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ICC NOTE: One aspect which the U.S. State Department failed to mention during their statement on global human rights according to CBN is the lack of religious freedom. It is possible to include within the description of government repression, but something as vital as religious freedom, which can lead to a more stable political and economic system, eliminate sectarian violence, and reduce the desire of radical groups to raise arms must be addressed directly. China, North Korea, Vietnam, and many other nations fail to provide basic religious freedom creating an environment of fear and in some cases extreme violence. When the State Department adequately places the International Religious Freedom office to a position of importance acts such as the arrests of pastors in Vietnam and China, and church burning’s in Indonesia will have a tougher time occurring. 

4/14/2016 Southeast Asia (CBN) – Government repression and extremist violence are responsible for the decline of human rights standards around the world, according to the U.S. State Department’s annual human rights report.

The report cites North Korea, China, Cuba, and Iran, among others, as countries that violate human rights in various ways.

In 2015, these countries pushed back with “increasing vigor and viciousness” against civil society groups working to empower citizens and fight corruption.

In China, Assistant Secretary of State Tom Malinowski said the U.S. is concerned about “religious minorities persecuted for their faith,” as well as Chinese nationals seeking civil liberties.

Secretary of State John Kerry claims most countries have made progress in upholding “the universal standard.”

“We have seen important democratic gains in such countries as Tunisia and Nigeria, Sri Lanka and Burma,” Kerry said, “though in each there are challenges that still need to be overcome, but we are working closely with each of those countries in efforts to help meet those challenges.”

Kerry says countries like Vietnam and Egypt have improved.

The report blames Syria’s denial of human rights for spawning a flood of refugees and the rise of the Islamic State.

Kerry also mentioned that the United States does not endorse torture of any kind.

“The United States is opposed to the use of torture in any form, at any time, by any government or non-state actor,” he said.

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