Kate attended the parliamentary launch of a new report by Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) entitled Faith and a Future.
During the event in Speaker’s House, attendees heard how children and young people in countries across the world experience discrimination at school because of their religion or belief, despite the fact that a child’s right to freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) and to education are guaranteed under international law.
Kate said: “I was pleased to attend the launch of CSW’s ‘Faith and a Future’ report to learn about the impact of violations of the right to freedom of religion or belief can have on a child’s education.
“I’m proud to support this important cause, and I urge the UK Government to do all it can to ensure that no child is penalised or denied an education because of their faith, and that no child is taught to hate others on the basis of their religion or belief.”
CSW’s in-depth research into FoRB violations in educational settings in five countries – Burma, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria and Pakistan – found that many children are denied an education because of their faith, suffer religious discrimination in the classroom, or are subject to a biased curriculum that fuels religious hatred.
Parliamentarians and guests heard from a variety of speakers, including testimony from Cecil Chaudhry Jr., Executive Director of the National Commission for Justice and Peace (Pakistan). He described the continuing struggles experienced by religious minority communities in Pakistan, from a biased curriculum that disparages their faith to verbal, psychological and even physical abuse.
Mervyn Thomas, CSW’s Chief Executive said: “CSW’s new report found that FoRB violations in educational settings in the five countries of focus are widespread and take many forms.
“Any violation is a serious issue and must be addressed effectively. It is more important than ever that UK Parliamentarians work to ensure that every child, whatever their religion or belief, can have both a faith and a future.”