Positiv och negativ religionsfrihet i arbetslivet: När inskränker de på varandras områden?

University essay from Lunds universitet/Institutionen för handelsrätt

Abstract: Freedom of religion and its boundaries is a highly debated subject. Questions raised are how far the freedom of religion stretches and what restrictions there are for the manifestation of religious symbols such as the Sikh turban and the Muslim veil. Article 9 of the European Convention provides the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. Article 9 (1) states the meaning and extent in regards to the freedom of religion while Article 9 (2) states the possibility for exceptions. Article 9 protects both the positive as well as the negative freedom of religion. The positive freedom includes the right to have and manifest a religion whilst the negative freedom includes the right not to have a religion and not having to be exposed to unwanted religious pressures and influences. There is a great number of case law discussing the freedom of religion and its boundaries. This case law clarifies certain principles. To begin with there is an extensive obligation to take positive actions in promoting each individuals religious practice. Limits are thought to be reached when “serious problems” arise. It is also of great importance that both the positive and the negative freedom of religion stay equal and don’t intrude on each other’s areas. An individual’s wish to manifest their religion must be raised against another’s wish not to be exposed to this manifestation. Another point stated is that an employee cannot free themselves from a contract which they have voluntarily accepted in regards to religious demands. Also, the positive freedom of religion must yield for the negative freedom of religion when there is a risk of danger to public safety. Finally, it is justified to place restrictions on religious clothing such as the Sikh turban and the Muslim veil in order to preserve the principle of secularism and keep the State neutral to religious matters. A heated debate concerning the Muslim veil is ongoing in Europe. France became the first country to suggest a ban on the full Muslim veil in public places such as hospitals, state authorities and subways. Proponents state that a ban would be in the interest of the Muslim women and free them from oppression. Opponents state that individual choices should be permitted as long as they don’t harm anyone else.

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