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The right to believe, to worship and witness
The right to change one’s belief or religion
The right to join together and express one’s belief

“Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.”
Article 18, Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Forum 18 News Service is named after this article and the similar Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, a core international human rights treaty. We work for freedom of religion or belief for all on the basis of these articles.

Forum 18 is a partner of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, a group of people devoted to the struggle for justice and freedom worldwide. We believe that defending the human rights of everyone, regardless of race, creed, gender, or sexual orientation, is the key to promoting security and prosperity for all. We affirm that each person – whatever their belief or non-belief – has an inherent dignity which no state or person can take from them. Freedom of thought, conscience and religion – including the right to have or not to have a religion or belief - is therefore one of the fundamental human rights essential for the dignity of humanity and for justice and freedom for everyone.

Forum 18 provides truthful, original, detailed, and accurate monitoring and analysis of violations of freedom of thought, conscience and belief in Central Asia, Russia, Russian-occupied Ukraine, government-held Ukraine, Belarus, and the South Caucasus particularly Azerbaijan.

All Forum 18 News Service text may be referred to, quoted from, or republished in full, if Forum 18 www.forum18.org is credited as the source. We welcome linking to our website.

All photographs that are not Forum 18's copyright are attributed to the copyright owner. If you reuse any photographs from Forum 18's website, you must seek permission for any reuse from the copyright owner or abide by the copyright terms the copyright owner has chosen.

A Norwegian-Danish-Swedish initiative, Forum 18 is a non-profit charitable foundation, registered with the Danish Tax Authority (SKAT). Its CVR/SE-number is 34929998.

The organisations forming Forum 18’s Board are:

  • Den norske Helsingforskomité (Norwegian Helsinki Committee)
  • Dansk Missionsråd (Denmark)
  • Equmeniakyrkan (Uniting Church in Sweden)
  • Stefanusalliansen (Norway)

Forum 18's Chair is Ivar Dale of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee. Also on the Board as an individual member is Anna Hyvärinen (Finland).

Forum 18 News Service has been allocated an ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) by the National Library of Norway (Nasjonalbiblioteket). This is ISSN 1504-2855.

Forum 18:

The right to believe, to worship and witness
The right to change one’s belief or religion
The right to join together and express one’s belief