The Report highlights the status of religious freedom globally and identifies those governments that are the most egregious violators.
For the 2013 Annual Report, USCIRF recommends that the Secretary of State redesignate Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Uzbekistan as CPCs. USCIRF also finds that seven other countries meeting the CPC threshold and should be so designated: Egypt, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Vietnam.
USCIRF also has concluded that the following eight countries meet the Tier 2 standard in this reporting period: Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Cuba, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Laos, and Russia.
Click here to view USCIRF Chair Katrina Lantos Swett’s comments (at 52 minutes) during the May 6, 2013 “Five Years Too Many Campaign” about Iran’s unjust imprisonment of 7 Baha’i leaders.
...that the United States government continues to detain many asylum seekers in jails or jail-like facilities?
Between July and December 2012, USCIRF staff toured 10 detention facilities nationwide and met with asylum seekers and officials from the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE). The goal of the tour was to assess ICE’s progress implementing reforms announced in 2009 that would create a new immigration detention system with facilities based on civil, not penal, models in locations with access to legal, medical, and transportation services. The announced reforms reflect USCIRF recommendations that, when detention is necessary, asylum seekers in Expedited Removal should be held in such civil models. Detaining asylum seekers under penal conditions with criminals may retraumatize this vulnerable population and cause them prematurely to withdraw their asylum claims.
Who We Are
USCIRF is an independent, bipartisan U.S. federal government commission, the first of its kind in the world, that monitors the universal right to freedom of religion or belief abroad. USCIRF reviews the facts and circumstances of religious freedom violations and makes policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State, and Congress. USCIRF Commissioners are appointed by the President and the Congressional leadership of both political parties.
What We're About
Inherent in religious freedom is the right to think as we please, believe or not believe as our conscience leads, and live out our beliefs openly, peacefully, and without fear.
We are about freedom…
Freedom of thought and conscience
Freedom of religion or belief
Freedom of expression, association, and assembly
Why Religious Freedom Matters
Religious Freedom Is...
Our first freedom, part of our history and identity as a free nation and enshrined in our First Amendment
A core human right recognized by international law and treaty
A necessary component of our nation’s foreign policy and commitment to defend democracy and freedom globally
A vital element of our national security, critical to ensuring a more peaceful, prosperous, and stable world