 are adopted.

Votes: 40 in favor 7 against 7 abstentions

In the draft resolution, replace paragraph 5 with the following paragraph:

"The Assembly is concerned by the lack of comprehensive data on the phenomen of excesses of religious, spiritual or esoteric movements affecting minors. Even though historical factors mean that some countries have preferred not to legislate in this area, the problem needs to be neutrally evaluated due to the fact that it could be sufficiently serious to warrant greater efforts by the authorities."

Explanatory note

The data gathered in the report shows that there is neither data nor evidence to support the fact that "sects" would be a significant problem throughout Europe. On the contrary, there is collected data contradicting such claims. Collecting data is the only step that could be justified by the report.

6The Assembly therefore calls on the member States to:

09 April 2014

Tabled by Mr Brian BINLEY, Lord Donald ANDERSON, Sir Jeffrey DONALDSON, Mr Joe BENTON, Mr Jim DOBBIN

If adopted, amendments 13, 46, 14, 47, 6, 48, 15, 49, 7, 8, 16, 50, 17, 51, 18, 52 falls.

Votes: 25 in favor 19 against 9 abstentions

In the draft resolution, replace paragraph 6 with the following paragraph:

"The Assembly therefore calls on the member States to sign and/or ratify the relevant Council of Europe conventions on child protection and welfare if they have not already done so."

6.1sign and/or ratify the relevant Council of Europe conventions on child protection and welfare;
6.2gather accurate and reliable information about cases of excesses of sects affecting minors, where appropriate in crime and/or other statistics;

09 April 2014

Tabled by Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Mr Viorel-Riceard BADEA, Mr Cezar Florin PREDA, Ms Ana GUŢU, Mr Johann WADEPHUL

If adopted, amendment 46 falls. Falls if amendment 36 is adopted.

In the draft resolution, paragraph 6.2, replace the words "excesses of sects affecting minors, where appropriate in crime and/or other statistics" with the following words: "violations of the law by religious, spiritual or esoteric groups affecting minors, where appropriate in crime and/or other statistics; while doing that, ensure that no discriminatory arbitrariness is entered in the process of gathering data;"

Explanatory note

There is no reason to discriminate against religious minorities or new religious movements labelled as "sects" when such excesses should be punished the same way in mainstream groups. This process needs to comply with the fundamental principle of non-discrimination.

10 April 2014

Tabled by the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights

In amendment 13, replace the words "religious, spiritual or esoteric groups" with the following words: "sectarian groups".

09 April 2014

Tabled by Mr Jim DOBBIN, Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Sir Alan MEALE, Sir Jeffrey DONALDSON, Mr Joe BENTON

Falls if amendments 36, 13 are adopted.

In the draft resolution, paragraph 6.2, replace the words "excesses of sects" with the following words: "abuse, violence and crime".

6.3set up or support, if necessary, national or regional information centres on sect-like religious and spiritual movements;

09 April 2014

Tabled by Mr Jim DOBBIN, Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Sir Alan MEALE, Sir Jeffrey DONALDSON, Mr Joe BENTON

If adopted, amendment 14 falls. Falls if amendment 36 is adopted.

In the draft resolution, paragraph 6.3, replace the words "sect-like religious and spiritual movements" with the following words: "the protection of minors".

10 April 2014

Tabled by the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights

In amendment 47, instead of replacing the words "sect-like religious and spiritual movements", after those words, insert the following words: "guaranteeing the protection of minors".

09 April 2014

Tabled by Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Mr Viorel-Riceard BADEA, Mr Cezar Florin PREDA, Ms Ana GUŢU, Mr Johann WADEPHUL

Falls if amendments 36, 47 are adopted.

In the draft resolution, paragraph 6.3, delete the words "sect-like" and at the end of the sentence add the following words: "manned with neutral and independent experts in the field of law and religion;"

Explanatory note

It is very important, in view of the reply of the Committee of Ministers to Recommendation 1412, to make sure that neutral experts committed to "a duty to respect the principles of religious freedom and non-discrimination" treat the subject independently.

6.4provide teaching in the history of religions and the main philosophies in schools;

09 April 2014

Tabled by Mr Jim DOBBIN, Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Sir Alan MEALE, Sir Jeffrey DONALDSON, Mr Joe BENTON

Falls if amendment 36 is adopted.

In the draft resolution, replace paragraph 6.4 with the following paragraph:

"provide teaching for the protection of minors (including prevention of child abuse) in schools and promote teaching about tolerance and understanding of religious diversity to prevent discrimination against minors belonging to religious minorities;".

01 April 2014

Tabled by the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development

Falls if amendment 36 is adopted.

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 6.4, insert the following paragraph:

"make minors aware of the dangers posed by sect-like movements of a totalitarian kind, in order that they resist joining them or seek assistance if they wish to leave them;"

10 April 2014

Tabled by the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights

In amendment 6, delete the words "of a totalitarian kind".

6.5make sure that compulsory schooling is enforced and ensure strict, prompt and effective monitoring of all private education, including home schooling;

09 April 2014

Tabled by Mr Jim DOBBIN, Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Sir Alan MEALE, Sir Jeffrey DONALDSON, Mr Joe BENTON

If adopted, amendment 15 falls. Falls if amendment 36 is adopted.

In the draft resolution, replace paragraph 6.5 with the following paragraph:

"ensure that schooling (be it public or private, including home schooling) is available to any child, including those who belong to religious minority groups;".

09 April 2014

Tabled by Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Mr Viorel-Riceard BADEA, Mr Cezar Florin PREDA, Ms Ana GUŢU, Mr Johann WADEPHUL

Falls if amendments 36, 49 are adopted.

In the draft resolution, at the end of paragraph 6.5, insert the following words: "while respecting the principles of religious freedom and non-discrimination;"

Explanatory note

See the reply of the Committee of Ministers to Recommendation 1412: governments are under an obligation, in their dealings with such groups, to remain in conformity not only with Article 9 but with all the provisions ... This entails, inter alia, a duty to respect the principles of religious freedom and non-discrimination.

6.6carry out awareness-raising measures about the scale of the phenomenon of sects and excesses of sects, in particular for judges, ombudsmen’s offices, the police and welfare services;

09 April 2014

Tabled by Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Mr Viorel-Riceard BADEA, Mr Cezar Florin PREDA, Ms Ana GUŢU, Mr Johann WADEPHUL

If adopted, amendments 7, 50 falls. Falls if amendment 36 is adopted.

In the draft resolution, delete paragraph 6.6.

Explanatory note

"Awareness-raising measures" about "sects" already received disapproval by the UN Human Rights Committee in 1996 and they are contrary to Recommendation CM/Rec(2010)12 of the Committee of Ministers to member States on judges: independence, efficiency and responsibilities, Articles 22 and 57.

01 April 2014

Tabled by the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development

If adopted, amendment 50 falls. Falls if amendments 36, 16 are adopted.

In the draft resolution, replace paragraph 6.6 with the following paragraph:

"raise the awareness of the general public and provide specific training to professionals in contact with children, particularly judges and prosecutors, ombudsmen’s offices, police, welfare services and teachers etc., on the issues relating to sect-like movements, excesses of sects and their consequences as well as on the measures to take for the optimal protection of children;"

09 April 2014

Tabled by Mr Jim DOBBIN, Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Sir Alan MEALE, Sir Jeffrey DONALDSON, Mr Joe BENTON

Falls if amendments 36, 16, 7 are adopted.

In the draft resolution, paragraph 6.6, replace the words "the phenomenon of sects" with the following words: "abuses, violences or crime against minors, including those who belong to religious minority groups".

01 April 2014

Tabled by the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development

Falls if amendment 36 is adopted.

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 6.6, insert the following paragraph:

"establish procedures accessible to all, whether victims or witnesses, for reporting any situation endangering a child, as well as aid facilities for the support of victims (minors and adults);"

6.7adopt or strengthen, if necessary, legislative provisions punishing the abuse of psychological and/or physical weakness, and enabling associations to join proceedings as parties claiming damages in criminal cases concerning excesses of sects;

09 April 2014

Tabled by Mr Jim DOBBIN, Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Sir Alan MEALE, Sir Jeffrey DONALDSON, Mr Joe BENTON

If adopted, amendment 17 falls. Falls if amendment 36 is adopted.

In the draft resolution, replace paragraph 6.7 with the following paragraph:

"ensure that protection of minors also applies to the protection from discrimination of minors who belong to religious minorities, while guaranteeing the fundamental right of children to education in an objective, critical and pluralist manner and respecting the right of parents to ensure such education and teaching in conformity with their own religious or philosophical convictions;".

Explanatory note

In accordance with Resolution 1928(2013) "Safeguarding human rights in relation to religion and belief, and protecting religious communities from violence".

09 April 2014

Tabled by Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Mr Viorel-Riceard BADEA, Mr Cezar Florin PREDA, Ms Ana GUŢU, Mr Johann WADEPHUL

Falls if amendments 36, 51 are adopted.

In the draft resolution, replace paragraph 6.7 with the following paragraph:

"call on the Venice Commission to study if adopting or strengthening legislative provisions punishing the abuse of psychological and/or physical weakness, and enabling associations to join proceedings as parties claiming damages in criminal cases concerning excesses of sects, would be necessary, and if so how it could be done in conformity with international human rights standards;"

Explanatory note

There is no data in the report which can justify such measures which have been already strongly criticised by human rights international bodies, including the Assembly itself, and an input from the Venice Commission is therefore the best way to be sure of what the Assembly engages in.

6.8support, including in financial terms, the action of private bodies which provide support for the victims of excesses of sects and their relatives and, if necessary, encourage the establishment of such bodies.

09 April 2014

Tabled by Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Mr Viorel-Riceard BADEA, Mr Cezar Florin PREDA, Ms Ana GUŢU, Mr Johann WADEPHUL

If adopted, amendment 52 falls. Falls if amendment 36 is adopted.

In the draft resolution, paragraph 6.8, replace the words "support for the victims of excesses of sects and their relatives" with the following words: "accurate and neutral information on religious, spiritual and esoteric movements"

Explanatory note

There is no data in the report which can justify such measures, and supporting financially such bodies amounts to supporting discrimination against minority groups by mainstream ones. Moreover, accurate information is needed while "victims" can always use ordinarily available procedures of criminal and civil law.

09 April 2014

Tabled by Mr Jim DOBBIN, Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Sir Alan MEALE, Sir Jeffrey DONALDSON, Mr Joe BENTON

Falls if amendments 36, 18 are adopted.

In the draft resolution, paragraph 6.8, replace the words "excesses of sects" with the following words: "child abuse, violence and crime".

7The Assembly also calls on national parliaments to set up study groups on the phenomenon of sects and its impact on minors.

09 April 2014

Tabled by Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Mr Viorel-Riceard BADEA, Mr Cezar Florin PREDA, Ms Ana GUŢU, Mr Johann WADEPHUL

If adopted, amendments 20, 53 falls.

Votes: 18 in favor 31 against 5 abstentions

In the draft resolution, delete paragraph 7.

Explanatory note

Tasking national parliaments with studying "the phenomenon of sects" would contravene the necessary separation between the State and religions, and would also be discriminatory, as it would address only minority groups, opening the door to discrimination between traditional and non-traditional religions.

09 April 2014

Tabled by Mr Jim DOBBIN, Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Sir Alan MEALE, Sir Jeffrey DONALDSON, Mr Joe BENTON

If adopted, amendment 20 falls. Falls if amendment 19 is adopted.

Votes: 32 in favor 16 against 7 abstentions

In the draft resolution, paragraph 7, replace the words "phenomenon of sects and its impact on minors" with the following words: "protection of minors, in particular those belonging to religious minorities."

09 April 2014

Tabled by Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Mr Viorel-Riceard BADEA, Mr Cezar Florin PREDA, Ms Ana GUŢU, Mr Johann WADEPHUL

Falls if amendments 19, 53 are adopted.

In the draft resolution, paragraph 7, replace the word "sects" with the following words: "religious, spiritual or esoteric movements" and at the end of the paragraph, insert the following words: "and ensure that these study groups maintain a high standard of respect of the non-discrimination and freedom of religion or belief principles."

Explanatory note

Tasking national parliaments with studying "the phenomenon of sects" would be discriminatory, as it would address only minority groups, opening the door to discrimination between traditional and non-traditional religions, while traditional religions might also be subject to excesses on minors.

09 April 2014

Tabled by Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Mr Viorel-Riceard BADEA, Mr Cezar Florin PREDA, Ms Ana GUŢU, Mr Johann WADEPHUL

Votes: 34 in favor 11 against 11 abstentions

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 7, insert the following paragraph:

"The Assembly calls on member States to ensure that no discrimination is allowed on the basis of which movement is considered as a sect or not, that no distinction is made between traditional religions and non-traditional religious movements, new religious movements or "sects" when it comes to the application of civil and criminal law, and that each measure which is taken towards non-traditional religious movements, new religious movements or "sects" is aligned with human rights standards as laid down by the European Convention on Human Rights and other relevant instruments protecting the dignity inherent to all human beings and their equal and inalienable rights."

09 April 2014

Tabled by Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Mr Viorel-Riceard BADEA, Mr Cezar Florin PREDA, Ms Ana GUŢU, Mr Johann WADEPHUL

If adopted, amendments 29, 40 falls.

Votes: 19 in favor 31 against 5 abstentions

Replace the title of the draft resolution with the following words: "Tackling the issue of minors and religious, spiritual and esoteric groups".

09 April 2014

Tabled by Mr Jim DOBBIN, Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Sir Alan MEALE, Sir Jeffrey DONALDSON, Mr Joe BENTON

If adopted, amendment 29 falls. Falls if amendment 22 is adopted.

Votes: 17 in favor 33 against 5 abstentions

In the title of the draft resolution, replace the words "against the excesses of sects" with the following words: "belonging to religious minorities".

09 April 2014

Tabled by Lord Donald ANDERSON, Mr Brian BINLEY, Mr Joe BENTON, Sir Jeffrey DONALDSON, Mr Jim DOBBIN

Falls if amendments 22, 40 are adopted.

Votes: 19 in favor 32 against 3 abstentions

In the title of the resolution, replace the word "sects" with the folowing words: "religious, esoterical and spiritual groups".

IDraft Recommendation

1The Parliamentary Assembly, referring to its Resolution … (2014) on the protection of minors against excesses of sects, recommends that the Committee of Ministers:

In the draft recommendation, paragraphs 1, 1.2 and 1.3, replace the words "excesses of" with the following words: "violations of the law by"

Explanatory note

The word "excesses" is not defined and if it were, it could only amount to "violations of the law", in order to be in conformity with all the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights and other relevant instruments protecting the equal and inalienable rights of all human beings.

09 April 2014

Tabled by Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Mr Viorel-Riceard BADEA, Mr Cezar Florin PREDA, Ms Ana GUŢU, Mr Johann WADEPHUL

Votes: 17 in favor 35 against 3 abstentions

In the draft recommendation, paragraphs 1, 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3, replace the word "sects" with the following words: "religious, spiritual and esoteric groups"

Explanatory note

The word "sects" is discriminatory, pejorative and undefined. It will only serve to target non-traditional groups and this is against recommendations from the OSCE/ODIHR, the UN Special Rapporteur on Religious Freedom, the UNCHR, the Venice Commission as well as previous recommendations from the Council of Europe.

In the draft recommendation, paragraphs 1, 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3, replace the word "sects" with the following words: "religious, esoterical and spiritual groups".

09 April 2014

Tabled by Mr Jim DOBBIN, Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Sir Alan MEALE, Sir Jeffrey DONALDSON, Mr Joe BENTON

Votes: 18 in favor 35 against 3 abstentions

In the draft recommendation, paragraph 1, replace the words "minors against excesses of sects" with the following words: "the rights of minors belonging to religious minorities".

1.1conduct a study of the scale of the phenomenon of sects affecting minors at European level, on the basis of information provided by the member States;

09 April 2014

Tabled by Mr Brian BINLEY, Lord Donald ANDERSON, Sir Jeffrey DONALDSON, Mr Joe BENTON, Mr Jim DOBBIN

If adopted, amendments 56, 25 falls.

Votes: 16 in favor 35 against 5 abstentions

In the draft recommendation, replace paragraph 1.1 with the following paragraph:

"conduct a survey through their Interior Ministries to determine whether there is any issue within their own countries that is in violation of international human rights standards with regards to religious groups and child rights and to make recommendatinos should there be any concerns;"

09 April 2014

Tabled by Mr Jim DOBBIN, Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Sir Alan MEALE, Sir Jeffrey DONALDSON, Mr Joe BENTON

If adopted, amendment 25 falls. Falls if amendment 37 is adopted.

Votes: 16 in favor 36 against 4 abstentions

In the draft recommendation, paragraph 1.1, replace the words "the phemomenon of sects" with the following words: "abuses, violence and criminal offences" and add at the end the following words: ", in particular concerning minors belonging to religious minorities".

09 April 2014

Tabled by Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Mr Viorel-Riceard BADEA, Mr Cezar Florin PREDA, Ms Ana GUŢU, Mr Johann WADEPHUL

Falls if amendments 37, 56 are adopted.

Votes: 17 in favor 35 against 5 abstentions

In the draft recommendation, paragraph 1.1, replace the word "sects" with the following words: "religious, spiritual or esoteric groups" and, at the end of the sentence, insert the following words: ", in partnership with the Venice Commission;".

1.2set up a working group to exchange information between member States on excesses of sects affecting minors and to develop good practices for preventing the problem;

09 April 2014

Tabled by Mr Brian BINLEY, Lord Donald ANDERSON, Sir Jeffrey DONALDSON, Mr Joe BENTON, Mr Jim DOBBIN

If adopted, amendments 26, 57 falls.

Votes: 21 in favor 31 against 5 abstentions

In the draft recommendation, replace paragraph 1.2 with the following paragraph:

"establish a working group within the Venice Commission to determine if there are any fundamental legal or human rights conflicts with regards to the use of such words as "sect" or "cult" and whether there should be a differentiation between traditional, new, minority or majority religions when it comes to determining whether they have committed illegal activities;"

09 April 2014

Tabled by Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Mr Viorel-Riceard BADEA, Mr Cezar Florin PREDA, Ms Ana GUŢU, Mr Johann WADEPHUL

If adopted, amendment 57 falls. Falls if amendment 38 is adopted.

Votes: 20 in favor 35 against 2 abstentions

In the draft recommendation, replace paragraph 1.2 with the following paragraph:

"set up a working group to exchange information between member States on religious, spiritual or esoteric groups, develop good practices for preventing the problems that might arise in that field which affect minors, and involve experts on religion and law for extensive consultation in order to do so;"

09 April 2014

Tabled by Mr Jim DOBBIN, Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Sir Alan MEALE, Sir Jeffrey DONALDSON, Mr Joe BENTON

Falls if amendments 38, 26 are adopted.

Votes: 17 in favor 38 against 4 abstentions

In the draft recommendation, paragraph 1.2, replace the words "excesses of sects affecting minors" with the following words: "cases of child abuse, in particular of minors belonging to religious minorities, and on the protection of minors."

1.3seek to improve co-operation at European level with a view to implementing joint activities to prevent excesses of sects and protect minors against them.

09 April 2014

Tabled by Lord Donald ANDERSON, Sir Jeffrey DONALDSON, Mr Joe BENTON, Mr Jim DOBBIN, Mr Brian BINLEY

If adopted, amendments 27, 58 falls.

Votes: 22 in favor 33 against 3 abstentions

In the draft recommendation, replace paragraph 1.3 with the following paragraph:

"call upon established academic and legal experts in the field of religion to come together to seek to improve co-operation at European level with a view to providing insight into the activities of religious, esoterical or spiritual movements and to study any areas of concern expressed by the Committee of Ministers;"

09 April 2014

Tabled by Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Mr Viorel-Riceard BADEA, Mr Cezar Florin PREDA, Ms Ana GUŢU, Mr Johann WADEPHUL

If adopted, amendment 58 falls. Falls if amendment 39 is adopted.

Votes: 20 in favor 36 against 3 abstentions

In the draft recommendation, paragraph 1.3, replace the words "to prevent excesses of sects and protect minors against them" with the following words: "to gather accurate information on religious, spiritual or esoteric groups and the way they affect minors, while respecting the right of parents to educate their children in adequacy with their own religious or non-religious beliefs".

09 April 2014

Tabled by Mr Jim DOBBIN, Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Sir Alan MEALE, Sir Jeffrey DONALDSON, Mr Joe BENTON

Falls if amendments 39, 27 are adopted.

In the draft recommendation, paragraph 1.3, replace the words "to prevent excesses of sects and protect minors against them to" with the following words: "protect minors, especially minors belonging to religious minorities."

09 April 2014

Tabled by Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Mr Viorel-Riceard BADEA, Mr Cezar Florin PREDA, Ms Ana GUŢU, Mr Johann WADEPHUL

If adopted, amendments 31, 54 falls.

Votes: 17 in favor 37 against 4 abstentions

Replace the title of the recommendation with the following words: "Tackling the issue of minors and religious, spiritual and esoteric groups"

09 April 2014

Tabled by Mr Jim DOBBIN, Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Sir Alan MEALE, Sir Jeffrey DONALDSON, Mr Joe BENTON

If adopted, amendment 31 falls. Falls if amendment 28 is adopted.

Votes: 17 in favor 37 against 4 abstentions

In the title of the draft recommendation, replace the words "against excesses of sects" with the following words: "belonging to religious minorities".

09 April 2014

Tabled by Lord Donald ANDERSON, Mr Brian BINLEY, Mr Joe BENTON, Sir Jeffrey DONALDSON, Mr Jim DOBBIN

Falls if amendments 28, 54 are adopted.

Votes: 21 in favor 36 against 2 abstentions

In the title of the draft recommendation, replace the word "sects" with the following words: "religious, esoterical and spiritual groups".