United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: May 21, 2024

§ 6412.
Portions of annual Human Rights Reports

The Ambassador at Large shall assist the Secretary of State in preparing those portions of the Human Rights Reports that relate to freedom of religion and freedom from discrimination based on religion and those portions of other information provided Congress under sections 2151n and 2304 of this title that relate to the right to freedom of religion.

Annual Report on International Religious Freedom
Deadline for submission
On May 1 of each year or the first day thereafter on which the appropriate House of Congress is in session, the Secretary of State, with the assistance of the Ambassador at Large, and taking into consideration the recommendations of the Commission, shall prepare and transmit to Congress an Annual Report on International Religious Freedom supplementing the most recent Human Rights Reports by providing additional detailed information with respect to matters involving international religious freedom. Each Annual Report shall contain the following:
Status of religious freedom
A description of the status of religious freedom in each foreign country, including—
trends toward improvement in the respect and protection of the right to religious freedom and trends toward deterioration of such right;
violations of religious freedom engaged in or tolerated by the government of that country;
particularly severe violations of religious freedom engaged in or tolerated by the government of that country as well as the routine denial of visa applications for religious workers;
particularly severe violations of religious freedom in that country if such country does not have a functioning government or the government of such country does not control its territory;
the identification of prisoners, to the extent possible, in that country pursuant to section 6417(d) of this title;
any action taken by the government of that country to censor religious content, communications, or worship activities online, including descriptions of the targeted religious group, the content, communication, or activities censored, and the means used; and
wherever applicable, an assessment and description of the nature and extent of acts of anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic incitement that occur in that country during the preceding year, including—
acts of physical violence against, or harassment of, Jewish people, acts of violence against, or vandalism of, Jewish community institutions, and instances of propaganda in government and nongovernment media that incite such acts; and
the actions taken by the government of that country to respond to such violence and attacks or to eliminate such propaganda or incitement, to enact and enforce laws relating to the protection of the right to religious freedom of Jewish people, and to promote anti-bias and tolerance education.
Violations of religious freedom
An assessment and description of the nature and extent of violations of religious freedom in each foreign country, including persecution of one religious group by another religious group, religious persecution by governmental and nongovernmental entities, persecution targeted at individuals or particular denominations or entire religions, persecution of lawyers, politicians, or other human rights advocates seeking to defend the rights of members of religious groups or highlight religious freedom violations, prohibitions on ritual animal slaughter or male infant circumcision, the existence of government policies violating religious freedom, including policies that discriminate against particular religious groups or members of such groups, policies that ban or restrict the public manifestation of religious belief and the peaceful involvement of religious groups or their members in the political life of each such foreign country, and the existence of government policies concerning—
limitations or prohibitions on, or lack of availability of, openly conducted, organized religious services outside of the premises of foreign diplomatic missions or consular posts; and
the forced religious conversion of minor United States citizens who have been abducted or illegally removed from the United States, and the refusal to allow such citizens to be returned to the United States.
United States policies

A detailed description of United States actions, diplomatic and political coordination efforts, and other policies in support of religious freedom in each foreign country engaging in or tolerating violations of religious freedom, including a description of the measures and policies implemented during the preceding 12 months by the United States under titles I, IV, and V of this Act in opposition to violations of religious freedom and in support of international religious freedom.

International agreements in effect

A description of any binding agreement with a foreign government entered into by the United States under section 6441(b) or 6442(c) of this title.

Training and guidelines of Government personnel
A description of—
the training described in section 6472(a) and (b) of this title and section 6473(b) and (c) of this title on violations of religious freedom provided to immigration judges and consular, refugee, immigration, and asylum officers; and
the development and implementation of the guidelines described in sections 6472(c) and 6473(a) of this title.
Executive Summary
An Executive Summary to the Annual Report highlighting the status of religious freedom in certain foreign countries and including the following:
Countries in which the United States is actively promoting religious freedom
Countries of significant improvement in religious freedom

An identification of foreign countries the governments of which have demonstrated significant improvement in the protection and promotion of the internationally recognized right to freedom of religion during the period covered by the Annual Report. This section of the report shall include a description of the nature of the improvement and an analysis of the factors contributing to such improvement, including actions taken by the United States under this chapter.

Anti-Semitism in Europe
In addition to the information required under clause (vii) of subparagraph (A), with respect to each European country in which verbal or physical threats or attacks are particularly significant against Jewish persons, places of worship, schools, cemeteries, and other religious institutions, a description of—
the security challenges and needs of European Jewish communities and European law enforcement agencies in such countries to better protect such communities;
to the extent practicable, the efforts of the United States Government over the reporting period to partner with European law enforcement agencies and civil society groups regarding the sharing of information and best practices to combat anti-Semitic incidents in Europe;
European educational programming and public awareness initiatives that aim to collaborate on educational curricula and campaigns that impart shared values of pluralism and tolerance, and showcase the positive contributions of Jews in culture, scholarship, science, and art, with special attention to those segments of the population that exhibit a high degree of anti-Semitic animus; and
efforts by European governments to adopt and apply a working definition of anti-Semitism.
Classified addendum

If the Secretary of State determines that it is in the national security interests of the United States or is necessary for the safety of individuals to be identified in the Annual Report or is necessary to further the purposes of this chapter, any information required by paragraph (1), including measures or actions taken by the United States, may be summarized in the Annual Report or the Executive Summary and submitted in more detail in a classified addendum to the Annual Report or the Executive Summary.

Preparation of reports regarding violations of religious freedom
Standards and investigations

The Secretary of State shall ensure that United States missions abroad maintain a consistent reporting standard and thoroughly investigate reports of violations of the internationally recognized right to freedom of religion.

Contacts with nongovernmental organizations

In compiling data and assessing the respect of the right to religious freedom for the Human Rights Reports, the Annual Report on International Religious Freedom, and the Executive Summary, United States mission personnel shall, as appropriate, seek out and maintain contacts with religious and human rights nongovernmental organizations, with the consent of those organizations, including receiving reports and updates from such organizations and, when appropriate, investigating such reports.

(Pub. L. 105–292, title I, § 102, Oct. 27, 1998, 112 Stat. 2792; Pub. L. 107–228, div. A, title VI, § 681(a), Sept. 30, 2002, 116 Stat. 1408; Pub. L. 108–332, § 6(b), Oct. 16, 2004, 118 Stat. 1285; Pub. L. 114–281, title I, § 102(a), Dec. 16, 2016, 130 Stat. 1429; Pub. L. 115–434, § 4, Jan. 14, 2019, 132 Stat. 5528.)
cite as: 22 USC 6412