Geneva: Conference on Freedom of Religion or Belief and Humanitarian/Migration Crisis
Image for Geneva: Conference on Freedom of Religion or Belief and Humanitarian/Migration Crisis

A Conference on Freedom of Religion or Belief and Humanitarian/Migration Crisis was held 17 September 2017, hosted by the International Government Relations Office of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saintsin Geneva at the newly dedicated offices of LDS Charities, the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, the Kennedy Center for International Studies, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Switzerland in Chambésy, Switzerland. 

 The keynote speaker at the event was W. Cole Durham, Jr., Founding Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University in Utah, USA; president of the International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies in Milan, Italy; associate member of the International Academy of Comparative Law in Paris, France; a co-editor in chief of the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion; internationally distinguished scholar and advocate of law and religion. Since the fall of communism in Eastern Europe in the 1990’s Durham has assisted in drafting constitutions and developing laws to protect freedom of religion in many countries.

The conference consisted of two panels:

Panel 1: Emphasis on Freedom of Religion or Belief
Moderator: Chian Yew Lim, UN Human Rights Officer, Protection of Religion.  Panels

Panelists:
Diane Alai, Chairman of FoRB at Geneva; Baha’I International Community UN Office
W. Cole Durham, Jr., International Center for Law and Religion Studies, Brigham Young University
Nazila Ghanea, Professor of International Human Rights Law, Oxford University
Javier Martinez-Torron, Law and Religion Department Director, Law Faculty, Universidad Complutense

Panel 2: Emphasis on Humanitarian/Migration Crisis
Moderator: Elizabeth O’Casey, International Humanist and Ethical Union, Head of Delegation to UNHRC

Panelists:
Carol Batchelor, Director, Division of International Protection, UNHCR
W. Cole Durham, Jr., International Center for Law and Religion Studies, Brigham Young University
Gilles François, Europe Area Welfare Manager, LDS Church
Melissa Pitotti, International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA), Director of Policy