DISCRIMINATION of various kinds have long been practised in Fiji and Interfaith Search Fiji (ISF) is recommending that a constitution be adopted which affirms the equality of all people in Fiji.
In a written submission to the Constitution Commission, ISF has proposed this equality should encompass the diversity of ethnicity, culture, religion and the individual status of all persons in Fiji based on internationally-recognised principles of equality.
Jala-Ud-Dean, an ISF chairperson, said this should include respect for basic human rights, equal worth and dignity of all persons and the allowance of freedom for all persons to realise their full potential as human beings.
He said ISF advocated respect for the dignity of all persons and the rights of all to participate in all areas of life.
"There is a need to understand that equal treatment is not necessarily identical treatment because of the different circumstances of individual persons and groups and that positive action will be required in particular cases," Mr Dean said.
"We recommend that religion be recognised in the new laws as it plays a very important role in the lives of most people in Fiji."
Mr Dean said they recognised that all religions practised in Fiji upheld the values and principles of peace, justice, integrity, respect for others, good governance and respect for law and order.
The group believes leaders of the nation and the government should adhere to these values and principles while respecting the independence of the state.