Institute on Religion and Public Policy

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The Institute on Religion and Public Policy[1] (IRPP) is an international, inter-religious non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring freedom of religion as the foundation for security, stability, and democracy. President Joseph Grieboski founded the Institute in 1999. The Institute has been nominated for the numerous Nobel Peace Prizes.

Vision & Mission[edit]

Following in the footsteps of Thomas Jefferson who once said, “Freedom of religion is the…most sacred of all human rights”, The INSTITUTE envisions a world where everyone has a right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief.

The INSTITUTE's mission is to investigate international religious liberty violations, to coordinate international efforts in support of victims of religious persecution, to advocate on behalf of all fundamental human rights (specifically the right to believe and practice one’s own faith), and to educate people about their rights and how to protect/implement them.


Judicial Training

The INSTITUTE trains all U.S. immigration judges on national and international religious freedom concerns.

International Consortium on Religion, Culture, and Dialogue

The International Consortium consists of colleges and universities that collaborate on freedom of thought. Through the Consortium, institutions of higher learning are able to network to contribute directly to understanding and resolution of the struggle for religious freedom.

Religious Freedom Country Specific Reports

The Universal Periodic Review allows the U.N.’s Human Rights Council to evaluate the human rights records of all 193 member states every four years. As part of the process, each country must gather analysis on its human rights situation from its government, civil society groups and from the population. Non-governmental organizations may submit five-page reports for consideration, and can focus on aspects such as religious freedom. THE INSTITUTE will continue to supply religious freedom reports throughout the Human Rights Council’s review process, and ends in 2011.

Interparliamentary Conference on Human Rights and Religious Freedom

The Interparliamentary Conference on Human Rights and Religious Freedom (IPC) is composed of members of national and supranational parliaments from around the globe. The IPC allows members of parliaments to meet and address the issues of human rights and freedom of conscience with common understanding and background as parliamentarians.

The Conference and its members examine, monitor, and act in coordination as a body and in their respective parliaments to address either human rights/freedom of conscience situations in specific countries or territories or on major phenomena of human rights/freedom of conscience violations worldwide in thematic processes.

The main themes addressed by the IPC focus on the question of the violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms – particularly freedom of religion, belief, and conscience – in all parts of the world. Among these are freedom of expression, religious intolerance, the human rights of minorities and displaced persons, trafficking in persons, and the general promotion and protection of human rights.

The IPC also identifies areas where existing standards need to be further developed to confront new and growing concerns. While not dealing with specific individual cases of violations of freedom of conscience or human rights, the Conference will review and study individual cases to determine whether or not a systematic discrimination or denial of rights of religious believers/non-believers by a government - or a systematic governmental or social persecution of religious believers/nonbelievers is underway.

The IPC uses as its guide and measure international standards of human rights and freedom of conscience. Among the paradigms used by the Conference are the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Optional Protocol to the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Helsinki Accords, the European Convention on Human Rights, and the Vienna Concluding Documents. Consequently, the Conference examines issues of implementation and legislation in national and supranational bodies to guarantee adherence to international standards.

Where problems are identified, the IPC takes action to address them. It provides expert advice, human rights seminars, national and regional training courses and workshops, fellowships and scholarships, and other activities aimed at strengthening national capacities for the protection and promotion of human rights.

During its regular annual meeting, the IPC may adopt resolutions, decisions and statements on matters of relevance to human rights and freedom of conscience in all regions and circumstances. It is assisted in this work by the Secretariat of the Conference – headquartered and staffed by THE INSTITUTE on Religion and Public Policy – working groups established by the Conference, and a network of individual experts, representatives and rapporteurs mandated to report to it on specific issues.