List of Contents
What is the News? The USCIRF (US Commission on International Religious Freedom) has recommended classifying India as a Country of Particular Concern(CPC). It is due to the worst violations of religious freedom in India in 2020.
Reasons for recommendations:
- USCIRF has recommended India to be put on a Countries of Particular Concern(CPC) list because of:
- Religiously Discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Act
- Seeming police complicity in the Delhi riots
- During the COVID-19 pandemic, disinformation and hateful rhetoric including from government officials targeted religious minorities.
- Efforts to prohibit interfaith marriage – such as those in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh among other reasons.
Suggestions by USCIRF:
- Firstly, the US administration should impose targeted sanctions on Indian individuals and entities for ‘severe violations of religious freedom’.
- Secondly, the US administration should promote interfaith dialogue and the rights of all communities at forums such as Quadrilateral [the Quad].
- Thirdly, the US Congress should raise issues in the U.S-India bilateral space by hosting hearings, writing letters, and constituting Congressional delegations.
Other Recommendations of USCIRF:
- Other new recommendations by USCIRF for the CPC list 2021 are Russia, Syria, and Vietnam.
- Moreover, countries already on the CPCs list and recommended by USCIRF for re-designation are Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan.
- Special Watch List Countries: Comoros, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Russia.
About Country of Particular Concern(CPC):
- USCIRF recommends the Country of Particular Concern(CPC) designation to the US State Department. It recommends countries engaged in severe violations of religious freedom under IRFA (International Religious Freedom Act) 1998.
- The IRFA 1998 promotes religious freedom as a foreign policy of the United States.
- Why is the country given the CPC designation? The countries that receive this designation either engage in or tolerate systematic, ongoing, glaring violations of religious freedom.
- In addition to its CPC recommendations, the USCIRF established a Special Watch List countries. The list includes countries which does not fit in the CPC criterion, but still engage in or tolerate severe violations of religious freedom.
Note: The recommendations given by the USCIRF are non-binding on the US Government.
Source: The Hindu