Topics Covered: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
Pakistan, China violate religious freedom: U.S:
The US State Department has placed various countries in different lists pursuant to the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA).
- Pakistan and China among eight other countries that are of particular concern (CPC) for violation of religious freedom. Others include- Myanmar, Eritrea, Iran, Nigeria, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.
- Comoros, Cuba, Nicaragua and Russia on a Special Watch List (SWL) for governments that have engaged in or tolerated severe violations of religious freedom.
- Al-Shabaab, al-Qaida, Boko Haram, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, the Houthis, ISIS, ISIS-Greater Sahara, ISIS-West Africa, Jamaat Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin and the Taliban are ‘Entities of Particular Concern’.
Notably, the State Department did not accept the USCIRF recommendation that India, Russia, Syria and Vietnam be also designated as CPCs.
WHAT IS THE U. S. COMMISSION ON INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM (USCIRF)?
- USCIRF is an independent, bipartisan, U.S. federal government commission created by the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) that monitors the universal right to freedom of religion or belief abroad.
- USCIRF uses international standards to monitor religious freedom violations globally, and makes policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State, and Congress.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN USCIRF AND THE STATE DEPARTMENT’S OFFICE OF INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM?
USCIRF is an independent, bipartisan federal government entity, while the Office of International Religious Freedom (IRF) — also established under IRFA—is part of the U.S. State Department.
Both USCIRF and the State Department release annual reports on international religious freedom, but each has different purposes.
- The State Department’s report documents religious freedom violations in every country in the world.
- USCIRF’s Annual Report, by statute, recommends countries to be designated as “countries of particular concern” which the Executive Branch must consider.
Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides that “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 this religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.”
- What is USCIRF?
- What are countries of particular concern?
- About the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
How successful Indian polity has been in maintaining communal harmony in the state? Discuss.
Sources: the Hindu.