Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:
International Relations [Paper-I]: India’s Foreign Policy, International Organisations, International Treaties and Forums, their structure and mandate
- United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) issued a statement that it was “deeply troubled” by the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Lok Sabha.
- It has sought American sanctions against Union Home Minister and other principal Indian leadership if the bill is passed by both houses of Parliament.
- Earlier, USCIRF had also issued a statement against the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam and a mob lynching incident in Jharkhand.
What is USCIRF?
- It is an advisory or a consultative body, which advises the US Congress and the administration on issues pertaining to international religious freedom.
- USCIRF describes itself as an independent, bipartisan US federal government commission that was created by the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA).
- The broad-based coalition that advocated strongly for IRFA’s enactment sought to elevate the fundamental human right of religious freedom as a central component of US foreign policy.
- In practice, the USCIRF has little teeth in implementation, but acts as a conscience-keeper for the two branches in the US government — the legislature and the executive.
What is the IRFA?
- International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 was passed by the 105th US Congress (1997-99) and signed into law by then President Bill Clinton on October 27, 1998.
- It is a statement of the US’s concern over violations of religious freedoms overseas.
[Source: Indian Express, uscirf.gov]