The Council of Europe on sects: update

At the end of March we posted about the report of the Legal Affairs and Human Rights Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on The protection of minors against excesses of sects. We noted in particular a passage in the draft Resolution included in the report, as follows: That the Assembly

“… 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”

and suggested that the wording was extremely unfortunate, given that nowhere in the document was the word “sect” defined.

It now appears that wiser counsels within the Assembly have prevailed. Continue reading