NEW YORK, Jan. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The ability of the Sikh community to practice its faith freely is a good litmus test of freedom for those that manifest their religious identity. UNITED SIKHS finds in the Global Sikh Civil & Human Rights Report 2010 released today that Sikhs and other minority communities across the world are finding protections steadily declining for freedom of religion, especially with respect to external identity.
A unique publication with a specific emphasis on Sikhs, the Report combines data from primary and secondary sources from 29 countries around the world. The Report has been timed for release this week to honor the defender of civil rights Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a hero whose words profoundly resonate amongst the Sikh community.
PDF of Report available at: http://www.unitedsikhs.org/globalconference/resources/GlobalSikhCivil&HumanRightsReport2010.pdf.
This past year, challenges to Sikh civil and human rights included:
- Belgium and other countries maintained policies that did not officially recognize the Sikh religion;
- Sikhs and other religious minorities are still precluded from manifesting their external religious identity in schools in France;
- Racial/Religious profiling of Sikhs and other minority groups who wear religious head coverings became more extreme in the United States with the implementation of new airport security mechanisms;
- India continues to disregard Sikh genocide/crimes against humanity from 1984 -1995; Indian Constitution does not recognize Sikhism as a distinctive faith;
- This year, persecution of religious minorities in Pakistan worsened and directly impacted the Sikh population faced persecution and forced conversion.
The Report is a vital tool for civil and human rights attorneys, asylum seekers, educators, advocates, and people of conscience throughout the world. Our previous Report was cited by United Nations' General Assembly Report of the Special Rapporteur and United States Commission on International Religious Freedom in their 2010 Annual Religious Freedom Report.
Contributing authors comprise UNITED SIKHS staff and members of other civil rights organizations, highlighting key issues such as identity, minority rights, government watchlists and profiling related to airport security.
UNITED SIKHS is a UN-affiliated, international non-profit, humanitarian relief, human development and advocacy organization. The Global Sikh Civil & Human Rights Report is an annual publication highlighting the civil and human rights infringements upon Sikh and other communities worldwide.
SOURCE UNITED SIKHS