About the CEDIRE-ICGE Program

The Brazilian Center of Studies in Law and Religion (Centro Brasileiro de Estudos em Direito e Religião, CEDIRE) is committed to a meaninful interaction with people and institutions worldwide. Through strategic projects and partnerships, the International Cooperation and Global Engagement Program of the Center (CEDIRE-ICGE) aims to increase its presence and impact around the globe, in addition to collaborating with foreign and international actors in Brazil.

The Center seeks to establish partnerships with global and regional institutions, as well as the Center's counterparts around the world. Since its foundation in 2012, CEDIRE has been focusing on law and religion local and global issues, through collaborations, assistance and outreach inititaves, and research projects.

CEDIRE and International Organizations

CEDIRE's first contribution to the international community was the collaboration in the discussion and adoption of the first UN Recommendations on the rights of religious minorities. The Center's leading researcher, Prof. Rodrigo Vitorino Souza Alves, was invited by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to be one of the four guest speakers on the legal framework and key concepts regarding the rights of religious minorities at the 6th UN Forum on Minorities Issues, and a discussant of the draft UN document. The Recommendations on Guaranteeing the Rights of Religious Minorities (A/HRC/25/66) was adopted by the Human Rights Council and published on 22 January 2014.

Additionaly, through the Federal University of Uberlandia, CEDIRE has been a member of the United Nations Academic Impact Program (UNAI) and the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC). Within UNAI, the Center has been engaged in the promotion of the program principles of capacity building, education, global citizenship, human rights, intercultural dialogue, peace and conflict resolution, and sustainability. In relation to UNGC, the Center has been promoting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and human rights.

The Center has also developed inititives with support and collaboration of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN Human Rights Treaties Branch, specially under the Faith for Rights Framework. CEDIRE has translated its core documents (available at the UN website), participated in the validation of its toolkit, developed training materials, and implemented traning sessions on the theme.

CEDIRE has also submitted reports to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, in order to provide information and inputs regarding the thematic reports presented at the UN General Assembly sessions, including on the topics of antissemitism, religious minorities and discrimination, and respecting, protecting and fulfilling the right to freedom of thought.

Within the Organization of the American States (OAS), the leading researcher of the Center was invited by OAS to address the Permanent Council and discuss strategies, lessons learned, good practices, and the construction of an inter-american dialogue for the promotion of freedom of religion or belief, leading to the adoption of Omnibus resolution's chapter on the protection of freedom of religion or belief in the Americas in 2020.

CEDIRE has also collaborated in a series of workshops for officers of the European Commission in 2021, aiming at developing and strengthening the skills, abilities, processes and resources on issues related to freedom of religion or belief and equality (“Gender equality and freedom of religion or belief: the #Faith4Rights framework”).

The Center has also translated four OSCE-ODIHR documents related to the protection and promotion of freedom of religion or belief: Freedom of Religion or Belief and Security: Policy Guidance (2019), Guidelines on the Legal Personality of Religious or Belief Communities (2015), Toledo Guiding Principles on Teaching about Religions and Beliefs in Public Schools (2007), and Guidelines for Review of Legislation Pertaining to Religion or Belief (2004).

Dialogue and Collaboration

Projects in partnership and/or with support of foreing organizations include: the UK Global Challenges Reseach Fund (GCRF); G20 Interfaith Forum (IF20); Religion, Law and International Relations Programme (Oxford); Oxford Journal of Law and Religion (OJLR-OUP); Brunel University London; the International Center for Law and Religion Studies (ICRLS); the Human Dignity Initiative; the Oslo Coalition on Freedom of Religion or Belief (OC); among others.

For example, with The Oslo Coalition on Freedom of Religion or Belief (OC) of the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights (The Faculty of Law, University of Oslo), CEDIRE has been assisting and collaborating in a project on the limitations on fredoom of religion or belief, developing research (see the publication) and equipping judges, government officials, public servants, lawyers, attorneys, and other professionals working on the justice system.

CEDIRE has also been an active participant in the global conversation on law and religion issues, mostly through its participation in events and initiatives of the International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies (ICLARS).

In terms of South-South dialogue and collaboration, CEDIRE has a strong partnership with the Latin American Consortium for Religious Freedom (Consorcio Latinoamericano de Libertad Religiosa, CLLR) and has promoted a unique research project on law and religion in Latin American, resulting in the publication of the Latin American Perspectives on Law and Religion (Springer, 2020). It has also participated in initiatives promoted by the Argentinean Council for Religious Freedom (Consejo Argentino para la Libertad Religiosa, CALIR), Article 18, Law and Religion Center of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile (Centro UC Derecho y Religión), among others.

The Lusophone World

CEDIRE is a unique initiative among Portuguese-speaking countries, aiming to provide resources, training and assistance on law and religion issues to the Lusophone World.

Portuguese language is one of the foundations of the cultural identities of several nations. It is one of the most widespread languages in the world, with more than 279 million speakers in all continents, and a widely spoken language in the southern hemisphere. Countries and regions include Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Portugal, Guinea-Bissau, East Timor, Equatorial Guinea, Cape Verde, São Tomé and Príncipe, as well as Macau SAR and Goa (India).

In Africa, Portuguese-speaking African Countries (Países Africanos de Língua Oficial Portuguesa, PALOP) is an interstate organization that promotes the development of culture and education. Globally, the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (Comunidade dos Países de Língua Portuguesa, CPLP) is an international organization that operates as a multilateral forum for cooperation in several areas, including education, justice, public safety, human rights, among others.

Each of the above-mentioned countries and regions faces particular challenges in terms of protection of freedom of religion or belief as well as intolerance and discrimination based on religion or belief.

Translation Unit

Traslation into Portuguese and distribution of international instruments, resolutions, recommendations, legal cases, educational resources, and other documents and materials related to freedom of religion or belief.

Strategic partnerships and projects

The Center aims to promote capacity building and human rights education focusing on strengthening respect for religious freedom and human dignity, fostering resilient and peaceful communities, equipping religious leaders and government officials in the Portuguese-speaking countries. Some of the relevant issues to be addressed are: preventing intolerance and discrimination, fighting violent extremism, promoting dialogue and tolerance.

Webinars and videos

CEDIRE conducts seminars, workshops, training sessions, conferences, and other events online to present and discuss relevant law and religion topics, sharing knowledge, ideas, and updates with people around the world, including mostly Portuguese-speaking audiences.