“Forum 18 is an instrument for promoting the implementation of Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and concentrates on serious and obvious breaches of religious freedom, and particularly on situations where the lives and welfare of individual people or groups are being threatened and where the right to gather around one's faith is being hindered.“ (Forum 18 Website, http://www.forum18.org/Forum18.php, accessed on 19 March 2008)
"Forum 18 News Service (F18News) is a Christian initiative which is independent of any one church or religious group. Its independence is safeguarded by a board whose members are Protestant, Orthodox and Catholic Christians, and who are responsible for matters of policy and fundraising." (Forum 18 Website, http://www.forum18.org/F18NewsMission.php, accessed on 19 March 2008)
Forum 18 is based in Oslo, Norway.
Policymakers, general public, media.
“F18News aims to ensure that threats and actions against religious freedom are truthfully reported as quickly as possible across the world.“ (Forum 18 Website, http://www.forum18.org/F18NewsMission.php, accessed on 19 March 2008)
Forum 18 intends to „gather and make accessible information on serious violations; be a driving force for getting important issues into the media; influence public opinion and the authorities towards the implementation of all the elements of Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.“ (Forum 18 Website, http://www.forum18.org/Forum18.php, accessed on 19 March 2008)
“Forum 18's work for religious freedom is funded through a mixture of charitable donations and grants from foundations, religious communities, and private individuals. Forum 18 does not accept any financial support where there may be any possibility of its editorial independence, or commitment to the religious freedom of all people, being in any way compromised.” (Information provided by John Kinahan, Forum 18’s Chief Editor, on 25 March 2008)
Scope of reporting:
Geographic focus: “The news service mainly concentrates on the states of the former Soviet Union, including Belarus and Central Asia, and Eastern Europe, but has also published reports on Kosovo, Serbia, Turkey, Burma, China (including Xinjiang), Laos, Mongolia, North Korea, and Vietnam.” (Wikipedia: Forum 18, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forum_18, accessed on 23 April 2008)
Thematic focus: Violations of the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
Forum 18 News Service has its own network of reporters and correspondents in focus countries who gather the information and write articles and survey analysis on religious freedom violations. Human rights monitoring projects may be conducted in co-operation with other similar organisations.
“Its correspondents actively seek to report the perspectives of all those directly involved in a situation, from local individual believers affected by threats and actions, to state or other groups initiating such threats and actions.” (Information provided by John Kinahan, Forum 18’s Chief Editor, on 25 March 2008)
Commentaries are written by a range of contributors and represent their personal views. According to Forum 18, these commentaries do not necessarily represent the views of F18News or Forum 18 (Forum 18 Website, http://www.forum18.org/Commentaries.php, accessed on 19 March 2008).
Several news articlesarepublished each week, whereas country analyses/surveys and commentaries on specific topics are published sporadically.
Navigation of website:
All articles are accessible via the top menu: Home leads to latest news, Surveys/Analysis toin-depth surveys of freedom of religion in an individual country, Commentaries offerspersonal views on religious freedom issues from a variety of contributors. A search engine for archived articles on a selected country/region is accessible via Search/Archive.